By Dale Jacobs, director, product management, Digimarc
What does it mean for modern brands to have integrity?
Does a company that pays factory workers a living wage have brand integrity? Does a company that sources only renewable or recyclable materials have brand integrity? Does a company that reduces its GHG emissions have brand integrity? The answer, of course, is yes to all of those important impacts that major multinational brands have around the world. But what if a company that does all those positive things also has products that are sometimes diverted or counterfeited -- or both? Do they have brand integrity? Unfortunately, brands cannot control every aspect of what stakeholders and society at large consider integrity.
A recent survey sponsored by Digimarc of more than 4,000 global consumers reveals that nearly two thirds (64%) of consumers surveyed said they are worried about the risk of using counterfeit products from the standpoint of safety, health, toxicity or efficacy. And, 50% of consumers surveyed said they wouldn’t buy from a brand again if they had purchased a product that turned out to be counterfeit. The implication is that consumers find it risky to buy brands that are susceptible to bogus products whether the manufacturer is at fault or not.
The reality is that today’s brands bear responsibility for delivering safe products that are authentic. If a counterfeit carrying your brand logo is consumed and results in a critical illness, consumers – and lawyers – are more likely to hold your brand with its global presence responsible than an unknown, underground counterfeiter.
At Digimarc, our Brand Integrity solution provides covert or overt anti-counterfeiting protections for products and packaging including apparel hangtags and care labels. Digimarc delivers a variety of ways to assess the authenticity of questionable packaging, and a wealth of information about products’ path, provenance and status. This information can help brands take a more proactive approach to brand integrity based on insights gleaned from actionable intelligence. The response-based approach to product authentication of yesteryear is over, and leading brands turn to data to identify regions where counterfeit and diverted goods are prevalent. Additionally, brands can benefit from a direct relationship with their consumers and unlock even greater data insights when they deploy Digimarc’s consumer engagement solution that creates packaging scannable by smartphones. Consumers can scan for coupons, instructions or recipes all the while helping your brand detect potential problems with diversion and counterfeiting.
To have integrity as a brand today, you must do more than the right thing regarding recyclable packaging, charitable investments in underserved communities, or staffing practices that promote diversity, equity and inclusion. Those are vital to earn the trust and loyalty of contemporary consumers. Building upon those important initiatives, it is equally vital to maintain the integrity of your brand by ensuring that the products that people buy, use and – in some cases – ingest are real. Safe products are authentic products. And, through our innovative solutions, Digimarc is committed to solving real business problems and helping promote a prosperous, safer and more sustainable world.
Discover the Digimarc Brand Integrity solution, and access our Brand Integrity insights survey to understand the mindset of modern consumers and their expectations for authentic products.