Successful consumer brands have spent time, money and effort in promoting themselves, by and large, to the more affluent members of our global society. Good for them!
The scale of the demand thus created, attracts criminal elements who wish to capitalise on the higher margins that the brand owner has striven to gain and maintain.
The sale of inferior products, passed-off as the genuine article, is no doubt to the detriment of the true IP owner’s reputation; so what!?
Nobody ever died from a knocked-off T-Shirt - and I cannot ever remember a news item that reported a fall in an FTSE/NYSE 100 company’s share price, because their brand was being undermined by shoddy fakes… so, is this a victimless crime?
Not at all.
It is the poorest and most vulnerable people in society that suffer from this criminal activity, by being forced to work in dangerous and filthy conditions, for little or no financial reward – to produce the goods that these criminals profit from.
Sticking a hologram label in a shirt, won’t put a stop to this – but it is a step in the right direction, as it affords a degree of visibility as to what’s going on in your supply chain.
Add to this an effective and strategic Online Monitoring and Data Analytics program, and you may well be starting to take some effective action, not only to protect your own brand integrity – but also to drive-down the onerous exploitation that others are perpetrating, off the back of your success.
Steve Ablett is OpSec’s UK-based Sales Manager specialising in Brand Protection and Enhancement solutions for the apparel industry. He has over 30 years experience in this sector and has worked with retailers, fashion houses, sportswear brands and licensors, to improve supply chain practice, control and compliance.