Imitator - Meaning & Definition

Published in Marketing and Strategy Terms by MBA Skool Team

What is Imitator ?

An imitator is defined as the firm that tries to copy its competitor in terms of product features, appearance, packaging, graphics and claims.


In this way, the imitator strives to reduce the cost of launching and building its own brand and relies on the innovation done by its competitor.


There are two categories of imitators:

1. Pure Imitator:

Pure imitator perfectly copies its competitor’s offering thus creating a clone of the original product. In this way, pure imitator acts as late-mover who takes advantage of the already available product in the market.

2. Creative Imitator:

Creative imitator takes the idea from the competitor and adds his own features to the product in order to improve it before introducing it in the market.

Imitators are generally not treated in a favourable manner because of the perception that innovation provides first-mover advantage and complexity on the grounds of maintain ethical standards while imitating. However, this perception is changing in the recent times. Being late-movers, imitators are able to avoid the mistakes committed by the innovators (first-movers) which help in reduction in product development cost. Also, the perception of ethics is highly subjective and changes with cultures, consumers, nations etc.

e.g.) Parle is imitator of Lays in Chips manufacturing and selling. They have imitated Lays flavours as well as packaging colour norms for different flavours in exactly similar way.

Hence, this concludes the definition of Imitator along with its overview.

This article has been researched & authored by the Business Concepts Team. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.

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