Using digitization for product and brand protection

Sports and Fashion

Sports and fashion article manufacturers record annual sales losses of several million euros due to the illegal trade in counterfeit goods. Thus, goods are potentially sold by resellers without authorization, bypassing the intended target market. The return of counterfeit goods to the actual brand owner is also a common method of turning counterfeits into cash.

Counterfeit products weaken the brand image, reduce customer confidence and consequently harm the brand owner. The tendency of counterfeits is constantly increasing due to the numerous and diverse distribution channels, such as online trade. The benefits of traceability and authenticity checks are increasing at the same rate.

In some industries, such as the pharmaceutical industry, authentication is already required by law. Different procedures are used to counteract product piracy. In comparison to other methods, which can be very costly, such as track and trace, to map the entire production and shipping route, serialization and end-to-end verification offers some decisive advantages.

Advantages through serialization

  • With serialization, unique serial codes are generated. From now on, the product can be clearly identified.
  • The serial code can be applied to the product or packaging in a QR code and guarantees a fast, convenient and uncomplicated authentication by the customer. This guarantees the customer the security of authenticity.
  • It is an end-to-end process. More precisely, the manufacturer applies the codes during production and the consumer only checks the product for authenticity with his smartphone at the end of the distribution chain. This means that the verification does not lie with various distribution partners. Authenticities check at each individual station in the supply chain, as is necessary with a track and trace procedure, is completely unnecessary.
  • Based on the unique identifiability of the products and the additional information about the location, an early detection of gray market and parallel trade is possible.
  • The serialization of products through the use of serial codes not only offers the advantage of protection against counterfeiting, but can also be used as a marketing instrument. Product testing by customers provides up-to-date data on sales figures. These individual evaluations can be used to optimize [production planning](/solutions/applications/market intelligence) and offer the possibility to react quickly to market trends.
  • Through the authenticity check the brand owner gets direct contact to the customer. This enables a better customer approach through this new and direct communication channel. The brand owner has the opportunity to offer targeted information or additional services in a direct way and consequently to strengthen customer relations.
  • The unique product identification through the serial code can also be used for further and individual applications. For example, the serial code can serve as a basis for an internal aggregation of logistics data.
  • The dealer can also use the serial code to verify the authenticity of the product. When goods are returned, it can be ensured that they are original products. The authorization of returns is therefore secured.

In addition to authentication, serialization offers customers and brand owners a number of additional benefits. A system with efficient data communication is indispensable for this. As Software as a Service, SecIdent fulfills exactly this promise.