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Going Global with Brand Security
Posted: January 15, 2008
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“RFID is one of the technologies that can help manufacturers gain better supply chain visibility, but it’s another option, like print-and-apply labeling, continuous ink jet printing and other technologies. How those options are exercised by manufacturers can make the difference between a successful brand protection strategy and one that is not,” said Walsh. The measures taken to insure supply chain integrity and transparency can distinguish genuine product from the counterfeit.
The challenge of counterfeiting has grown in correlation with advances in technology. Nowadays, it is easier than ever before to recreate the packaging of a brand. At the same time, emerging global markets are making counterfeiting more profitable. “The best solution in preventing counterfeiting and diversion is for brand leaders to be proactive. There are many security features that can be added to a label or packaging that can deter a counterfeiter from copying the label/packaging exactly and therefore deter counterfeiting. The security is added during the printing process and can also be used to track and trace the product throughout the supply chain, therefore deterring product diversion,” said Glueck.
Protection through Education
Yet brand protection that makes the product harder to counterfeit is only half the battle. Brands must be proactive in utilizing security measures within packaging creation, but also in availing themselves of lawful remedies. Brand reputation is harmed by counterfeit products and competition through diversion in various markets. Yet, depending on the country and culture, brands may have a difficult time achieving legal remedies. “Laws and enforcement are different. A company might not necessarily be successful in prosecution without brand protection,” said Glueck. Diversion investigations can be used by a brand to attempt to limit diversion or counterfeiting by following the trail of the supply chain.
Educating consumers on the differences between a genuine product and a counterfeit contributes to a successful brand protection plan. At the same time, brands must protect themselves through authentication measures that allow for genuine product identification. “The most important trend currently is manufacturers creating positions and hiring personnel specifically to safeguard brands. This implies that manufacturers recognize the equity of their brand as an asset, and like any other asset, it needs to be protected, which necessitates the hiring of a point person to head up those initiatives,” said Walsh.
Track and Trace Systems (Contributed by Videojet Technologies)
Digital license plates: Digital license plates validate manufacturing origin and product quality by integrating item-specific data into a unique code format such as a pseudo-random code. The carrier for these license plates can range from human readable characters to a 2D bar code. In addition, the actual mark can meet permanence standards in a covert or overt fashion. Proprietary algorithms: Proprietary algorithms enable manufacturers to create intelligent codes embedded with unique item-level properties, simplifying data mining downstream.