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The Imitation Game: Top 4 Malaysian Knock-Offs


They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But it stops being flattering when the imitator starts getting money that shouldn’t be theirs like they switched wallets.

So when Jiangling Motors, a Chinese automaker, revealed the design of their new Land Wind X6, the motoring industry went into frenzy. And if you take a quick look at their design, you would understand why.

The Land Wind X6 is a splitting image of Range Rover’s Evoque – even the name is similar to Range Rover’s mother brand Land Rover. So when folks buy the Land Wind for its design, Range Rover should technically receive a portion of that money. But that’s for the courts to decide.

We aren’t here to discuss the moral weightage of brand imitation.  As a branding blog, our stand is of course against it.

But brand knock-offs aren’t a new thing and Malaysia has seen a fair share of them. So what better way to flatter the imitated than to parade the imitators for the world to see! Below is a list of Malaysia’s Top 5 Knock-Offs, compiled by The Bullet just for you:

KLG Fried Chicken

We weren’t aware that Colonel Sander’s 11 secret herbs and spices was declassified information! From the logo to the menu, KLG Fried Chicken has KFC flavor all over it. Their chicken mascot is even wearing a bolo tie!

McCurry

We can’t seem to find the large Golden Arches that used to grace this famous Chicken Curry joint, but these guys were actually sued by McDonald’s for trademark infringement. McCurry won, stating that their “McCurry” stands for “Malaysian Chicken Curry”. McDonald’s definitely had an Unhappy Meal that day.

NTV 7

This just in, NTV 7’s logo is a direct rip-off from abc 7’s logo! I mean, we get the saying about how good artists copy, great artists steal – but this is just shameful. Not so feel good now is it?

Air Asia

OK, this is more of an homage rather than imitation – but the similarities of the Air Asia logo to Virgin Airline’s logo are uncanny. The story of the two owners’ rise to prominence share parallels, so we shouldn’t be too mad that Tony Fernandez also wanted to parallel the Virgin Airline’s look and feel. And to be fair, Air Asia is a champion in its own right.

Our personal philosophy on branding is to stand out, occupy a unique niche, and tell a story that’s never been told before. So it bewilders us that some companies would rather just emulate rather than revolutionize. But that’s us.

I suppose if your main driver is profit maximization, and copying others helps you with that task, then that’s your prerogative. However, we would like to explicitly advise you against it.

What are your thoughts on the imitation game?

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