Protecting your brand against counterfeiting
The dangers of counterfeiting
Counterfeiting is a form of organised crime that costs businesses hundreds of billions of dollars each year, and can affect companies in any industry. However, in recent years, it is the pharmaceuticals, drinks, and cosmetics industry that have suffered the worst impacts of this kind of fraud, compelling business leaders to improve their security and invest in better technology.
In June 2015, for example, the online brand protection firm NetNames revealed that counterfeiters were selling fake versions of Benefit and MAC cosmetics, including products such as mascara and bronzer.
In fact, there were 4,700 fake versions of MAC products found in the U.K alone, and some of them contained almost twenty times the legally permitted levels of lead. Thus, these products, which many customers believed were genuine MAC cosmetics, presented a serious health and safety risk for the public. Naturally, if customers can’t trust that the product they are purchasing is genuine, they simply won’t buy it. However, with enhanced security features, companies can significantly reduce these risk of counterfeiting and restore customer trust.
How manufacturers can protect your brands with technology
Products can be fitted with stronger label materials that will be resistant to tampering, thereby reducing the risk of counterfeiting. Brand owners can also track their units and their progression in the supply chain, making it easier to identify fraudulent activity and prevent the sale of counterfeited goods. With Optically Variable Devices (OVD), your labels cannot be redistributed through scanning or photocopying, which means criminals won’t be able to replicate for counterfeiting.
When you use the latest online brand protection technology, your products will be under the watchful eye of an experienced professional team, who’ll look out for any suspicious activity and evaluate your risks by observing your distribution channels.
Secure tracking and monitoring
Thanks to secure product tracking technology, you’ll know that your products are genuine and that they are in the right place. When you’re distributing your products to a global marketplace across many countries, it pays to be reassured. With online price monitoring, you’ll be able to pay closer attention to your e-commerce sales and ensure your prices are always competitive.
By protecting your licenses with secure technology, everyone involved in your products’ supply chains – from your agents to your consumers – will know that your brands are authentic. The more your consumers know that your products are legitimate, the more they will trust you, and the fewer losses you will incur from counterfeiting.
Don’t forget to register your trademark
When you register your brand as a trademark, you will be better placed to pursue legal action against counterfeiters who use your trademark without your permission. That’s because you will automatically have exclusive rights to exercise this trademark for your brand, preventing anyone else from claiming any legal right to use the same one.
Remember – your trademark must always be distinguishable from others. If it isn’t, you will find it much harder to prove any incidences of counterfeiting, because it must be graphically represented for the products and services it is used for.
About the Author
Tammy Wiltshire works for the leading UK label manufacturer, Labelnet. Based in Ongar, Essex, Labelnet design and manufacture high quality branded labels, stickers and packaging.
Photo credit: Gerd Altmann