Unexpected Benefits of Being Less Rather Than More Similar: the Influence of Consumer Mindset and Brand Presence on Copycat Evaluation

Copycats imitate the features of incumbent brands to free-ride on their equity. The dominant idea is that the copycat gains more to the extent that its similarity to the incumbent brand increases. In contrast, three studies demonstrate that evaluation of the copycat is critically dependent on the mindset of the consumer and the presence of the incumbent. When a ‘judge’ mindset is activated or when the incumbent is present, highly similar copycats are actually evaluated less positively than moderately similar copycats are. Our results indicate that subtly similar copycats can be as or even more damaging than the blatantly similar copycats that have been focused upon mostly in marketing and law.


Femke van Horen, Rik Pieters, and Diederik A. Stapel (2009) ,"Unexpected Benefits of Being Less Rather Than More Similar: the Influence of Consumer Mindset and Brand Presence on Copycat Evaluation", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 755-756.


Femke van Horen, Tilburg University, The Netherlands
Rik Pieters, Tilburg University, The Netherlands
Diederik A. Stapel, Tilburg University, The Netherlands


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36 | 2009

Share Proceeding

Featured papers

See More


Contested and Confused: The Influence of Social Others in Disrupting Body Projects

Aphrodite Vlahos, University of Melbourne, Australia
Marcus Phipps, University of Melbourne, Australia

Read More


M1. How Rewarding is Your Rewards Program? Experiential vs. Material Rewards

Ayalla Ruvio, Michigan State University, USA
Farnoosh Khodakarami, Michigan State University, USA
Clay Voorhees, Michigan State University, USA

Read More


Trust in the Holy or the Material: The Combined Impact of Religiousness and Materialism on Life Satisfaction

Kelly Gabriel, Vilanova University, USA
Aronte Bennett, Vilanova University, USA

Read More

Engage with Us

Becoming an Association for Consumer Research member is simple. Membership in ACR is relatively inexpensive, but brings significant benefits to its members.