Creative Kleptomania: The New Wave of Brand Inspiration

In the dynamic world of branding, creativity reigns supreme. Businesses strive to stand out from the competition, making a lasting impression on consumers’ minds. One intriguing trend that has been gaining momentum is the concept of creative kleptomania in branding—borrowing ideas, elements, or strategies from other brands to create something new and innovative. Let’s explore what it means and how effective is it from a branding perspective.

A Fresh Perspective But Not Outright Copying

Before delving further into this fascinating phenomenon, it’s crucial to understand that creative kleptomania in branding is not about outright copying or plagiarism. Instead, it involves being inspired by existing concepts and putting a unique spin on them to develop a fresh perspective that resonates with the target audience.

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Understanding Creative Kleptomania in Branding

At its core, creative kleptomania in branding is driven by the idea that originality is overrated. In today’s saturated market, consumers are constantly bombarded with brand messages and advertisements. To cut through the noise, brands need to capture attention and evoke emotions effectively. By borrowing elements from successful brands and reinterpreting them in a novel way, businesses can create a sense of familiarity while offering a unique proposition.

Creative Kleptomania

In the digital realm, SEO-friendly content is the canvas upon which creatives paint their masterpieces. To rank higher and captivate audiences, content must be original yet familiar, unique yet relatable. It’s a delicate balance that, when struck, can propel a brand to the forefront of search engine results. This propels many of them to adopt creative kleptomania to make it big in the web world by riding along with the trend.

Creative Kleptomania

The Psychology Behind Borrowing Brilliance

Psychological studies suggest that humans are naturally drawn to the familiar. When consumers encounter a brand that reminds them of something they already know and love, they are more likely to establish a connection with it. This phenomenon, known as the mere-exposure effect, plays a significant role in the success of creative kleptomania in branding strategies.

Brand Examples of Creative Kleptomania

1. Zara (Fashion Brand)

Zara, the acclaimed Spanish fast-fashion giant, is widely recognized for its exceptional ability to transform high-end runway fashion trends into affordable clothing for the masses. Its innovative approach to fashion design enables it to stay ahead of the curve and cater to the ever-evolving fashion tastes and preferences of its customers. With its dexterity in borrowing inspiration from luxury fashion houses such as Chanel and Dior, Zara positions itself as a pioneering trendsetter in the fast-fashion industry.

Creative Kleptomania
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2. Apple (Tech Brand)

Apple, the renowned tech giant, has become synonymous with cutting-edge innovation and groundbreaking products that have revolutionized the way we engage with technology. From its iconic marketing campaigns to its user-friendly devices, Apple has set the standard for excellence and continues to inspire the tech industry with its pioneering spirit. With a focus on sleek and sophisticated designs, Apple has consistently embodied the principles of simplicity and elegance that were popularized by the legendary design expert, Dieter Rams.

Creative Kleptomania
iMAC designer Jonathan Ive (above) and the apple products he designed which were all inspired from Dieter Rams design of the similar shape and structure (below). Image Source: pinterest

Key Takeaways for Brand Marketers

Creative kleptomania, if approached carefully, benefits your brand in the following ways:

  • Embrace inspiration: Allow yourself to draw insights from other industries, art forms, or cultures to infuse fresh perspectives into your branding efforts.
  • Add a unique twist: While borrowing brilliance, remember to inject your brand’s personality and values to create a distinct identity that resonates with your target audience.
  • Stay ethical: Avoid direct imitation or plagiarism at all costs. Instead, focus on reinterpreting existing ideas to deliver value and authenticity to your consumers.


Creative Kleptomania

The Big Picture

Creative kleptomania is a powerful strategy that allows brands to stay relevant, innovative, and competitive in today’s fast-paced market. It offers a compelling approach for businesses to break through the clutter and establish a meaningful connection with consumers. By borrowing brilliance responsibly and infusing originality into the mix, brands can create captivating narratives that leave a lasting impact in the hearts and minds of their audience.

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Hasin Hamza