Friday, August 17, 2012

The Rant: The Frog Clone Wars

I work in an industry in which "imitation" is not seen as flattery, but instead as a way to cheat and steel from another company. So when I started to notice this trend creeping further and further into the fishing industry, I could not keep my mouth shut.. and thus a Rant was imminent

This is not new, and as mentioned above it is not limited to the Fishing industry. One can look back at the introduction of the Senko worm years ago, and the lengths at which bait companies have gone to copy its success, and still do to this day. That being said the copying of baits was really limited to worms for the most part, but over the years it has started to spread into other areas of the bait market and this year the frog market has seen an influx of "knock-off" baits. Some coming from small companies and hand pourers making their own bait mould and some knock-offs are coming from over-seas from the same factory or plant that the original bait comes from!

Live Target is a great example of this. I dont know about you, but I have seen a remarkable amount of knock-off Live Target frogs on the market. I actual a angler who told me that he could order me "copy" Live Target baits from China for pennies on the dollar, all he had to do was get a 500 piece order together, and the company would ship him these frogs. I was annoyed by this and I tried to explain to him that by buying these baits, not only is he taking money out of the pocket of the company that paid for the development and production of that product, but he is taking money out of the register of local bait shots, and down the road, this will take money from the pocket of every angler that buys Live Target products.. When people rip off their baits before they can recoup the cost of development companies are forced to do one of two things.. raise their prices, or stop developing new products, and in the case of Live Target, this truly would be a shame as they are responsible for some of the coolest bait designs on the market today

Ok, so that covers off the bigger companies getting ripped off by bigger companies.. now lets look at the small guy, who at times, is doing just as much damage

I recently placed an order for various soft plastic frogs from various companies. I will not list them here, but as you can see from the images I was not super happy to see that two of the frogs I ordered were clones, they are the exact same frog, other then colour options and price.  I dont pretend to know how or why this happens, maybe one company created a knock-off of the other companies product or maybe one company sold the moulds to the other company. All I do know is as a consumer I feel a little ripped off. I bought these fogs to test and review them for the Frog Pond, but really I could have saved myself some money and just ordered one, and then switched the names.. thats kinda what bait maker has done? 

Why do companies do this? The baits a company produces directly reflect how that company is seen in the industry, so why let someone else make or break your reputation for you? why create brand confusion? If you have a new idea for a great frog design, then created it, if not, don't add a frog clone to your product line.. and if you are going to use a clone mould, then try to switch up the materials, the plastic, the scent, something that tells me as a consumer that you improved this bait in some way, that you care about your products.. Innovation over Imitation is how to grow this industry

Rant Over!

(P.S: In no way am i suggesting the companies listed or pictured above have "knocked or Ripped off" another company. As stated they may have purchased the moulds or rights legally to these baits)

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