Imitation Is Not Always The Sincerest Form Of Flattery
They say that “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”
However, when imitation is being used to intentionally mislead for profit, it’s not flattery – it’s unfair.
We should be flattered that we have built a company worth imitating, but we are disappointed by the unethical practices of some of our competitors.
Every so often, and unfortunately at an ever-increasing rate, we get an email from a customer commenting on the quality of one of “our” products that they purchased from another company. For instance, last year, one email we received said:
“I was really disappointed in your soaps that I purchased from [Company X]. Are they cheaper because they are your seconds?”
Several months later, we received an email from a customer asking . . .
“Is [Company Y] selling your products under their name? If not, their products are so similar they must be copying you. Unless they are affiliated with your company, this is absolutely wrong. I just thought I would let you all know.”
Since there are no companies selling our products under a different name, we investigated these, and other inquiries. What we found was quite disturbing.
- One company was selling their own soaps, but using our pictures and descriptions on their website.
- Another company literally copied entire pages of our website.
- Still, another used all of their own pictures and descriptions but copied our product line with a little different twist on all of the names.
- We even found a company that copied our testimonials and changed the names and locations of the customers.
We do not look for websites that copy ours, our loyal customers tell us.
“I sent you a note a few months back about [Company Z]. Now it seems kind of funny because I was upset that you had copied so much of their stuff. After your response I have been watching their website. I hope you are watching too because it seems like each time you create something new, [Company X] COINCIDENTLY comes up with the same product with a VERY SIMILAR name.”
Chagrin Valley Soap began with a single batch of soap and a dream and mission to create skincare products from simple, wholesome, natural ingredients.
I have nurtured this company from its beginning days in my kitchen and watched my dream come true as our reputation grew by word of mouth -- from family to friends and then through the internet.
There are many ethical soap and skincare companies following the rules and creating really great products. I don’t understand why a few companies must resort to flagrantly copying the creativity of others.
So, if the website does not say Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve, and the packaging does not say Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve, then it is NOT a Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve product.
There may be many Valleys in the world,
but there is only one Chagrin Valley!