What every brand needs to know when crafting a security strategy. Global manufacturers are under attack from fakes, forgeries and intellectual property thieves. Counterfeiters are launching ever more advanced attacks on physical products and their deeper value. Learn how U-NICA empowers brands to fight back on multiple levels with their anti-counterfeit protection solutions.
If illicit trade were an economy, it would be the eighth largest in the world with a value of over $2 trillion sais Ms. Moreira of UNCTAD. The United Nations warns that counterfeit goods are among the highest income sources for organized crime. A wave of counterfeits is deluging brands of every size and type from consumer goods like footwear to pharmaceuticals like lifesaving drugs.
This endangers product integrity, brand value and potentially the lives of consumers. It is more vital than ever that brands become proactive in understanding the risk they face on the physical and intangible levels. Here are the core considerations, and why U-NICA solution suite should be your first line of defense.
Brand value protection goes beyond a product’s physical and monetary worth. It is rooted in priceless intangibles like consumer faith, hard-earned reputation, or provision of status. It is these intangibles even more than your product’s physical aspects that counterfeiters seek to exploit.
Understanding brand value protection is simple enough in theory, but many brands feel it may be too confusing or difficult to execute. This is the perfect time to learn the multiple benefits U-NICA offers to those in our Protection Circle. Joining will see your brand immediately gain our deep, constantly expanding awareness of global counterfeiting patterns; knowledge mined and shared by our dedicated, multi-disciplinary team plus many more advantages.
Our solutions are designed to protect your brand’s operations, not disrupt them. No matter which U-NICA product you choose, it will integrate smoothly with your existing systems and those of your partners. These tools combined with our constantly evolving anti-counterfeit approach forge ongoing relationships which educate and protect our clients.
Partnership with U-NICA offers multiple benefits. Perhaps our most important advice is that brand value protection must be holistically employed and universally enforced throughout an organization. Every department and link in the production chain - from inception to store shelf - must be a fully engaged player in preserving brand value.
The need for swift and effective brand protection is accelerated by the proliferation of online retailers as well as increasingly accurate copies of the physical product. The anti-counterfeit packaging market is projected to exceed $248 billion by 2026 to compensate. However, relying solely on this to limit counterfeit sales isn’t enough. Improving product packaging only helps customers who have a chance to hold it.
Online sales suit counterfeiters by removing the haptic elements of brand protection. Buyers can’t physically interact with fakes online before buying, making it too late when the counterfeit arrives. Retailers like Amazon and eBay have anti-counterfeit policies, but ultimately brand protection responsibility rests with brands to themselves, their partners and their consumer base making pro-brand choices.
Online brand protection means products must come directly from the manufacturer or by leveraging homologation to guarantee the legitimacy of third-party suppliers and ensure brand protection across the supply chain. Beyond online, brand protection in the physical world should combine overt and covert security features. Overt measures – tangible and visible to the naked eye – include barcodes, colored inks, RFID and holograms and other anti-counterfeit technologies.
Covert security features like hidden images, text and ultraviolet aspects are only visible to examiners using specialized lights, lenses or smartphones with the proper app. The deepest stage is forensic security, where only microscopes and highly specialized tools can pick up on embedded features like object and synthetic DNA or nanoimages.
The history of anti-counterfeiting is a long one. Criminals have always replicated anything which the public deems of value and not just since the recent years. While money was once the primary focus of counterfeiters, they’ve expanded to encompass every production sector. Today, the pharmaceutical industry is increasingly harmed by counterfeit drugs that pose a serious threat to patient safety. Additionally, the COVID-19 crisis has heightened the dangers posed by the global trade in counterfeit medicines.
Since there are many ways for counterfeiters to hurt brands, a successful defense relies on developing a multi-tiered perspective as much as deploying a multi-tiered solution.
For example, intellectual property rights are as vulnerable as a physical product. IPs may be protected through patents, trademark registration, establishing copyright control and protecting trade secrets. Protecting the latter is hardest since product secrets can hardly be registered. Instead, they must be shielded by a brand’s internal security strategy.
Besides law enforcement and regulatory authorities, only implementing supplier homologation, securing all product-related spaces and deploying multiple security solutions can protect an industry against counterfeiters and fight the influx of fake brake pads, seatbelts, tires and engine components which can kill drivers and destroy brands.
U-NICA is the perfect ally for brands seeking intelligent protection against counterfeit products. We are a cooperative think tank of universities, affiliates and agencies all committed to the shared goal of an evolving anti-counterfeit framework for a safer, more profitable business community.
U-NICA solutions protect both physical products like consumer products and brand value by understanding that intelligence is more than interpreting data. Total intelligence comes from combining universal information with the unique requirements of each individual manufacturer and how those needs extend to their partners, suppliers and customers.
In consulting with brands, we expand on the points above and further emphasize the importance of integrating cloud storage into their strategy where all product associated data be safely stored and accessed.
Our approach to security accepts that defense is an ongoing element and that there is no one size fits all solution. Our product protection solutions are scalable and adaptable to provide dynamic protection which adjusts to developments to become as minimal or complex as clients require.
U-NICA plastoTRACE® suite offers two options - intraGRAM® and spectroTAG® - which make multi-tiered security a literal part of your product.
Our intraGRAM® holographs employ diffractive effects used for product protection and marketing, with nano structured steel inserts transferred via molding into plastic generating no waste or need for cleanup.
This has the advantage of becoming an integral part of the product’s structure allowing for simple, instantaneous authenticity checks at a high frequency that last the product’s lifetime.
spectroTAG® is non-corrosive, non-toxic and non-abrasive rendering it completely invisible except to those who know about it. Composed of inert additive markers applicable in oils, inks, plastic substrates and varnishes, this protection is also directly integrated into the product at the physical level.
Each of these anti-counterfeiting solutions allow for in-process tracking and help build stronger bonds between your suppliers, distributors and logistics partners, the result is a level of security that’s effectively impossible for counterfeiters to overcome.
We also offer scryptoTRACE® and scryptoTRACE® ultra to create lasting foundations for brand protection architecture. Fully scalable with a smartphone app for product verification, authentication and user engagement, scryptoTRACE® is your brand’s key to real-time anti-counterfeiting information.
2020 will be another booming year for the black market. Deciding how much of their profits come from your brand is within your power. Browse our product pages and knowledge hub for the complete counterfeiting picture and learn more about making U-NICA your brand shield.
U-NICA are a team with a single purpose: supporting you in the fight to protect your brand’s integrity and value. Connect with us for more information on our constantly evolving open solution suite. U-NICA has offices in the United States/North America, Switzerland/Europe as well as Singapore/Asia. You can contact us directly or via social media.