Navigating dupe culture: How brands can thrive amongst copycats

While some view dupes as a threat, innovative brands are turning them into opportunities for growth and differentiation.

Dupes (short for duplicates) are simply the latest iteration of this bargain-hunting tradition. But some things have changed. There was a time when being caught wearing a fake was the height of embarrassment. What’s different now is dupe culture openly takes pride in alternative versions of the ‘real thing’.

Today, dupes are driven by the desire for novelty, particularly among young audiences seeking rapid gratification. Social media’s ramped-up turnover has disrupted traditional trend cycles, speeding them up to satisfy a heightened desire for newness.

So what exactly is a dupe? Unlike knockoffs and counterfeits, dupes don’t claim to be the...

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