AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

One-Minute MarketerCopying, Modelling or Just Good Marketing?

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Copying, Modelling or Just Good Marketing?

Is it copying, is it modelling or is it just good marketing?

Motel 6, Super 7, Super 8

Motel 6, Super 7, Super 8?

That is the question when so much is being created and disseminated on the Internet. Some say we are producing and capturing more data each day than was seen by the entire civilization from the beginning of time. With that fact, there are bound to be references that are similar or the same in such a large pool of data (and that pool starts with discussions around petabytes, exabytes and zettabytes of information).

We all draw inspiration from our readings, research and experiences. There seems to a fine line (which I’m sure trademark and copyright attorneys will find and define) between inspiration and outright mimicry. The great painters studied and “copied” style, but eventually they made it their own. That is good marketing.

The problem with outright copying is not the courts, it’s that we don’t know what is going on behind the scenes with a brand’s strategy, development, targeting and final goals. You may be leading your brand down the wrong road with a copied concept.

The question is not, “should we copy this clever idea?” The question to ask is, “Is this clever idea authentic to my brand?” The negative branding line, Got Milk? worked for milk producers. Got _______ (insert your parody)? probably did not work for your brand.

Written by:

Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle. After 12 years at KWWL, Mark became a business owner as a co-founder of ME&V — rebranded as AMPERAGE in 2015. After 25 years of leading creative teams in video production, graphic design, PR, writing and web development, Mark transitioned out of ownership in 2021. Today he serves in an employee role as special projects consultant. He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.” Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.” One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College. Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board. Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.