The growth of anti-counterfeiting technology market

There has been a rapid growth of counterfeiting or duplication in different industries across the world. From medicines to food items, consumer electronics to apparels, footwear to FMCG products and much more has been encircled by the menace of counterfeiting.

As per the Global Brand Counterfeiting Report 2018, the amount of total counterfeiting globally has reached to 1.2 Trillion USD in 2017 and is bound to reach 1.82 Trillion USD by the year 2020 which includes counterfeiting of all equipment/products from defence equipment’s to counterfeiting of watches.”

According to the report, “Losses incurred by Luxury Brands because of sale of counterfeiting through internet accounted for 30.3 Billion USD.” The above-stated figures present a grim picture of global business which is suffering from the pandemic called counterfeiting.

However, at the same time in order to protect their products and supply chains from counterfeiting, industries are using different kinds of anti-counterfeiting technologies. As per ISO 12931, all the anti-counterfeiting technologies can be categorized into overt, covert, forensic and digital.

Different types of anti-counterfeiting technologies are being used as per their requirements in different industries. The implementation of these technologies have reaped many benefits which in turn, popularized their application. According to a report by Markets and Markets, the Anti-Counterfeiting Packaging Market will reach a staggering $128.6 billion by 2019.

Here are the four important reasons which are responsible for the growth of anti-counterfeiting technologies.

  1. These technologies significantly reduce the incidents related to counterfeiting, adulteration and tampering and thus help in saving company profits.
  2. With the implementation of anti-counterfeiting technologies, brands can strengthen their image among consumers.
  3. Anti-counterfeiting technologies not just helps in securing the products but, also helps in safeguarding and monitoring of the supply chains.
  4. Anti-counterfeiting technologies also prevent IP infringement or violations.

What are the negative effects of counterfeiting on companies?

Counterfeiting or duplication is not only harmful to the consumers but is equally detrimental for the companies. Moreover, counterfeiting not just affects big brands- assumed by many but, also decimates the business growth of small companies.

According to a report by Research and Markets, “The total amount of counterfeiting has reached to 1.2 Trillion USD in 2017 globally and is bound to reach 1.82 Trillion USD by the year 2020.”

This monstrous growth of counterfeiting is a testimony to the fact that it is badly affecting the business growth and market image of companies. Counterfeiting leads to serious problems which may even in some situations lead to a complete shutdown of businesses. Let’s discuss the major impacts of counterfeiting on businesses.

1.Drop down in sales

Counterfeiting brings down sales of genuine goods. Consider a scenario in which the counterfeit of your genuine product is sold in the market at half of its price. This will attract many consumers who are willing to buy fakes and will negatively affect the sale of your genuine products.

New research from Mark Monitor, the world leader in enterprise brand protection, has revealed that almost half (47%) of brands lose sales revenue to counterfeit or pirated goods, with one in three reporting a loss of more than 10%.

With the growth of online shopping, it has become difficult to recognize fake products. Forgers usually copy the branding and packaging of genuine products making it difficult for one to recognize fake products. The infestation of e-commerce space with counterfeits has brought down sales of legitimate companies.

2.Loss of brand reputation

Brand reputation is critical for companies across the world. A piece of negative news involving the companies name can hit its reputation badly. Similarly, a counterfeit purchased by a consumer in place of the genuine product may fail to work or worn out in a few days. This will create a wrong impression in the minds of consumers about the poor quality of the brand’s products.

It takes years of hard work and consistent consumer satisfaction to create an iconic brand image for companies.

Since word of mouth publicity plays an important role in the brand image the consumers affected by fakes will provide negative feedback on the brand. Customers may also leave negative reviews on forums and websites which further ruins the brand’s image.

3.Loss of time and money in fighting fakes

When a company finds out that they are being impacted by counterfeiting they take certain measures to fight back. However, this can be time-consuming and involves a lot of money and resources. This leads to diversion of company’s money for fighting fakes instead of investing it in other developments.

Companies suffering from counterfeiting invest a good amount of money in hiring costly legal experts and fighting legal cases for securing their products and brand from IP infringements.

E-Commerce major Amazon has taken a new initiative for fighting fakes. The online company has initiated an anti-counterfeiting move known as ‘Project Zero’ which will allow brands to directly flag and delete fake listings themselves.

Why pharma companies must take counterfeiting seriously?

Pharmaceutical products are of vital importance to the healthcare system of every country. However, high incidents of counterfeiting in the pharmaceutical business has hampered the growth of the pharma industry and has wreaked havoc on the healthcare systems. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 10 to 15% of the global drug supply is counterfeit and Africa accounts for up to 30% of the counterfeit medicine in circulation. A per another statistic it is estimated that 1 in 10 drugs sold worldwide is counterfeit.

One of the worrisome situations created by counterfeit medicines is their threat to human lives. According to a news published in The Guardian, “A surge in counterfeit and poor-quality medicines means that 2,50,000 children a year are thought to die after receiving shoddy or outright fake drugs intended to treat malaria and pneumonia alone.”

Lately, the problem of fake medicines has grown manifolds with the rise of e-commerce platforms. This has led to a growth of illegal online pharmacies as well as online marketplaces distributing them. Amidst this grim scenario, pharmaceutical companies must take product and brand protection seriously due to the following reasons:

To protect their consumers

An estimated 116,000 deaths have occurred in Sub-Sharan Africa due to counterfeit malaria pills. Whether the counterfeit is a placebo containing sugar or has been laced with cheap and dangerous chemicals, it is putting human lives at risk.

To secure their return on investments

The global pharmaceutical industry loses millions due to the sale of fake and sub-standard medicines every year. The EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office) estimates that the EU pharmaceutical industry loses the equivalent of nearly 7% in sales per year due to counterfeit drugs which accounted for 26,9 billion Euros annually. No wonder, the pharmaceutical industry invests billions in R&D and counterfeiting badly affects their return on investments.

To safeguard their brand reputation

Counterfeit drugs ruin the image of pharmaceutical brands. Fake medicines also affect the reputation of generic medicines which are meant for the masses. Pharmaceutical companies must strictly ensure that their products are not being counterfeited.

The multiple benefits of holographic wide web films

Packaging plays an important role in product safety, promotion and sales. In a highly competitive market environment packaging can boost the growth of the company. Market experts consider product packaging as the first communicators of the company. An ideal packaging must secure the brand against tampering and duplication, enhance its visibility, and must keep the content of the products intact and safe.

Of late, there has been a rise in the use of new packaging materials by product manufacturers. These packaging products are of high quality, can include different anti-counterfeiting features and most importantly provide an edge to the product against its competitors.

One of the most popular packaging products is holographic wide web film which is an effective flexible solution used for lamination, wrapping, packaging and a host of other purposes. The films also curb counterfeiting as they offer holographic protection and prevents tampering. Holographic wide web films are available in various sizes and can be customised as per the specifications of the clients. Holographic wide web films are basically designed and manufactured using the best quality raw materials and are extensively used for flexible packaging.

The holographic films are available both in PET (polyethene terephthalate) (minimum thickness 12 microns) and BOPP (biaxially oriented polypropylene) (minimum thickness 20 microns). Besides providing brand protection, holographic wide web films leverage the brand value by making the end product completely holographic.

Holostik is one of the leaders in anti-duplication and packaging solutions in India and provides a wide array of wide web holographic films that are available in various specifications as per the client’s requirements. The films are known for their self-adhesiveness, clarity, quality and shine. Special care has been taken by experts in making the product compatible with international standards and the latest market trends.

Some features of Holostik’s holographic wide web films:

  1. Attractive looks with optimum clarity.
  2. Shiny and glossy with high brightness & high gloss holographic effects.
  3. High bonding strength, heat resistant and waterproof.
  4. Available in different colours and patterns, plain, light beam and patterns. Many designs are available for selection and customer’s designs.
  5. Used for toiletries, tobacco, flexible packaging, printing, wine boxes, gift boxes, books, magazines, boxes, printed products and other paper products laminating. suitable for high-grade imitation and pseudo carton laminating.

Different kinds of anti-counterfeiting technologies

With counterfeiting making its footprints deeper and marking its presence everywhere, the solutions to combat it have not only become necessary but mandatory. This is where the role of anti-duplication or anti-counterfeiting technologies comes in.

Product authentication’s role is to ensure that a given product is genuine or counterfeit. The product authentication process during the entire supply chain should be exemplary as manually it is very difficult to identify a counterfeit. The initial point of automated non-destructive product authentication is to insert a special security feature into products like the barcode, QR code, serial numbers etc.

Product authentication can take place at a single piece or at pallet formation or at higher aggregated levels also. As every product has different security requirements, therefore different solutions are needed to secure different products.

All the anti-duplication technologies can be categorized into Overt, Covert, Forensic or Digital.

Overt Technologies: These technologies do not require any additional tools; they are visible and apparent with naked eyes. This is the best way for on the spot visual authentication. They can be used in labels, documents and packaging.

Covert Technologies: These technologies are not instantly recognisable. They require special tools or equipment to identify authenticity; not visible through naked eyes e.g. ultraviolet and infrared inks, micro text, unique synthetic tagging etc.

Forensic Technologies: These technologies being covert require detection by specialised technologies and are usually taken to laboratories for validation.

Digital Technologies: These technologies may be either covert or overt and require electronic means of authentication. These are mostly used in RFID tags or in reading a serialized number and comparing to a database.

All these technologies are applied in the three main areas of:

1.Anti-tampering technologies: These technologies are majorly used in the food and pharmaceutical industry where the product needs to be protected from adulteration or replacement. The anti-tampering feature gives assurance to the customers that the contents are genuine and not tampered or adulterated.

2.Anti-counterfeiting technologies: The common feature of anti-counterfeiting technologies is that they are extremely difficult to be counterfeited. These technologies help in differentiating a counterfeit product from an original product. Based on the authentication requirements, such technologies may consist of overt, covert and forensic features, or a mix thereof.

3.Track and Trace technologies: These technologies make use of mass serialisation and unique codes to provide a unique identity to each item/product. IT technology enables the manufacturer to keep track of the movement of the product through the entire supply chain. Besides, the location and other relevant information of people in the chain can also be traced.