Magazine article Marketing

The Marketing Society Forum: Can a Brand Gain from Adopting a Rival's Disused Marketing Idea?

Magazine article Marketing

The Marketing Society Forum: Can a Brand Gain from Adopting a Rival's Disused Marketing Idea?

Article excerpt

Morrisons has registered variations of a trademark that borrows from a former Sainsbury's slogan.

NO - ALAN GILES CHAIRMAN, FAT FACE

I would steer clear of recycling a competitor's marketing idea. If used in jest, it can come across as a cheap shot; if used in a serious way, your spend could create value for the rival who still 'owns' the idea However, there are few variations of wording that imply food is high quality at low prices - the essence of any supermarket proposition.

Morrisons has been clever to introduce the double-meaning word 'making' - its degree of vertical integration is a real point of difference Registering 'Making good food cost less' doesn't mean it will be used; Morrisons may be the only 'big four' grocer not to have a consistent slogan, yet it has the sharpest and most differentiated image of them all.

MAYBE - MARCUS WILLOX, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, WARL

Putting aside passing off or copyright litigation, when consumers perceive the original brand as owning the idea, the second brand may fail the 'fair and reasonable test' - at best, it fails by comparison, at worst, it is a thief.

True ownership can be achieved only when a brand truth lies at the heart of the creative. Yet it can also be reassigned by subtle changes to the ideas of others, and ideas with no natural owner demand to be shared. Waitrose shoppers do not care that 'Dine in for pounds 10' was an M&S concept. Waitrose was criticised for the move, but customers might question their patronage had it not produced its own version of such a great idea. …

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