Counterfeiting is prevalent in today’s global market. As per the Global Brand Counterfeiting Report, the worldwide counterfeit market is expected to reach 1.82 Trillion USD by the year 2020. With counterfeiters also using advanced technology, one can hardly tell the difference between original and counterfeit products.
Counterfeiting has challenged the quality and integrity of the products and brands online and offline platforms. Moreover, counterfeit products harm the interest of the customers and may pose a threat to the health of the consumer, who spend $460 billion on counterfeit goods every year according to the International Trademark Association.
The markets for counterfeit goods were originally predominantly offline. However, with the evolution of e-commerce, the counterfeit industry has progressed its way to even the biggest e-commerce platforms across the globe.
How Can You Protect Your Brand from Counterfeiters?
It is time that sellers and suppliers realize the importance of protecting their brands against counterfeits. In this article, we give you a run-down of the steps that you must employ to protect your brand from counterfeiters.
Identifying a Counterfeit Product
Counterfeit products are hard to identify and therefore, you need to ask yourself a few questions before you buy a product online for cheap at half the price, or while searching for counterfeits of your goods.
Here are some things to keep an eye out for.
Who is the seller?
It is crucial to gather details about the seller or dealer when browsing online. Research and authenticity verification can help you make sure the person selling is an authorised dealer. You should also take note of the reviews and ratings the dealer has.
What is the date code?
You must always check the codes of the components and the codes of the assembly. If the codes differ, it may be an indication that the product is a fraudulent one.
Is there a misspelling?
Misspellings are common in counterfeit products. Before you throw down your money for the products, you can check the label and see if there are any misspellings in the name of the brand. For instance, Adidas counterfeits are sometimes called “Adias”.
There are various online resources available for free that offer information about how you can secure your property rights and protect the brand from counterfeiters. It is important to stay informed of the developments regarding counterfeits. All you have to do is make use of the available resources. Be sure to follow our Acviss blog for knowledge-sharing from our experts. You should also educate your team about how to use these resources to the benefit of your company.
Register Your Intellectual Property
Registration of intellectual properties may seem to be an expensive affair. In reality, registration of your intellectual property is one of the crucial steps you need to take. It is worth it compared to the damages and losses you may suffer down the line. Irrespective of your business size, you must register your name and company logo as a trademark. One of the best ways to prevent counterfeit products from ruining your brand image is to register your intellectual properties in every country that you market your product in.
Trademarks are an easy way to guide customers to the seller. If you are selling a product online, make sure you have a copyright for the same. Patents, licenses, industrial designs, and trade secrets are some other examples of where registration of intellectual property rights is necessary. Tightening the security of your registration property is a wise investment that helps a great deal in securing your brand against counterfeit products.
Use E-Commerce Anti-Counterfeit Tools
As awareness about counterfeit products is gaining traction, online marketplaces are coming up with anti-counterfeiting programs that help owners protect their assets and intellectual properties against counterfeit.
One of the best examples of online tools is Brand Registry by Amazon which allows sellers to provide more information about their products, IP, product traceability and the brand as a whole to protect themselves from harmful counterfeiters.
Amazon features a plethora of brands and products. Ergo, closer relationships with the brands will help Amazon identify counterfeit products and take the necessary action against them. Similar initiatives have been launched by Wish, Facebook, Alibaba, eBay, Allegro, Mercado Libre, and so on.
Scrape Hero suggests that nearly 120 million products are sold on Amazon. With so much actual competition, it’s even more vital to reduce the counterfeits. One way to increase your e-commerce revenue can increase significantly as you challenge the counterfeit brands since more people will buy your genuine products instead of knock-offs.
Educate Your Consumers
Consumers often fall for counterfeit products of some of the most voguish brands, contributing to losses worth millions for the original company. They are tricked into believing that the products are original and buy the products a lesser price point. As per a survey by LocalCircles, 19% of customers received counterfeit products, and 70% of these items were fragrances and cosmetics (35% each). Another problem is some customers knowingly buy counterfeits without considering the ill-effects.
Therefore, it is important to educate the customers about identifying a counterfeit product. You must inform them that buying certain counterfeits can harm their health and well-being. Conduct workshops to make people understand how to identify a fraudulent product and the impact of choosing a counterfeit product. You can also team up with various other business agencies, and journalists to spread the word.
Monitor Social Media
It is a good idea to continuously monitor the products from your brand in other online marketplaces to ensure that you receive regular updates about counterfeit products of your brands. Apart from e-commerce sites, check social media.
Studies from Red Points reveal that most counterfeiters use various social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to market their fake and fraudulent products. Some social sites have marketplaces of their own, like Facebook Marketplace.
Therefore, you can also keep an eye on social media to review if your product is not marketed illegally. Make use of automated removals and file complaints to speed up the enforcement procedure in the most cost-effective manner. Enabling brand protection will allow you to take down infringing content within hours.
Use State-of-the-Art Technology
Counterfeiting of brands and products will creep their way back in the market if you do not regularly review them. Don’t just rely on the authorities. What safeguards do you have in place? As the counterfeiters get smarter, so too should the companies. Modern problems require modern solutions. For example, there are automated bots that scour the web for fakes to reduce manual labor.
It takes decades to build a brand identity and reputation, and only a few minutes to lose it all. If you want to save your reputation, it is important to take matters into your own hands, whether it be through automation or apps, like Acviss.
Acviss is a real-time fake and anti-counterfeit identification software. We are dedicated to wiping out counterfeits and have provided solutions to various industries including electronics, electrical appliances, apparel, and lifestyle. We also have track and trace mechanisms to keep fraudulent products out of the supply chain of the brand. You should also contact us for more on how you can protect your brand from counterfeiters.