Securing the physical aspects of a product cycle is a vital step, and its benefits go far beyond the protection of mere components. Learn how product protection is a holistic help for companies.In my earlier article, I took an in-depth look at what product protection is (as opposed to brand protection). To quickly summarize, product protection is a security tactic focused on applying technical protective measures against product piracy. This can take several forms, including but not limited to transport tracking, knowledge protection, counterfeit-proof labels and copy prevention.
Product protection in its proper form is a big step toward holistic brand security, but it’s often not taken far enough. Many companies only employ single security mechanisms that don’t do anything to deter the modern counterfeiter — they’ll still target your product and begin the slow but certain contamination of your entire brand.
It’s my hope in writing each of these articles to share valuable lessons that will convince companies to be more proactive in their product and brand protection — because too many companies only realize the value of those things after the rot has set in.
You can start small for some big protection
When I stress the importance of a multi-tiered protection approach, I don’t blame companies for imagining that’s a lot to implement. However, the best product protection is scalable. This means companies can start by taking a small, but significant, step that they can expand upon should data show further action is necessary.
Rather than putting multiple measures in place right way, this allows a company to take a snapshot of where its security currently stands. They then have the breathing room to better assess security strengths and weaknesses and decide on the best future framework — sooner is always better than later.
Multiple measures mean innumerable headaches for counterfeiters
Still feeling overwhelmed by the idea of multiple product protection steps? Don’t be. Effective multi-tiered product protection can begin just two stages deep and still literally make protection a part of your product. Our dual solutions — spectroTAG® and intraGRAM® — comprise our plastoTRACETM suite. The former are inert additive markers applicable in inks, oils, varnishes and plastic substrates to differentiate the genuine products from the counterfeits.
This protective measure is integrated directly into the product, becoming one of its components. Since
spectroTAG® is non-corrosive, non-toxic and non-abrasive, it’s completely invisible except to those who know about it.
Not only does this allow for in-process tracking and help build stronger bonds between your suppliers, distributors and logistics partners, the result is also a level of security that’s effectively impossible for counterfeiters to beat.
The intraGRAM® holographs are based on diffractive effects and can be used for both product protection and marketing, with nano-structured steel inserts transferred via molding into plastic. It also becomes an integral part of the product’s structure, allowing for simple, instantaneous authenticity checks that last for the product’s entire lifetime.
Only two steps, but they can make a world of difference in your company’s product protection. The integrity of the product reaches new heights since protection is integral, boosting the faith of clients at the product touchpoint. Counterfeits often have clients and target audiences wondering if they’re really holding the real thing. With intraGRAM®and spectroTAG®, there simply wouldn’t be any doubt.
Now, let’s go beyond the physical into the world of anti-counterfeiting knowledge.
Global knowledge and flexibility to enrich your product protection
Spotlighting the weak spots in a product chain is a win-win scenario that makes companies both stronger and more risk-aware. By following the proven methodology of the U-NICA Protection Circle, you can eliminate security weaknesses in the entire value chain that may be costing you millions of dollars in counterfeit sales and sabotaged brand value.
The U-NICA protection circle works by taking a 360-degree approach to strategic brand and product protection. It’s a way to identify and address weaknesses in the brand value chain through a combination of strategy, intelligence, operations, and technology. This broad-spectrum solution system ensures your brand and products are protected from the mayhem counterfeiters can cause.
Here’s how U-NICA helps you implement each of the four main categories of protection:
- Intelligence: Awareness through access to real-time data gathered by authentication and verification. For example, our geo-location maps help users pin down distribution leakages and steer clear of known counterfeiting zones, both of which enable stronger future decisions.
- Ease of operations: scryptoTRACE® is a fast-adapting, minimally invasive solution that integrates seamlessly into your company’s existing processes — adding its power without operational interruptions.
- Technology: Since scryptoTRACE® offers multiple technology elements, it gives companies the freedom to take a modular approach to their product protection suite. This improves on a “one size fits all” solution by allowing companies to tailor a solution that integrates not only with their own processes but also with any other relevant party.
- Strategy: The three elements above allow for a next-level protection strategy to take shape.
There you have it: Three steps your company could take to be well on its way to the most protection you’ve ever enjoyed. I’m always available to discuss our solutions and the U-NICA team can be contacted at the link below.
U-NICA is a team with a single purpose: Supporting 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.