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.

how duplication affects your business and brand

How duplication affects your business and brand?

Mr Anil Verma had started a business of manufacturing men’s shoes some years back. The investment was quite heavy- apart from taking loan he had invested all his savings in the venture. For a few months, things seemed fine and to his surprise, there was a record number of sales in the following years. But one ill-fated day he got to know that his shoes were counterfeited across different locations of the country. He himself witnessed that visually identical copies of his products were sold at street shops, flea markets and local shops.

Soon, Mr Verma’s dreams turned into live nightmares. Besides losing profits, there was a considerable decline in consumer trust. The brand name which he had created in the market lost all its credibility. More to it with few human resources he was not able to completely check counterfeiting. Forgers were selling fake copies of his product for few hundred bucks. Mr Verma was depressed and finally, his company was shut down. Things would have been different if Mr Verma would have contacted us. We at Holostik have been fighting duplication since 1991. Our customised anti-duplication products and solutions help in bringing down the menace of duplication to a large extent.

We also know the negative impacts of counterfeiting on manufacturers and businesses and we want you to know about them as well.

Let’s go.

The decline in sales: While many people buy counterfeits unknowingly there is a major proportion of buyers who want to flaunt a fancy bag for a little money. This desire has created an enormous demand for fake products in the market which negatively affects the sale of original products.

Extra costs on fighting fake: Yes, Mr Verma had spent a lot of money on fighting fakes but to no avail. Duplication kills you secretly and silently. With the double whammy of added costs and poor sales, your company suffers a major monetary setback.

You lose your loyal customer: There are high chances that your customer will find an alternate if he gets duped with a counterfeit of your product. Imagine such fakes being sold at different locations and the number of customers you lose due to it. Disappointed and unsatisfied customers will always turn towards a new option.

A tarnished brand image: Last but not least counterfeiting negatively impacts the image of your brand. If there is a high volume of fake products of your brand then it will create a negative impression in the minds of retailers, distributors and consumers. They will perceive that the company does not care about its reputation.

So, if you are from these industries & want to stay safe against duplication or counterfeiting get in touch with us now.

The role of anti-counterfeiting technology against duplication

The counterfeiting of products and tampering within supply chains has become a massive problem at the global scale. The overall cost of counterfeiting and diversion is projected to reach $2.8 trillion by 2022. The problem of duplication has infiltrated industries like health, beauty, pharmaceutical, liquor industry and many others.

Consumers and companies are facing the onslaught of counterfeiting and adulteration. Products from food to medicines are being forged by counterfeiters around the world. Counterfeiters also try to sell stolen, adulterated and expired items as originals. Forgers try their level best to visually and functionally mimic the product and original packaging. There have been reports of duplicate products and its effects from across the world which creates a sense of anxiety among consumers and plummets our trust in reliable and major brands.  Counterfeiting can be countered effectively on different levels. Government and regulations play an important role in battling duplication but one of the most decisive roles is that of technology. Technology not just helps in determining the genuineness of the product but also helps in securing supply chains against duplication and tampering.

Anti-counterfeiting technology can be divided into four groups namely overt, covert, forensic and digital. All those authentication technologies which can be seen with naked eyes are called as overt technologies whereas those technologies which cannot be seen with naked eye and requires special devices like UV pen and taggant pen are called as covert technologies. Forensic technology requires special labs for performing authentication and digital technology encompasses the use of QR codes and other IT enabled technologies.

Holographic technology which falls under overt and covert technology is one of the most widely used and affordable in nature. A good example is the use of security holograms and holographic wide web films in different industries for product authentication purposes. The holographic technology can encompass a wide variety of security features which are difficult to replicate thus making it impossible for counterfeiters to copy them.

However, with advances in digital authentication technology, it has become possible to secure entire supply chains. The use of QR codes and barcodes for authentication is a good example. Amidst the growth of different authentication technologies, all of them are complementing each other and not competing. For example, Holostik which is a pioneer in providing anti-counterfeiting solutions offers security instruments which include security holograms and QR codes. While holograms offer holographic authentication, QR codes helps to digitally secure the product throughout the supply chain.

What is the level of counterfeiting in India?

The growth of technology and liberalization of the economy in India has created an ideal market for counterfeiters to inappropriately misuse the brand images that have evolved over time. The enormous growth has given rise to different kinds of fraudulent activities. However, it is the popularity which promotes counterfeiting of products among people.

Counterfeiting also referred as piracy in common trade parlance mean the unlawful acquisition by a person of the property of another person without his consent. Counterfeiting includes forgery of currency, documents, software, pharmaceuticals, jeans, watches, electronics and company logos and brands.

There are certain consumer goods and brands which have become easy to reproduce at low rates and have become common targets of counterfeiting. In India counterfeiting is a very common problem in almost all the industries. Counterfeit products are easily available in flea markets, street markets and roadside kiosks. No wonder, today, counterfeit products are available in the big shop, malls and popular stores.

In India counterfeiting is a growing problem and counterfeiting impacts not only organizations but also consumers. According to Authentication Solutions Providers Association, the counterfeiting industry in India is worth Rs 40,000 crores industry. According to a report by World Trade Market Review, “India’s consumer goods and retail sector is predicted to see sales soar by 40% over the next three years – making it the fastest-growing emerging market. Of this, it is estimated that brick-and-mortar sales will rise by a mere 10%, meaning that the bulk of growth is expected to come from online purchases. According to a report by the Confederation of Indian Industry and Deloitte, the online retail sector in India will be worth $1 trillion (Rs660 trillion) by 2020.” The report further states that “In India, it is estimated that about 80% of consumers buying counterfeit goods are victims of deception. Counterfeiters use photos and descriptions of genuine products to attract consumers, but then supply them with counterfeits.”

Why counterfeiting is harmful for manufacturers?

Counterfeiting or duplication is a growing threat which is devouring different industries. Every year companies lose millions of dollars due to the sale of duplicate products. Duplication has entered into every sector and is going to become $1.90 -$2.81 trillion industry by 2022 according to a report by KPMG and FICCI.

Over the years organizations have tried to curb counterfeiting but their efforts have turned futile. In addition, the added costs in fighting fakes come as an extra burden. Besides these issues, there are a whole lot of challenges faced by a company or organization due to duplication. Let’s discuss them in detail.

Loss of sales revenue and profit margin: Sales and profit margins are the veins and nerves of any organization. A company’s success is determined by the number of sales it has earned in a specific time frame. A good number of sales is a visible indicator of a company’s wellbeing and vice-versa. The sale of duplicate items leads to a drop-down in the sale of a company’s products. If it goes unchecked, then it can lead to a complete downfall of the company. Due to multiple sale locations of the product, it is quite hard for a company to trace the manufacturing location of counterfeits.

Poor brand and product image: No wonder, the sale of counterfeits lead to a tarnished image of the brand and its products. The sale cheap fakes lead to a false perception among consumers regarding the quality of the product and the brand. Unaware consumers often think that they are buying original products but instead, they receive fakes.

Added cost on fighting fakes: Companies have to incorporate different strategies for fighting counterfeiting of their products. This comes in the form of added costs for the organization already facing the problem of duplication.