Q: What is the most proactive approach to Brand Protection? How we can develop an Organizational Risk Assessment for Product Counterfeiting?
A: The way that counterfeit products have infiltrated commerce is breathtaking, and only getting bigger each day. Combating counterfeits is a complex web – with stakeholders ranging in motivations, unscrupulous behavior, and a lack of open cooperation between the public and private industries. An ideal approach that all parties desire – whether it is a private brand, government agent, or even a consumer – is a simple, traceable way to authenticate products that don’t require any production changes and yet are robust in the field. Today, we see a number of different technological solutions being deployed, to diagnose problem areas across the supply chain – however, the majority of these are reactive approaches that discover issues after the fact. Proactive risk assessment is key – and I believe that it starts with the industry and geographies that are operated in. There are multiple counterfeit ‘hubs’ in the world and if you serve those markets, it should automatically indicate that you tighten your supply chain. That said, I think there are three keys to risk assessment: Ensuring close collaboration with public and private entities (customs organizations with rights owners). This might lead to quicker intelligence turnaround on counterfeit incidents Trust your industry peers. Follow and share best practices at an industry level Build overt + covert security features and enable covert monitoring of contract manufacturers
Q: What are the common risks for Brand Protection? And how to face them?
A: Technology solutions are great, but they are only as good as their usage. Lack of enforcement is one of the biggest risks of brand protection. The solution is to build co-operative investigative and enforcement tactics with industry peers as well as law enforcement Complexity in solutions is a risk that will scupper the execution and therefore results in brand protection. Keeping things simple and easy to use go a long way Free-trade hub are a complex network and sometimes can be susceptible to corruption and poor tracking. Accountability and provenance traceability could play a significant role here.
Q: What are the future goals for your organization in relation to brand protection awareness?
A: We frequently host drop-in authentication events in conjunction with our retail customers, where the public are free to bring in their personal items for certification. We’re also working with the Luxury Marketing Council in the United States and are in talks with the International Trademark Association’s “Unreal” program to co-host educational events. Unreal is great because it’s educating the next generation of consumers about counterfeit products and why they are bad for society. We also issue Entrupy certificates of authenticity that are backed by financial guarantees to ensure that consumers trust the items they are buying.
Q: How we can outsmart the counterfeiters? What can brands do to protect their investment, their market shares, and reputation?
A: The industry and service providers must continue to innovate to develop solutions that protect the integrity of products; keeping them one step ahead of counterfeiters. Cooperation with the supporting regulatory ecosystem, including customs, police, and state, is also key, to ensure that enforcement is enabled and prioritized. Lastly, consumer education and awareness campaigns, as well as building a standardized approach to communicate assured trustworthy commerce, will further curtail counterfeiters’ efforts.
Q: In the context of the promotion of a market for recycled and reused products, how to avoid brand names from being misused or damaged?
A: The burgeoning resale market has embraced our technology first and fastest, as we’re able to ensure that an item that has come through an uncertain supply chain is, with a near-perfect degree of certainty, the real deal. We believe the level of trust that this adds to the transaction is of paramount importance in order for secondary markets to reach their full economic potential. One of the reasons that the resale world is rife with counterfeit products is because of the lack of regulation and enforcement once an item passes through retail. Proactive measures from right holders will help, as saturation of fakes indeed affects their brand’s cachet.