Daddy, do fake brands come from fake branding agencies?

posted by on 2010.08.12, under Brand Strategy, Design
08.12

Discovered this firm the other day and couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw their website. Landor, meet your made-in-China doppelganger.

JundoBrand homepage

Landor homepage

Is there some formal connection between these companies that justifies such blatant copycatting? Maybe, in which case this post is meaningless, and I probably owe JundoBrand an apology. But so far I haven’t found any connection (and if there is one, shouldn’t they mention it somewhere?).

I don’t think I need to explain the problem(s) I see with a branding firm simply copying a competitors’ look and feel so completely. Not to mention the support this gives to the stereotype that China is better at manufacturing copies of things than creating anything original…I mean if a branding firm can’t even try to make itself an original, we’re in pretty dire straits. I’m surprised they’re not called “Lundor,” or better yet, “Slandor.”

I’ve already contacted Landor to see if I’ve missed something here. If so, I owe you an apology, Jundo. If not, anyone know the Chinese for “cease and desist”?

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCIQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.landor.com%2F&ei=PbZjTJvmNYTRcdGs2M8J&usg=AFQjCNFrpeWHhZ4M2PsnIsR35Wu2zVFqWA

comment

Highest form of flattery, mirroring, mimicking. Also how we learn to trust. Maybe they just want to make the American brand imperialists feel comfortable, recognized.

And I do think notions of “orginality” and “authenticity” are, at this point in global culture, largely moot and weary.

None of us are original. Show me a company that can effectively call itslef “original”. We and our thoughts and our ideas are all products of being immersed in a perpetual Looking Glass moshpit of mnemomics and semiotics, semantics and brands, dreaming symbolic thoughts and visuals — for centuries.

Paul van Winkle ( 2010/08/12 at 10:34 )

PvW, you’re back! Long time no blog comment. Good to hear from you, even if I’m not sure I agree with you.

Sure, you can argue “it’s all been done,” but that can only shift—not erase—the line between standing on shoulders of giants and out-and-out plagiarism. I’m actually not sure (and now curious) how website design is protected under copyright and/or trademark laws, but this is clearly a direct copy. I forgot to mention that you can email them at hello@jundobrand.com, just like Landor’s hello@landor.com (although lots of firms are doing this…is it getting old yet?).

Also, just got confirmation from Landor that they have no connection to this company.

Rob ( 2010/08/12 at 18:47 )

Rob! (Yes, you know it — enjoy and read you all the time, even if I don’t always comment.)

The direct steal of everything Landor in this – formatting, style, e-mail — is indeed disturbing and wrong, and not a good or accepted business practice (except in China).

I’ve seen so much direct theft, cut and paste, and plagiarim throughout the “creative” communications field lately that it’s difficult for me to avoid being jaded and cynical. It’s become a legitimate business pratice to immitate or emulate a competitor or customer.

And I think a lot of this intellectual de-rigoring has become pervasive in mono-cultures that are inside-out (top down), rather than customer-focused, with diverse opinions and ideas.

A group I’m fond of now is called Thrive (http://www.thrivethinking.com/ ) , a design research company that actively listens to and researches — get ready – what customers want. So design and communications follow. How novel!

Paul van Winkle ( 2010/08/13 at 11:01 )

Good post! Maybe another perspective is required to judge this case? If the brand of Landor is so generic and it’s website as well, what is there to copyright?
I respect Landor and it’s work, but the Chinese did not use the main differential aspect of the Landor identity: The Klamath (the yellow boat). Which is embedded in their history or roots. Call it what you want!

Sam ( 2011/02/13 at 10:20 )

Sam, read the last paragraph of this post by a Beijing-based IP lawyer, and I think you’ll agree that if this isn’t a case of trademark infringement, it certainly stands a chance as “unfair competition.”

Rob ( 2011/02/15 at 12:56 )

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