In a previous blog I reported on what we mean by brand protection. I also pointed out that in our understanding we distinguish between brand protection, brand value protection and product protection. Of course, this conceptual differentiation may differ from your understanding and therefore have no general validity. Nevertheless, the differentiation is helpful to explain how we look at the challenges and how we define the requirements for comprehensive, effective and sustainable protection from this point of view.
This way of looking at it shows that our understanding of brand protection is only one aspect of the much more comprehensive consideration of brand value protection.
This is by no means an evaluation of the importance of the individual aspects, because it is precisely in order to establish effective brand protection that the most complete protection of all aspects is of importance. In contrast to brand protection, which provides us with legal legitimation, protection against the erosion of or strengthening the brand value is a much more complex and sensitive matter. Even if there are several hundred methods to determine the monetary brand value, the brand value is ultimately influenced to a significant extent by non-material values. A product, which is marked with the brand, can achieve a higher price than is possible for a product without marking only by the associations made by the customers with the brand and the associated positive feelings. It is precisely this effect that is exploited by product counterfeiters.
Even if the legal situation is obviously clear, damage cannot be prevented until the successful enforcement of a measure has been completed. There are therefore many more areas that require measures for brand value protection than there are for brand protection itself. The areas range from protected handling of designs, other files, selective communication and exchange of information, qualification and auditing of suppliers and partners, partners in the logistics chain and monitoring the flow of goods to distributors and the POS. Cultural and organizational measures in the company are also included such as compliance, a communication culture which highlights weaknesses early, all marketing activities, communication and more. All of these can have a considerable influence on brand value.
There is no doubt that we cannot create solutions for all requirements. On the one hand, this is not possible and, on the other hand, not necessary. It is not possible because in many areas specific expertise is required to implement measures efficiently and not necessary because in many areas existing protection can be optimised and adapted with regard to brand value.
The task of a company that focuses on brand value protection must therefore be the protection of relevant connections, the integration of the individual areas from the point of view of effective brand value protection. In order to achieve this, an open, framework-based solution is required that integrates and protects the existing solution and supplements it with appropriate technologies, tools, methods and processes for product protection. The scryptoTRACE® suite was developed with these aspects in mind. Such protection can be set up quickly, easily and is minimally invasive.
Such a solution makes it possible to narrow down the areas of brand abuse, to increase control over the security of relevant processes across all parties involved in value creation, to have control and information about the flow of goods, and detect deviations by tracking goods through authentication to the customer.
Even if all possible measures have been taken, there is always a residual risk. For this reason, the effectiveness of the security concept must always be checked and, if necessary, adapted. This is easier if several security features are used simultaneously and can be substituted for individual ones without special effort. This alone results in a major change in the security concept. This option also allows for a simple start and scaling according to requirements (number of products, regions, protection level, etc.).
In order to take effective action against organized crime, it is therefore not enough just to offer a security feature, a single technology, and to attach it to the product like the brand itself. Of course, each feature creates an effect. However, the counterfeiter recognizes the feature after a certain time and develops either a neutralization, an imitation or a bypass of the feature, so that this then becomes ineffective and there is no protection anymore. Even if a feature is started to acquire data, a security concept for brand value in favor of the sustainability of protection never relies on just one feature.
In summary, we can say that for effective brand value protection, orchestration is necessary across all areas. This requires a protection concept that is both scalable and expandable, i.e. allows the extension to other areas and their integration and other products, as well as the change of the protection concept through targeted, individual measures without the core of the system, technologies, tools, methods and processes needing to be changed.
We feel that it is important that brand protection is a fundamental prerequisite for implementing brand value protection measures in a meaningful way. One could also say that brand protection is the teeth of brand value protection...
In another blog I will briefly go into the definition of product protection.