Good reasons for brands to tolerate knock offs. Lots of people buy the real brand after buying the knock off. This was Microsoft's China strategy: so 95% is pirated? At least they are buying our stuff. #totrblog
Why Knockoffs Can Help a Strong Brand
Here is an excerpt from The Knockoff Economy: How Imitation Sparks Innovation, which has just been published by Oxford University Press. Next week, weâ€™ll be taking questions from Freakonomics readers in a Q&A. Weâ€™ll also run a contest for the wackiest photo of a knockoff item.
THE KNOCKOFF ECONOMY CONCLUSION
The traditional justification for trademark law, which protects brands, has little to do with innovation. Instead, trademark lawâ€™s justifica…
Yes, this makes sense. Thinking about “designer” brands, they are often “aspirational” and rely for selling power on their exclusivity. Because the appeal is largely psychological rather than functional, it doesn’t matter if the knockoff is functionally equivalent or even identical. The exclusivity is only enhanced by the fact that lots of people exhibit their desire for the real thing by buying knock-offs.