“Imitation is the best form of flattery.“
Artistic inspiration has been a phenomenon for centuries; whether it is literature, art, music, or even writing, humans have been inspired by each other’s work to become more creative and develop better ideas.
However, there is a big difference between being inspired by someone else and copying their work; the latter is an illegal act that should not be applied at all costs. In marketing, advertising, or branding, copying the graphic designs of others negatively impacts the business. It is most likely full of risks and serious consequences, so here are some of the critical reasons for avoiding such a mistake and concentrating on uniqueness only.
It is Illegal
Designs belong to their original designer who first created them or the companies they work for, particularly if they own the copyright of their work as official proof. Copying other businesses’ designs might cause legal issues if competitors press charges or file a lawsuit.
Generally, the law protects graphic designs and digital artwork. For example, when a company’s brand is a protected trademark, its logo design, brand identity, color lines, and other features are protected. No other business can come close to its designs or branding approaches.
It is Hard to Adjust to Your Business
Copying another brand’s graphic designs makes it hard to edit and adjust them to fit a different branding approach. Despite the temptation of getting creative work as quickly as possible, it usually doesn’t fit easily. It can’t match the company’s vision or identity because it was designed for another business.
Sometimes companies utilize graphic designs for a specific campaign with an intention to expand the work and launch further campaigns all under the same concept. However, when another business copies those designs and uses them, they’ll lose the context and visionary meaning. Moreover, they won’t deliver the same message they were initially created to provide.
The Targeted Audience Can Be Different
Despite establishing your brand in the same market as the brand you are copying from, their targeted audience may be different than yours. Unless you have their targeting strategy, copying them will negatively affect your brand more than you have thought about.
An innovative graphic design plan is essential and has to be preceded by studying and analyzing your audience’s desires and mindsets. It’s the only way to benefit from graphic designs to the maximum. Otherwise, it might be no more than a good set of visuals projected on your accounts or printable materials.
Less Confidence in Your Brand
Your customers are most likely to recognize your copied design, which conveys that your brand lacks creativity and credibility. Therefore, they will have less confidence in your business and possibly prefer to choose other brands over yours.
Also, copying your competitors’ work does not allow you to test the waters to check if your designs and marketing strategies are working well. That way, you will lose a significant opportunity to develop the business based adequately on accurate customer feedback.
Alternative Solutions to Avoid Copying Your Competitors
Define Your Targets
Every marketing strategy needs specific goals and a clear plan; you might need to increase your sales and followers on social media, modify your website content, spread brand awareness using billboards, etc. By planning correctly, you will be able to realize the design method, targeted audience, and marketing content you need to achieve your goals.
Choosing the Right Employee and Tools
Nowadays, many graphic design tools are available online and offline. Most importantly, those tools are affordable and can provide a great advantage when utilized correctly. Moreover, many graphic design professionals are available for freelance work; All you need is the tools and the skillful specialist.
Instead of focusing on competitors’ work, equip your staff with the proper tools to create brilliant designs, prepare a comprehensive plan including your target goal and buyer persona, then let the graphic designers handle the rest of the work.
Hire the Innovative Designer
Once you have your plan, strategy, and vision built up, and you might need to conduct competitive tests to hire a designer qualified enough to come up with new ideas and creative designs dedicated to your business, with no copying of someone else’s work.
“Copying is a design error.”
Inspiration is one of the powerful methods for creativity. Still, copying is basically the shortest way to stay behind or even drop out of the market if the brand you copy press charges against you. Or the audience recognizes it.
Considering all the above, there are always proper solutions for building a creative brand instead of copying others’ creativity, especially since its cons are much more than its pros.
Lastly, keep in mind that success does not happen overnight, but if you are hardworking, dedicated, and taking the right steps towards your goals, you will be able to outperform your competitors.