Identifying Design Piracy with Comparative and Non-Comparative Survey Methods
Tutor / director / evaluatorHerm, Steffen
Document typeMaster thesis (pre-Bologna period)
Rights accessRestricted access - author's decision
A common strategy of copycats companies is to imitate the trade dress of a leading to try to gain consumers. When a copycat brand imitates the visual appearance of a leading brand is because he wants to exploit the positive associations related to the leading brand . This leads to the critical question of what conditions determine the perceived similarity between a copycat and a leading brand. The current research examines whether different evaluation modes influence “confusion” measures; in particular, it compares the new procedure (non-comparative) with a “classical” side-by-side presentation of similar product designs (comparative). This thesis is focusing in three areas of study: packaging, using a can of a beer as model, the Smartphone’s, taking the iPhone and Galaxy II as examples, and cars, focusing on the Smart and the Noble a Chinese car. For the first two cases the results were as expected and my assumptions were confirmed: people recognize accurately in a comparative way and they identify copycats as original in a non-comparative evaluation mode. For the study: the recognition of the Noble as a piracy, the results have been interesting and worthy of further reasoning, for example how people get to know the new car. A lot of people identify the original as a copy when they are in the comparative mode, because they didn’t know the new car and then they were in trouble to accurately recognize the original, or maybe they doubted when they had to tell if the copycat is an older or further version of the original.
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