Just got back from a very fun blog meet! More on that later, first up I wanted to pen some thoughts on today's discussion, which was done by a representative from HP
The discussion was centered around creating awareness around copying and imitation. Ofcourse, the minute he said this I quickly flitted my eyes over to my imitation Christian Dior bag. It was a AA imitation bag that I got from a recent trip to the Philippines. I knew which side of the fence I was at, as he continued to explore the reasons why people opt for the copy.
Money makes the world go around, and well money is usually the reason you wake up from a blissfull slumber and subject yourself to a torturous shower. So it's not surprising that this 250 billion US dollar industry continues to boom internationally. I know for a fact, that for me it is all about cost.. that is when I think about it as a consumer, and not a company.
So there's the acquisition and the running cost. You might buy a lesser known brand because it's cheaper, or buy a brand of quality but opt to have cheaper service or material to replace any damaged/ additives required to run the vehicle.
As a company, there are various reprecussions of having all these 'mini me's' running around. And the key to this difference is knowing the difference between a copy and an imitator.
For one a copy, is a known copy. Like my bag.. I knew it wasn't Christian Dior, but it appealed in design to me and it was cheaper, so I bought it. I don't expect it to last me forever (though it has surprised me that it has lasted this long, and continues to be a healthy bag) and that's ok, because I'm a girl and I like quantity over quality.. when it comes to bags.
An imitation, is an attempted replica of the real product, that markets and sells itself as the real product. It is still cheaper than the original, but made of substandard material that will obviously not give you the same quality, efficiency as the real product.
Risks to a company, is that it can make a company liable to lawsuits, which would mostly get thrown out as it the product was not the original. It also exposes the consumer to various risks, like safety -you know those sms's that circulate about how talking someone was talking on the phone and charging it at the same time and they got killed? And coming back to the company, though the device was an imitation, the brand name will still get dragged into the picture. Imagine the headlines:
FAKE XYZ-BRAND PHONE KILLS ONE
Or as was explained today, there's no point buying an expensive HP printer to then use cheap sub- standard ink, that will not only provide you with sub standard print, but also expose your printer to malfunctioning. And to boot, warantee doesn't cover the cost of the printer needing to be fixed, if the cause was you using imitation additives, knowingly or unknowingly.
Another reason explored today was the ease of accesibility. Sometimes it may not be about cost, but that one producto buy. Maybe the original showroom is in town, and everyother product is available online. And that's the reason you opt for the easier buy
The first bit is about awareness. To know the difference and what you're getting yourself into. You don't want to buy a second hand car at market price, when the innards of the car are made up of fake material. And also understand the risk, that if it is cheaper than market price, then this may be the reason, and expect the unexpected in performance, durability and resale value.
The good news is that you're not alone. As much as it's about consumer beware, innovative companies have come up with ways to not only help their consumers but also protect their brand and brand image.
One such example is HP. HP products come with a QR Code, or a code that will help you identify whether that product is real or not. If you are a smart phone user, it's as simple as downloading a QR code reading app. I downloaded QR Droid- supa easy to use.
Should you not have a smart phone, identify the code at the back of the printer product and then go to to the HP Authentication page, to validate the label.
Their printer catridges can also be purchased and home delivered!