Lookalike packs ‘are confusing’

Shoppers are confused by lookalike brands, according to a report by the British Brands Group which aims to convince Parliament of the need for legislation to prevent copycat packaging.

More than 3500 consumers were surveyed on lookalikes for the report. They were shown a pair of products which were substantially similar, a pair which had some packaging similarities and a pair which were completely different from one another.

A substantial 42 per cent of respondents said they would be likely to buy a close copy by mistake, when actually searching for a particular brand. The products, used in the test, use the same colour palette and similar typefaces.

Packaging similarity suggested to 32 per cent of the consumers that products are made by the same manufacturer. Only 17 per cent of those questioned made the same assumption about two competing products with dissimilar packaging.

Richard Murray, director of packaging group Williams Murray Banks, says copy-catting is still a serious issue. “The most serious to me is when manufacturers copy other manufacturers and hide behind the excuse of category language,” he adds.

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