There’s a lot bundled up in that little word “brand.” Let’s unpack it and see why protecting its value is the best investment a business can make.
The notion of brand value can be tricky to pin down for many manufacturers. As one of a business’ intangible assets, it may not be granted the protective shield it deserves. In short, brand value is a combination of what your product stands for and how much that product is worth by reputation. Yes, financial value at retail factors in, but that’s a tertiary element dependent on the first two.
Consider Rolls Royce as an example. The brand is top-end luxury transport, the value is the guarantee of quality and status that owning one imparts. Now, imagine I sold you a counterfeit Rolls. It tarnishes the brand’s value with its inferiority, and it would certainly sink its value to you by diminishing your status, not enhancing it.
Another example — I can buy a timepiece for less than $100 that will quite serviceably tell time, or I can buy a Rolex and enjoy the perks of that company’s craftsmanship and market reputation. Brand value by its essence gives the buyer something beyond the product’s functional purpose, and it’s that intangible value which manufacturers must fiercely protect.
Protecting brand value helps crush counterfeiters
A business that protects its brand value sends a message to counterfeiters the same way a vault door does to bank robbers: It won’t deter every criminal, but the number who are willing to try and crack it decreases significantly. Reducing that element of attraction is a lynchpin in any value-protection strategy. Brands can put such safeguards in place by implementing a multi-tiered security strategy.
The protection of a product’s physical facet — the item itself and its packaging — is crucial to preserving its value, but businesses often overlook the vulnerability of their product from its very inception. This includes its passage through end-to-end communications within the company, storage and filing, protected handling of designs, and the conduct of logistical partners.
That’s just a selection of the many junctions at which brand value can be derailed before your product reaches stores. All these vulnerable connections must have multiple security measures in place to maximize their safety, and data must be gathered to identify weak spots in the chain. This data can then be deployed to strengthen and appropriately scale value cycle security (and really give counterfeiters a headache).
Deeper trust, higher loyalty
Brands are created through collaboration — a business builds a quality product and the public consumes it. If either of those two “parents” doesn’t do their part, the brand is never born. It doesn’t matter if your company is worth a billion dollars if the market doesn’t trust you. Even the biggest companies can suddenly discover they don’t have a bankable brand in the wake of a counterfeit wave.
Customer loyalty arises when a business provides a product that reduces or removes a pain point by making their life easier. Allowing counterfeit goods to infiltrate your brand means those products become suspect, shoddy or, in many cases, dangerous or outright fatal. Failure to protect your brand is failure to protect the public — a hurtful situation they will repay with negative reviews and lack of faith at retail.
Alternatively, a company can be proactive in protecting its brand value and skip one of its own pain points: the fact that it costs 5 times more to find a new customer than to keep an existing one and that 89% of companies deem customer experience to be the key loyalty driver. Taking steps to protect the integrity of your products tells the public you care about their happiness and safety, and that’s a huge step toward gaining trust.
Increase profits through premium pricing and loss prevention
With trust in place, your brand has greater intangible value as well as increased financial value at retail. New customers will be more attracted to it and more likely to become recurring ones. Recurring customers — who are happy to stand by your brand — spend 67% more than first-time buyers. Brands that fight back against counterfeits therefore enjoy a three-tiered profit boost:
- Existing customers spend more through repeat purchases
- New customers join the brand at retail
- The brand to raise prices on a trusted product that’s in demand
There’s also the element of reduced loss on two fronts: First, avoiding the loss of any segment of your customer base due to counterfeit brand damage is the next best thing to a direct profit. Second, those multi-tiered security solutions I talked about deter counterfeiters from creating future fakes that could rob the legitimate brand of income.
Long-term brand resilience
Ultimately, respecting the intangible facets of brand value makes your brand as fake-proof as it can be. Respect and awareness of the vulnerability of your brand’s reputation is the foundation of ensuring its safe journey through the development cycle and into the hands of waiting (and loyal) customers.
U-NICA offers our scryptoTRACE® solution to enable brands to orchestrate value protection across all areas of production. It integrates with a brand’s existing processes, allowing for future scalability without making any changes to core system tools or technologies. I’d love to discuss its value with you personally, or you can contact our team at the link below.
U-NICA is a team with a single purpose: To support you in the fight to protect your brand’s integrity and value. Our staff operates globally and partners with universities and agencies to deliver the future of brand protection. Connect with us for more information on our constantly evolving, open-solution suite.