The impact of copycat packaging strategies on the adoption of private labels

Rita Coelho do Vale*, Pedro Verga Matos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – This paper aims to analyze the impact of copycat packaging strategies on consumers’ product choices, assessing to what extent the adoption of this type of packaging increases the likelihood of purchase of private labels (PLs). Design/methodology/approach – Data were collected in a preliminary field study (1,032 observations), followed by two experimental studies. Study 1 analyzed to what extent PLs’ packaging similarity influences consumers perceptions regarding product quality and production origin across six product categories. Study 2 analyzed, in a simulated real retail setting, to what extent copycat packaging strategies influence consumers’ choice across 22 product categories. Findings – Results indicate that the higher the level of package similarity between PLs and national brands (NBs) (copycat strategy), the higher the likelihood that PLs’ products are perceived as being produced by one of the NBs’ manufacturers, leading to enhanced perceptions of quality of the PL products, and that the higher the level of package similarity, the higher the likelihood of consumption of PLs, especially when consumers are choosing products of utilitarian versus hedonic nature. Research limitations/implications – Data were collected in a south-western European country, which will aid the development of further studies in different retail settings. Originality/value – This paper analyzes the impact of copycat packaging adoption by retailers on consumers’ perceptions and preferences about PLs. To the authors’ knowledge, this study is the first to assess, across multiple product categories and use market copycats, the potential effects of PLs packaging strategies on consumers’ purchase behavior.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)646-659
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Product and Brand Management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sept 2015


  • Copycat
  • Package similarity
  • Packaging strategies
  • Private label choice


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