We’ve all come across copycat websites that imitate our favorite products and companies. Just look at social media sites Facebook (News - Alert), Instagram and Twitter; there are thousands of pages copycatting our favorite stars and products, so much so that we can hardly tell them apart.
In a similar form of flattery, Berlin startups are finding that Russian copycats are ripping off their websites. Venture Village, a Berlin news website, previously investigated German copycats imitating international companies, but recently the company has seen a shift in copycats’ behavior, instead opting for targets closer to home.
In a recent article, Venture Village explains several instances of this strange flattery. For example, the website first revealed a copycatting incident involving Tricider, whose website had been cloned using a Russian domain name. Its company name, colors and music had all been jacked.
But when the news leaked about the rip-off, the suspect switched its company name and coinciding colors.
In another instance, Mister Spex, an online eyewear retailer located in Germany, found several copycats using its website design, color and name, among other features. See the image below.
“One copycat even copied source code and accidentally integrated Mister Spex’ hotline number in its website. That was quite confusing for our service team,” said cofounder and CEO Dirk Graber.
Copycatting not only causes confusion and frustration, but also can be damaging to a brand’s image. Intentionally intervening can result in little to no resolution, so several companies are opting to not take legal action.
So what are you to do if you find yourself in this situation? Venture Village suggests using the power of social media to reach out to customers letting them know about the imposter or consider freshening up your websites design to keep copycats on their toes.
Edited by Braden Becker