How Printers Can Fight Brand Thievery
Printers join the battle against brand thieves and fraudsters.November 2012 By Keith J. Cutri, Director of Business Development for Security Solutions and Brand Protection Services, Kodak
In today's business climate, rare is the printer that isn't searching for new ways to build business. New products or services that create new revenues and new clients are needed… especially ones that don't require sizable investments. Fortunately for package printers and converters, just such an opportunity exists, and it's becoming greater every year.
Consider the unpleasant reality faced today by brand owners—manufacturers and legitimate marketers of branded products—who've spent heavily in developing their brand's attributes. Building a global brand today requires investing millions upon millions of dollars over a long time. Seeing that investment diminished or destroyed overnight is the nightmare scenario in today's competitive global marketplace.
Companies increasingly find themselves locked in a continuous battle to protect their brands from attackers trying to steal the monetary value inherent in successful brands.
Brand attacks come in a variety of forms, such as counterfeiting, gray-market product diversion, tampering, refilling, repackaging, and copyright, trademark, and patent infringement. Despite their best efforts, many brand owners lag behind as criminals continue to find new improved methods for committing fraud.
Brand owners need brand protection solutions to maintain trust, safety, and integrity with their customers. To fully comprehend the potential demand for solutions, think about these numbers:
- The International Chamber of Commerce expects the market for counterfeit goods to exceed $1.7 trillion by 2015—more than 2 percent of the world's total economic output. This hurts both businesses and entire economies through lost sales, lost tax revenues, and at least 2.5 million lost jobs.
- Fraud related adulteration is estimated to cost the global food and consumer products industry $10-$15 billion annually. (1)
- Online counterfeiting sales are estimated to cost businesses $135 billion annually. (2)
- Product diversion is estimated to cost as much as $63 billion in sales per year in the U.S. alone. (3)
Initially, it might seem counter-intuitive that criminals—thought to have limited resources and crude technologies—repeatedly outwit multi-million dollar brand owners. However, the reality is that many of today's attackers are not "mom-and-pop" shops but sophisticated global operations. Well-funded, these criminal enterprises easily purchase the knowledge or tools they need to commit fraud. In addition, other factors such as supply chain complexity, outsourcing, lack of monitoring, limited awareness, or failure to implement basic security solutions all contribute to a brand's vulnerability.