Changing a copied model's color without affecting original model

I’m dealing with a problem (or maybe a bug?) that seems impossible to fix. I’ve copied a model, and want to change its color, but the program automatically changes the color of the original model.

I tried making the model “unique” but that has no effect whatsoever. I’ve seen people suggesting things like creating new materials, etc. But somehow nothing works. Is there another way to bypass this error?

I expect it is not a bug. Share the .skp file so we can see exactly how you’ve set up the model and help you with a method to do what you want.