For the brand manager, packaging designer and supply chain expert, there are many factors to consider when designing new artwork, graphics and security for product packaging. Incorporating brand protection features into product packaging is becoming more of a priority for many companies, because of the ongoing threat of counterfeiting and diversion.
With different stakeholders involved, there are numerous factors affecting this perspective:
- Ease of implementation into existing packaging and production lines
- Brand marketing preferences
- Availability of diverse security technologies
Why You Can’t Ignore the Need for Security Today
Counterfeit operations have evolved into large, well-funded, sophisticated organizations with their influence supporting many other criminal activities. The amount of total counterfeiting globally reached $1.2 trillion USD in 2017 and is bound to reach $1.82 trillion USD by the year 2020, according to Research and Markets: Global Brand Counterfeiting Report, 2018.
Companies have learned that not implementing product authentication solutions and monitoring for leakage adversely affects the bottom line, and potentially the health and well-being of their loyal consumers.
Brand owners have discovered that adding security features on packaging can greatly mitigate:
- Lost revenue and declining market share
- Patient or consumer safety and related liability
- Recalls due to product adulteration and fraud
- Long-term erosion of consumer confidence and brand value
Product security has shifted in the last 30-35 years from the first mass-deployed authentication feature: the hologram. Brand protection begins with the understanding that it is not a product, but a process; a series of actions, changes and functions all directed toward the pursuit of a Return on Investment (ROI).
The first step of any brand protection platform is a risk assessment strategy based on the three risk dimensions: product-specific, geographic and supply chain. This then leads to solutions that match the needs recognized by that assessment.
As a best practice, brand protection suggests a multilayered solution, which combines several secure technologies depending on the type of packaging and substrate. These technologies include overt features, a recognizable first line of defense, covert elements that ensure evidence of authenticity, and a molecular-level marker to create a forensic and court-defensible component.
The Benefits of Brand Protection with Good Design
Today’s brand owners should realize that there are effective ways to combine brand protection and great branding into one design. With guidance and expertise, brand owners can leverage the right functional authentication features that also satisfy relevant interests for:
- Brand Protection: Desire to protect a product (brand) against counterfeiters, diversion and illicit trade, and to create a positive ROI for the company.
- Packaging: Security solutions that won’t slow down production lines or processes.
- Marketing: Features that don’t take away from the aesthetics of the artwork or design.