Monday, April 25, 2011

Should Imitation Be Welcomed?

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But even if that's true, in business it tends to be looked upon with hisses instead of purrs.

When checking my recent Google Alerts this morning, I noticed a press release about a new retail site selling cat supplies. A visit to the site showed that it's not only hosted by the same company that hosts mine, but uses the same basic layout and colors as my own site -- they even have some of the same featured products on their home page! Granted, they don't have my fabulous branding, nor do they appear to offer the "people-products" for cat lovers that I have. But it's hard to feel flattered when someone essentially copies your storefront, element-for-element, to compete with you.

On the other hand, it means that the pet supply industry is doing well enough for more people to be entering it. I can attest to that after attending last month's Global Pet Expo. It was the largest ever. Many of the products I saw there will be showing up on over the next several months. Right now, I just updated several new sale prices on Pet Gear's products for traveling with your cat. Their line includes everything from an enclosed basket for your bicycle to airline-approved rolling carriers. If you're traveling with your cat this spring or summer, they're essentials!

So, welcome to the industry, new competitor. Just as others must have viewed me when I entered it last year, we'll see how you do over time.

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