They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery, but Johnson & Johnson might not think so. Upstart indie brand Mountain Falls, which registered for a trademark in 2017 and sells exclusively through Amazon, has been barging into the personal care space. One of its tactics? Targeting one of its biggest competitors.
Mountain Falls’ product pages are similar to those of J&J brands like Aveeno and Listerine. They even include call-outs of those brands’ names directly in the product titles. Mountain Falls also aggressively cross-sells other products in the footer carousel, encouraging basket building to decrease shipping costs and increase margins.
Mountain Falls has another trick up its sleeve. By exclusively distributing its products on Amazon, it’s given preferential treatment by the retailer, even being tagged “Our Brand” by Amazon in search results.
Mountain Falls also goes a step further by packaging its products using the same layout and color scheme as the comparable J&J products. Additionally, it highlights the same ingredients and benefits as its J&J counterpart, for instance, by showcasing the use of oatmeal as the primary ingredient in its lotion.
Mountain Falls leverages its close relationship with Amazon to actively invest in premium marketing placement, controlling 90% of impressions in categories like OTC Allergy and being the single largest individual buyer of sponsored product listings. To avoid being totally overrun, enterprises subverted by savvy indie brands must look at where they are being overpowered and fight back to narrow the visibility gap.