Why and how to choose a brand protection technology solution or service.

Brand protection involves the deployment of processes, technology, services and resources to prevent misleading, illicit or fake representations of your product or service

Why do you need brand protection solutions?

Brands that do not protect themselves can face damage to their revenue and reputation. The brands can also face penalties due to litigation from regulatory authorities or consumers.
Brand protection services help defend against the spread of fake products that can harm the end consumer and violate quality regulations.

Counterfeiters distribute products that damage the brand, in the following ways-

  • Products that are created using substandard, unsafe raw materials and processes.
  • Products that are smuggled across borders to be sold in areas where they do not meet regulatory norms
  • Products that are sold with claims that are not originally part of the product’s brand promise
  • Outdated, expired products which have lower efficacy or quality

Ennoventure’s brand protection solution

Ennoventure’s brand protection technology solution deploys an invisible cryptographic signature on the product packaging. The signature can be applied to labels or packaging material. Several major printing substrate material is supported.

The invisible code can be added into the product packaging design, and does not need any change to the factory production process. There is no special ink, print material or machinery required.

Consumers can simply scan the product packaging using a webpage or mobile app and get instant authentication on whether the product is genuine. The consumer can also send a photo of the product packaging to a WhatsApp number and get a response.

The cryptographic invisible code is secured with encryption that makes it impossible to hack, remove or replicate.

Why do you need brand protection services?

It is never too early to have a brand protection strategy in place. The brand should be protected from counterfeits from the day the product is launched.

Here are some factors that influence the brand protection strategy-

  1. When brands become more successful, they are more likely to be attacked by counterfeiters and competitors.
  2. Counterfeiters like to create fake products in categories that are growing fast. Products that are exploding in growth attract counterfeiters.
  3. In a crowded market, your brand promise might be a value addition on top of the offering by incumbent market players. If the consumer perceives any deviation from your brand promise (because they inadvertently use a fake product), it can cause a disproportionate impact in terms of brand equity.
  4. Early adopters of brands are looking for a unique and differentiated experience – and a fake product can permanently damage your brands’ relationship with them. Bad feedback travels very fast and can kill the product before it gains traction.
  5. If your brand is launching new products in the market, consumers may not know enough about your product to be able to quickly make out if it is genuine. This can create an opening for counterfeit products to enter your supply chain.
  6. Brands are always looking to enter and establish themselves in new, large markets in Asia, South America and Africa. These are places where the regulatory system may not be fully developed. Consumers in these locations place a very high value on the brand promise, due to their fear of low quality products. High-end consumers in these regions are willing to pay a premium to buy high quality products – and will be frustrated if the (fake) product fails to live up to the promise of safety and quality.
  7. In mature and evolved markets like Europe or USA, there can be significant damage caused due to litigation and claims by consumers. The legal protections for consumers in these regions are robust, and a brand can be held responsible for the impact of fake products.
  8. If you are a publicly listed company or in the news, consumers will often understand that the brand is profitable. They would be upset to know that the brand has not invested in protecting itself (and by extension, the consumer)
  9. When your brand is established, you run the greatest loss from a loss of confidence among customers. A large part of the brand equity for older, established products rides on perceived quality and consistency over decades of existence.
  10. Brands that have been established in the previous decades are now looking to win over customers from a new generation, who are tech-savvy and place a premium on quality and responsibility. This is a sensitive time, and brands stand to lose a lot if they don’t have a brand protection solution in place.
  11. Brands that don’t protect themselves can lose the confidence of distributors and dealers who stock them. It costs the distributors to remove stocks of fake products, and to manage irate end-consumers on the ground. They will start prioritising brands that provide support to them and reduce their losses/expenses.
  12. With e-commerce, it is very difficult for consumers to ascertain that the products that they are buying are genuine. A brand protection strategy will ensure that consumers know that they can reliably and easily verify the product even if they buy it online. This can discourage online sales for your regular products as well. Trust deficits can leads to lower online sales, and brands cannot afford to be losing market share in the fast growing online space.
  13. Bigger, well established brands are more likely to be tested by regulatory authorities.
  14. The value of a brand is also measured based on the goodwill value among consumers. The prevalence of fake products in the market can significantly impact this metric.

Choosing a brand protection solution

The following are factors to be kept in mind while choosing a brand protection solution

  1. Ease of deployment – The brand protection solution must be easy to implement and cause no disruption to the production process or supply chain. Ennoventure’s solution does not need any change to the factory production process, or the use of special ink or packaging/labelling material.
  2. Learning curve – Consumers must be able to quickly understand how to do the verification process. Consumers can use Ennoventures’ technology by simply being able to take a photo of the product packaging. This is much faster and easier to do compared to learning how to use a label or examine a hologram.
  3. Cost – The cost of the brand protection technology must be reasonable compared to existing solutions, and the price and margin for the product. As a technology solution, Ennoventure can be deployed without the physical printing costs of holograms or additional labels. This is cost-effective.
  4. Scalable – The brand authentication solution should be possible to support millions of products across the world. Ennoventure’s cloud based encrypted system can handle a large volume of consumer scans.
  5. Ease of use – Consumers must be able to easily verify the product within seconds without any technical knowledge. Consumers can get authentication results in just seconds, using Ennoventure’s solution.
  6. Tracking and reporting – The data from authentication attempts should be available in real-time, and mapped to the geography. Ennoventure provides a detailed dashboard showing data on authentication scans being done across geographies. Other information related to scans are also made available based on the Brands requirements.
  7. Protection from hacking – The brand protection solution itself should be immune to hacking or replication.
  8. Packaging support – The brand authentication technology should be easy to deploy on packages of different sizes.

Ennoventure’s brand protection technology checks all the boxes for an efficient, cost-effective, robust, safe and scalable anti-counterfeit solution.

Deployment of brand protection technology solutions.

Brand protection solutions should be enabled both offline and online – your brand equity is driven by consumer interaction in the real world and in the virtual world.

Brand protection programs should be implemented both inside and outside your organisation and across your supply chain – this will cover gaps within existing systems and external systems.

Its not okay to be okay with a small percentage of products being fake. Lots of counterfeiters know that the brands are selling so many products  that they may not be able to pay attention to a  smaller percentage of fakes. Brands that disregard the scourge of fake products will embolden the counterfeiters to increase the fakes on the market.

Brand protection technology increases impact and reduces costs

At the execution level, Brand protection solutions can include human intervention, education and awareness, stricter supply chain security, and digital tools.

Human intervention can be through the use of specialised employees, vendors or consultants who do randomised testing across the supply chain. This can become expensive for brands that have products across countries and product volumes running into the millions.

Brands need to implement a one-shot solution that overcomes all the challenges in each of these methods.

No matter what counterfeiters do, they have to get the physical product in the hands of the customer. The customer is expecting product packaging that identifies the brand. The fraudster cannot remove the packaging and provide the product – because it would arouse suspicion in the mind of the end consumer.

Your brand is represented by your label and your product packaging. This is the best place to embed brand protection technology. But counterfeiters can replicate traditional solutions like holograms or QR codes that are usually used on the product packaging as brand protection tools. That is where Ennoventure comes in with a radically new approach.

Making brand protection a fun exercise

Educating the customers is critical. Brands need to find interesting ways to make consumers participate in the brand protection exercise.

  • Ennoventure’s technology allows brands to talk about their anti-counterfeit brand protection solutions – lots of brands keep their brand protection solutions under wraps because they don’t want to have counterfeiters figure out ways to crack their system.
  • By bringing the brand protection solution to the creative space, Ennoventure also allows the brand to present their solution to the consumers in a fun and engaging way. The brand protection solution doubles up as an engagement tool.
  • Since the brand can differentiate through attractive visuals and engaging experiences, Ennoventure’s offering involves the creative team in the solution. This helps in unlocking more experiential and fun ways to help the consumer protect your brand.

Tips while deploying brand authentication solutions-

  • Brand protection services can be expensive and involve actual people doing random checks – you need a solution where you can use your user base as an army of verifiers.
  • Give verifiable and unquestionable data evidence to your partners in the regulatory and legal space. They often can’t take a case to conviction because of weak evidence.
  • The best place to protect your brand is right when the product is in the customers hands. Deploy a brand protection technology that consumers can use, and is not confined to regulatory authorities or internal stakeholders.
  • Traceability should surmount human error or corruption. The brand protection technology should reduce opportunity for corruption or misleading information.