A Fresh Idea

By:  Dan Bergeron What makes your idea a fresh idea?  What makes you an innovator instead of a copycat?  A brand releases a cutting edge new product that changes the consumer market.  Soon to follow are typically several other strikingly similar products from other competing brands.  Does this make them 'copy cats' , or is it simply the only way to survive in a competitive marketplace?

Lately I've been reading a lot of articles and blog posts about iPads.  More specifically, how every company has their  own version of the tablet  that pretty  much resembles all other tablets.   

For the most part, a tablet is really just a smaller, sleeker version of the laptop.   Yes, they are sophisticated and sexy, not to mention super convenient, but when you really break it down, they're just computers.  It is difficult to think of a completely fresh idea. If you think you have some type of new and exciting thought for a product, do a little research and you might find that someone has already had that same idea.Just because your idea may not be completely fresh does not mean you should not pursue it.  I'm not saying go out there and 'copycat' as many products as possible, I'm simply saying some competitive products can co-exist and be successful.  Think Coke and PepsiMcDonald's and Burger King;  Nike and Adidas.  The list goes on.

When Ford Motor Company introduced the ever-popular Model T in 1908, other automobile manufacturers did not cease simply because the Model T was so successful.  Where would automobiles in America be today if all other companies halted work because they thought their product was too much of a 'copy cat?'

Many brands can co-exist successfully in a competitive marketplace.  It can be challenging to come up with the next fresh idea that will change the face of the industry.  While you may not have designed the iPad, or Blackberry Playbook, you might still have some fresh ideas for a new product, or even fresh ideas for an existing product.  Sometimes bringing fresh ideas to an existing product can be very effective and yield a strong return financially.  Don't get discouraged if someone writes a product review about your 'copy cat' product, it just might be the right fresh idea.

Do you think brands that make similar products are 'copy cats' or are simply being smart in a competitive marketplace?