Brand protection must be considered on an individual basis. A multi-layered strategy for brand protection and anti-counterfeiting is required to ensure that a product is not tampered with or counterfeited.

Brand Protection and anti-counterfeiting solutions

«Do we really need to protect our brand?»

For specific products, it’s easy to embrace a more simplistic approach to brand protection. However, because the danger to the consumer is higher for some items, brands need to consider the harm that can result from product tampering. The Covid-19 pandemic has made people more wary of buying counterfeit items, which has contributed to the growth in counterfeiting.

Due to rising consumer demand, shifting value chains, and erratic supply chains, as well as the resulting shortages in many markets, counterfeiters have discovered new ways to trade in counterfeit goods by taking advantage of weaknesses and delivering comparable products at a lower than average price point. The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted global trade and, to far, has had the most significant adverse impact on supply chain security.

Why brand protection is key

The pandemic has also opened doors for criminal groups looking to profit from the surge in demand and ensuing shortages of components and goods. Since there are fewer genuine resources available, counterfeit raw materials that taint supply chains can be sold. Although it may sound pessimistic to suggest that the rise in counterfeiting is an irreversible force that cannot be stopped, there are steps that can be taken to halt the development to make sure that a company’s brand and goods are at the very least more challenging to counterfeit.

Brand owners should be aware that the risks of becoming a victim of counterfeit goods and practices are likely to increase significantly the more popular and well-known their brand grows. The dilemma is whether brand owners should act pro-actively in advance or wait until they are harmed by counterfeit goods before implementing a brand protection strategy.

Supply Chain and anti-counterfeiting solutions

How to protect your brand

From OVDs, fluorescent inks, to taggants, to frangible films, to RFID tags, there are several security-based solutions available on the market for brand protection. But how does a business determine which strategies to use? With numerous options available, it could be easy to experience option paralysis, in which there are so many possibilities that making a decision becomes impossible. When creating a brand protection strategy, there are many factors to consider. Today, adding a security label to a product is no longer sufficient in many cases to ensure its protection.

The questions that must be asked are: What is the purpose of the security label? Who can and should identify the security features implemented in the label? How do you know it’s going to be secure? Will it solve our problems? we you know what our problems actually are? It’s a deeper conversation than just finding a solution itself. There are a lot of solutions out there offered by analog and digital providers.

Advast Suisse provides a wide range of products, both visible and invisible, as well as digital-based security methods like RFID, NFC and authentication solutions based on QR codes such as valuesafe®, which offers for more than just security, bringing traceability to the product itself to see each step on its path in the supply chain. The product itself and the amount of security it requires will always determine the best security solution.

Brand Protection and anti-counterfeiting solutions

The solution has to fit the product

Think about a bottle of grape juice as an example. A label is typically placed over the container’s top and is intended to be broken when the consumer opens it. Usually, there is a piece of plastic or aluminum underneath that top that needs to be removed before it can be poured. For this application, can get by with that level of protection. However, the approach to protection is very different when it comes to pharmaceuticals since the risk of counterfeit products could literally mean life and death.

Let’s use wine labeling as another example. One option may be a neck label on the bottle that includes a smart label with RFID to detect whether the cap has been tampered with; if the circuit breaks, it will indicate that the bottle has been opened. There is only truly one point of entrance, which makes this unique. It also provides a form of authenticity since a unique idea could be attached to it while the label can be used for further marketing purposes.

Brand protection must be considered on an individual basis. A multi-layered strategy for brand protection is required to ensure that a product is not tampered with or counterfeited. Making items more challenging to counterfeit involves the use of a high-tech unique method or visible and invisible protection that makes it harder for a counterfeiter to understand exactly what is happening on the label and/or packaging itself.

When it comes to brand protection and anti-counterfeiting, there isn’t truly a silver bullet. There isn’t an one answer that will end all counterfeiting. It is crucial to examine the case in detail and determine where the issue arises, whether it is at the shop level or in the supply chain. From there, it is necessary to identify how the problem can be solved.

There are several ways to protecting a company’s brand from counterfeiters, but whether it’s a digital solution or an analog product, there will inevitably be breaks due to the nature of the supply chain, especially in its current state. There will be times when cargo is ‘lost,’ and it is at these points that counterfeiters will have an easier time infiltrating the supply chain.

Determining the security weaknesses might be a challenging undertaking. Nevertheless, a layered approach might be a surefire way to guarantee that the brand and goods are protected. Therefore, relying solely on overt or covert security measures is not always the right course of action. It is always a good idea to take a multi-layered approach to brand protection. With this layered approach, it’s critical to understand why each layer of security is being used and whether they actually enhance or complement one another rather than being merely multiple features that are used for the sake of using them.

Where protection matters

From the start of the product’s lifecycle to the end, the brand owner must make decisions that will eventually determine whether the product is safe to sell on e-commerce platforms or even on store shelves. There are two key considerations for brand owners when it comes to brand protection: why your brand needs protecting and how you should go about protecting it.

Because supplying a security product or a specialized technology is only half the battle when it comes to brand protection, it’s also important to consider the manufacturer that the brands are providing their products to. For instance, if a security ink is just offered to any company without first going through a rigorous selection process, then half of the counterfeits will likely originate from the firm right next door because often all it takes is one employee and a few hundred dollars’ worth of incentive. Brand owners must therefore work with a reliable partner.

Advast Suisse is driven by a strong digital attitude and years of experience in security printing and OVDs reliable to support brand-owners to mitigate their brands’ risk exposure to counterfeit and to increase their sales and customers loyalty. Advast Suisse has been investing in the expansion of its RFID as well as QR technologies including cloud services such as valuesafe® to provide its customers with a cost-effective and quick product for brand protection and customer interaction on an international scale.

Brand owners may legitimately be sending their products over to e-commerce giants given the growth of the industry and the high volume of online retail shopping, especially post-Covid, but it’s impossible for customers to know whether a product is genuine until it arrives at their doorstep. This is where QR codes and smart labeling can come into play. Having a static QR code printed on a packaging or product makes it pretty duplicate, but allowing customers to scan and authenticate the product ensures its legitimacy. A smart label using an embedded NFC or UHF inlay can store a unique identifier (UID). These security measures also let customers interact with the brand, which boosts repurchase rates and builds brand loyalty while protecting a company’s brand.

What is now the ultimate solution to brand protection and anti-counterfeiting? Well, there is no single answer. Whether it’s RFID, holograms (OVDs), security inks, electronic fingerprints or a combination of these options – we at Advast Suisse will advise you comprehensively on the various options and analyze your requirements and goals together with you.

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