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Should You Call Out Your Copycat on Social Media? It's a splashy way to defend your company, but can it actually help protect it?

By Stephanie Schomer

This story appears in the April 2020 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Viktor Koen

First there was Chillhouse. Then there was Chillology. And then things were not chill. It started with Cyndi Ramirez-Fulton, founder and CEO of Chillhouse, which is a Manhattan-based "new-age spa." The company has attracted more than 100,000 Instagram followers who love its modern aesthetic and self-care ethos. In October, one of those followers alerted Ramirez-Fulton to another brand's account — and it looked eerily similar to Chillhouse's.

This other account was for a different self-care destination, called Chillology. It copied specific Chillhouse posts and captions; its products, services, and packaging showed alarming overlap; and the marketing for a Chillhouse pop-up at Miami Beach's Art Basel was being used to promote Chillology in New York, the only tweak being the variation in brand name and a lower quality in execution.

"It wasn't just that they were taking our brand that we've put time, energy, and creative juices into, but it was that they were making it look worse, and kind of dragging it through the mud," Ramirez-Fulton says. "I just felt like I had to take matters into my own hands."

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