Mimicking consumer goods, particularly those that are patronised by their captive buyers in large numbers over extended periods of time, has been the time-honoured profession of street-smart entrepreneurs in the land. The south side entrance to the iconic Devaraja Market in Mysuru witnessing mobile vendors of imitation agarbathies of high-quality bearing brand names that earned name and fame to the city used to be a common sight not too long ago. A well-marked section of society, accorded the dubious distinction of never-say-die trading community, excel the rest across the country in palming off mimicked version of any and every consumer good, making merry nowadays selling faked electronic devices of any brand, with boundless favouring of those products driven by their cheap price tags. That is business ethics of traders of that category for you.
Branding livestock using red-hot iron has been a time-honoured practice in villages, to protect the pets from evil spirits. The Texan ranchers branded their cattle similarly for establishing the identity of animals and their ownership. The origin of the term maverick is traced to one of those ranchers who didn’t conform to the practice of branding, a negative approach to establish his brand of cattle.
Names of manufacturing companies, particularly those that have become household names, enjoying the status of their products with unique brand names in a wide range of consumer goods come to one’s mind in flash. Their imitations, such as in the case of Godrej brand steel almirahs or Amul butter or IBM office equipment have taken the brunt of the faking fraternity. Popularity earned through years of sustained maintenance of high quality of their products, resulting in a major share in the consumer market, has acted as double-edged sword, becoming ungrudging victims of having their products fall into the hands of fakers, thanks to the aam janata willingly falling into the net.
We are currently in an era of fast foods. Even brands of consumer goods in their thousands have to capture the market share almost instantly. Film personalities with their sweep over the minds of consuming public have a new status as Brand Ambassadors, particularly for products in cosmetic sector. All is fair until the stuff behaves differently from what the celebrity tom-toms on small screen.