Have you noticed how pervasive electronics are in today’s automobiles? Nearly every part that goes into a vehicle has a digital element as well as a mechanical one. Transmission, fuel line, and every other part of the engine and the cabin rely on digital innovation. In fact, luxury cars are built with over 100 microprocessors. Digitalization allows car manufacturers to track a specific part to each car and to closely monitor performance and quality, one customer at a time.
Brand Protection solutions are going through a similar transformation where the digital is increasingly being added to, not replacing, the physical. Just as an auto still needs the physical mechanics of a transmission and brakes, a well performing Brand Protection device should still include optical and forensic features to give the product user a visual authenticity clue and to establish proof for legal action. However today’s most effective Brand Protection solutions have added a critical digital element in the form of Track and Trace functionality.
Most typically represented by an individualized number and an information system to “follow” it, digitization significantly enhances the effectiveness of a Brand Protection program. Here are just a few of the benefits of adopting digital Track & Trace:
- Protect against more than just counterfeit – Digitizing enables Brand Protection to go beyond a yes/no authentication. Track & Trace solutions provide each product with a unique number, data which can be used to identify the location of a specific product where it is supposed to be sold and other supply chain insights. These critical data help identify and stop gray market diversion.
- Gain better visibility and control over suppliers – While a label acts as a ‘token’ to help control production to authorized quantities, Track & Trace adds an enormous amount of visibility and measurement to what is going on in the supply chain. These data are invaluable when managing 3rd party suppliers.
- Authenticate anywhere – Support verification and decision making by customs officials or investigators anywhere in the world. No special tools or devices are required; anyone with access to the internet can validate within seconds.
- Engage with your end customer – A serialized label provides the opportunity to engage directly with the end consumer. The serial number represents a single purchase of your product by a specific customer. Such granular identification opens the door for sweepstakes or loyalty programs to be deployed to reach a known user on a 1-to-1 basis. Marketing departments love to have 1:1 access to the end customer.
Adoption of a digit brand protection program can be gradual and in phases. Benefits begin to accrue with the first steps, which need not be expensive to adopt.
Check out how Track and Trace digital programs can significantly rev up your Brand Protection program and move your product’s security, like a well-tuned automobile, into the fast lane.