According to the IACC, in 2019, the counterfeit and fake goods trade reached a staggering $1.77 trillion. And, as the global supply chain continues to expand and inflate, this volume is only bound to increase.
Beyond the financial losses that counterfeit and refilled products cause to companies and consumers alike, fake goods circulating under your brand’s name can impact your reputation, credibility, and customer loyalty.
Whether you are looking to become a trusted brand, or your strategy is to expand your supply chain and operate internationally, there has never been a better time to invest in a product protection strategy designed around your unique needs.
Learn what you need to know about securing your brand and your products from refilling and counterfeiting in this guide by Authena.
Product Protection: An Overview
Product protection refers to all the strategies and tools implemented by a brand to protect their products from their conception, through the supply chain, and to the customer.
As counterfeiting and refilling crimes are on the rise, product protection strategies prevent your brand’s product from being diverted into unexpected markets, being compromised, or falling victim to adulteration attempts.
Aside from protecting your sales and curbing the spread of piracy, product protection can also help you build a solid audience who trusts your products to be authentic and original.
The Benefits of a Bulletproof Product Protection Strategy
Product protection strategies are crucial to limit the financial losses that might occur if bad actors attempt to divert, compromise, and resell products under your brand name, usually at a cheaper price.
However, product protection solutions do much more than simply safeguard your sales. Some of the benefits of investing in an ad hoc brand protection strategy include:
- Preventing criminal activity that might lead to diversion, adulteration, and refilling
- Ensuring that each of your products travels through the supply chain as expected and reaches their destination markets
- Ensuring that your products reach the end-user without being opened illegally
- Relaying intelligence about a product’s real-time position and status to your company
- Guaranteeing authenticity to consumers
Even more importantly, product protection can help you minimize the risk of events that might harm your company as a whole, including public health issues and recalls.
Product Protection Strategies: Designing an Ad Hoc Solution for Your Brand
No two brands are exactly the same, which means that the same product protection strategy might not work as well for both companies. That is why, when looking to protect your products from refilling and counterfeit attempts, it is crucial to partner with a product protection expert who can design a strategy around your unique needs. Learn more here: https://authena.io/product-protection/.
Smart Packaging Tools
Smart packaging tools – or technology-enhanced packaging solutions – allow both brands and consumers to have better control over each unit. Smart packaging solutions, which include anti-peeling labels and tracking tools, offer many benefits, including:
- Reducing waste
- Controlling the product’s status (i.e.: its temperature across the supply chain)
- Prevent illegal opening
- Provide unprecedented visibility across the supply chain
Smart packaging tools work thanks to underlying infrastructures such as custom software or blockchain.
Product Tracking Solutions
As the supply chain expands in size and geographical reach, it has become increasingly difficult for companies to track their products on their journey to the end user. Product tracking solutions – which usually use a two-part technology such as NFC and RFID labels – allow organizations to track and trace each item across each step of the supply chain, thus preventing counterfeit or refilling.
Supply Chain Visibility
Tailored product protection strategies are crucial to gaining insights into the supply chain journey. Emerging technologies such as blockchain, IoT, NFT, and digital-physical twins are only some of the tools companies can use to improve their supply chain transparency and boost unit-level traceability.
As the supply chain grows and your operations expand, increasing supply chain visibility is crucial for customers to build trust in the brand and pinpoint counterfeiting attempts.
Brand and Product Safety
While the tools above are used to create tailored product protection solutions, there is a lot that brands can do to limit the risk of criminal activity and piracy. For example, asking partners and third-party service providers to sign non-disclosure agreements can help.
Additionally, cultivating your customers’ loyalty can reduce the chance that they’ll turn to cheaper imitations instead of shopping for authentic goods.
Partner With a Product Protection Specialist at Authena
The expansion of the supply chain is necessary to enable companies to meet the growing demand for accessible, affordable, and international products. However, this kind of expansion does not come without its fair share of challenges and risks.
Partnering with a product protection specialist such as Authena can help you implement a strategy tailored around your unique needs and goals.