It’s MAGIC time again, and many brands are putting their best foot forward at Platform in Vegas this week. Whether it’s with the latest updates in footwear designs, styles and color trends, or being the first to market with the latest interactive wearable technology. Everyone is out to impress the masses, and step out on the runway in high fashion.
The biggest feat of all is going to be staying ahead of the biggest of all competitors, the ever elusive counterfeiters. Counterfeits aren’t simply about market share loss either. In addition, there is brand erosion, warranty concerns, but most concerning are the safety issues that can arise. Counterfeiters pay no attention to regulations or restricted substance lists, leaving unsuspecting consumers exposed to dangers of unknown materials.
According to the 2014 Statistical Report from ICE, footwear was 4% of all seizures of US Customs, accounting for approximately $50 Million in revenue. This actually falls 5th in line behind watches/jewelry, handbags/wallets, consumer electronics & wearing apparel. Surprisingly, this is down from previous years.
The most important detail to take away here is the effort that many brands have put forth to arm ICE and Customs with the ability to easily identify counterfeits and keep them from entering our supply chain. This is an ongoing battle which takes continuous effort in innovation, training, and follow-thru by brands, customs, and their partners along the way.
In order for enforcement actions to be effective, legitimate goods need to be easy to positively identify. Deploying an integrated brand protection strategy to effectively fortify the supply chain are key.
- Authenticate Genuine Product with overt and covert anti-counterfeiting technology permanently affixed to shoes and packaging.
- Secure the Supply Chain through product serialization and unique codes that can capture information and provide full visibility to track individual items across your supply chain and allow consumers to easily validate genuine product using their smartphones.
- Enforce Online Channels by monitoring your brand and product across the web. Terminate infringing listings, cut-off dubious sellers on B2B platforms, and remove traffic diversion from infringing sites.
Taking these precautionary steps can give brands more control of their supply chain, online retail outlets and significantly reduce unauthorized sales on the grey and black market.
To learn about how OpSec can help you protect your brand visit www.opsecsecurity.com
Lisa Hill is Director of Brand Protection for OpSec Security, a worldwide leader in authentication solutions for brands. She has been involved with the apparel industry for more than 14 years.