Cashing-in On Branding Leadership
As brands continue to go global, some businesses in emerging markets are quick to understand the equity that resides within the brand identity of global market leaders. As a result, ‘branderfeit’ stores are popping-up like mushrooms throughout the newer economies.
Legend has it that founder of Australian cafe chain ‘Villa & Hut’, Franz Madlener was traveling in China for the first time when his taxi pulled-up at the lights. Glancing out his side window, Madlener saw realized they’d stopped in front of a Villa & Hut store. The only problem was Villa & Hut had no stores in China at that point. What Madlener was looking at was an almost exact replica, a branderfeit version of one of his branded stores.
Here are some examples of these misplaced gestures of brand identity flattery – amusing unless the brand they’re leveraging happens to be yours.