I once spent a Christmas break in St. Petersburg, Russia with a friend of mine. He was a native Russian and treated me to a once-in-a-lifetime experience in one of the prettiest cities in all of Europe. I saw many of the sights that Americans associate with Russia and was impressed with the wonderful Russian architecture and culture. On the last weekend prior to my departure I laid eyes on one sight that was definitely not inspired by Russian culture but was definitely influenced by something quintessentially American – McDonald’s. It was the Russian version of the popular restaurant chain and because I knew the real thing it left you feeling a little disappointed.
The little restaurant was definitely intended to replicate the McDonald’s experience – vivid colors, fun packaging and hamburgers – but there were distinct differences. The most salient was the fact that there was only one arch, not the iconic double arch that makes up the most recognized brand in the world. I recall smiling when I saw it because I knew it wasn’t a McDonald’s despite the obvious intent to replicate one.
Imitation is like a backhanded compliment. You have someone who obviously envies your work and desires to claim it as their own yet believes it’s nothing special and easily replicable, hence the ‘Gucci’ handbags sold on street corners that wear, feel, smell and look like something you’ve seen on aisle 5 in K-Mart. I suppose it’s flattering to know that you’re the one everyone wants to imitate but unfortunate for the customer who really believes they’ve got the genuine product.
Bott Monument declares that we’re the touchstone in the monument industry and we’re confident that a few minutes scanning our website will verify that claim. We’re so confident in fact that you’ll find links to numerous competitors right on our website. You won’t find any of their designs on our website but we’re not so certain you won’t find ours on theirs. But look closely and you’ll see that there’s only has a single arch…