I’m Sergi Garcia, Director of Product Marketing at Red Points and lecturer at the University of Barcelona. I have spent the past 10 years in technology companies and currently lead market research programs at Red Points, getting to understand the challenges that brands and consumers face in today’s complex digital world.
The Internet is not the one to blame for crimes, it is just a space where things happen; the guilty ones are those who commit them.
Brands have taken action upon offenders offline for decades, like closing factories, raiding stores and confiscating illegal product on ports, and online is no exception. Actually, according to our latest market research, 31% of consumers believe it is the responsibility of the brand to remove fakes online.
Ecommerce is, however, a channel of its own kind with infringements of its own, driven by cutting-edge, always evolving technology. It just requires a technological response at the same level.
Every brand is unique. Each one of our clients leverages Red Points’ Brand Intelligence platform according to their own scenario: our holistic approach gives them visibility across Black, Gray and White markets, and technology to root-cause and take action, at scale.
Any incident type, from counterfeiting to impersonation; in any online channel, from social media to stand-alone sites; full exposure can be covered by our product suite and turned into out-of-court actions and ready-to-use data.
Against today’s threats, Red Points empowers brands to go beyond takedown, and take control.
To be a Red Pointer means much more than to work in the fastest-growing brand protection company in the world.
We are more than 200 Red Pointers now, and even though we come from different backgrounds and cultures, we all share the same core values: positivity, agility, proactivity, teamwork and most importantly innovation, transparency, and respect.
So, our recipe is nothing more than onboarding and keeping people that share those core values, and aligning them around a shared goal: to make the internet a safer place for brands and consumers.
Red Points’ software automatically identifies online infringements by using cutting-edge technology. Our bots are designed to continuously track the internet to identify any threats. And our platform’s machine learning systems, computer vision, clustering technology, automated rules engines and an intuitive case management system are just some of the high-tech tools we develop in-house to face online fraud and protect our clients.
Any chance to spread the word on how infringers are evolving their techniques and how technology can help fight against those threats is a chance for Red Points to fulfill its mission: to make the internet a safer place for brands and consumers.
My name is Andreas Mehlhaff and I am since 3 years with U-NICA in the position of Global Account and Channel Management. Due to my multinational background I take care of the following sales regions: Europe, Eastern Europe, Russia and India.
First the brands need to know exactly what product to what extent is affected by the counterfeiters. Only after having analyzed the damage the brand is able to install the appropriate protection strategy.
I personally think that especially digital and webbased protection solutions provide the fastest and most transparent methology to fight this kind of crime. As the brand will be empowered to oversee and monitor the authentication and verification results over the whole world within seconds.
I think that we need to distinguish between life threatening and non-life threatening pirated products. If the consumers are purchasing e.g. food, medicine or automotive spare parts than it is logically very easy to convince them to source originals. In all other cases it will depend on every bodies subjective intention. Many end users even purposely travel to countries and regions in order to buy fake cloths, watches … This always depend on the counterfeited products.
With our patented scryptoTRACE® suite we provide a very effective product authentication solution. We combine several security technologies in order to provide the highest protection level for customers product. By using our powerful web server platform the brand owner gets a powerful tool to monitor all his products worldwide.
We believe that our multi-zone security concept makes us unique. Like in the high-security (ID, Passport) and banknote business we do not rely only on one single security feature. We are able to assign different security technologies to different zones e.g. of a security label or product packaging. All those different protection technologies will be verified with only one app (scryptoTRACE® app). In other words we use a combination of different secure digital anticounterfeit methods in order to drastically increase the overall security level. Beyond that our scryptoTRACE® app can also read all existing standard identification markers like EAN barcode, QR code, serial numbers and so on.
I am Jan Maarten Laurijssen, one of the co-founders of Pointer Brand Protection. About ten years ago, we created the first version of our software and I’m immensely proud of how far the entire company has come since then. I currently head Pointer’s operational teams in our company of over 100 people. Personally speaking, catching the bad guys is what drives me every day.
First and foremost, we are a technology company. We collect large amounts of data and with our advanced algorithms we filter out IP infringements. Together with our legal analysts, we make sure the infringing offers are removed. Though removing the listings makes sense, we feel that to really have an impact, brand owners need to develop an online-to-offline strategy. At Pointer, we believe it’s most effective to use the information collected by our software and to apply it in offline actions to hit and disrupt active criminal networks. Monitoring and enforcing are one part of the solution, but platforms such as Amazon and Facebook play a vital role in stopping IP infringements. As a brand owner, you need to have conversations with these intermediaries and make sure they take both proactive and preventive measures on their platforms. Our data provides the insights, seller behaviors, and trends that the brand owners can then leverage during their conversations with the intermediaries. It’s a team effort and involves some cooperation and coordination, but it all works toward the goal of protecting brands and consumers.
Our mission at Pointer is to solve the problem at hand, providing a clean marketplace for consumers to purchase authentic goods from hard-working brands. This is only possible with technology. For a brand, it’s important to tackle this problem from different angles, whether that’s through online channels or through a variety of offline measures. At Pointer, we aim to centralize and streamline all the different strategies available to brand owners. For instance, identifying the large infringers, cleaning up marketplaces, having in-depth discussions with platforms to make sure they take preventive and proactive measures against said infringers, establishing relationships with key authorities all over the world—we use every tool, technology, and resource we can to stop the criminals and establish a clean trade industry.
With a team of over 30 nationalities, we take pride in working in an international and accepting environment where differences are celebrated and embraced. However, we still make it a point to endorse a few key core values at Pointer. One of these core values is ‘Smarter, Better, Smarter,’ which promotes the concept of continuous improvement—something we believe in both professionally and personally. We encourage all of our employees to actively work on personal development—in whatever area they’d like—as well as encouraging the company as a whole to pursue constant improvement in our solutions and software. In addition to this, Pointer employees often feel good about the work they’re doing. We are all fans of the brands we work for, and we take it personally when criminals try to take advantage of these brands.
I believe that innovation and customer-focused development is our key to success. We think that no brand is alike and, therefore, our teams are constantly looking for ways to improve our service and technology to tailor the new developments to each brand. In our software, we implement the most advanced technologies, such as machine learning and image recognition. Our algorithms are set to prioritizing suspicious offers instantly, and thanks to the advancements in machine learning technology, they are self-learning and constantly improving. The better we train them, the better they can train themselves, and the better we can solve the problem.
We make it a point to be involved in the brand protection industry in every possible way, which means participating in relevant conferences and congresses around the world. Based on our involvement with BPC last year—which lead to building new contacts and meeting great people—we thought it would be greatly beneficial to take part in the congress again. We hope to make similarly constructive relationships with brand owners and brand managers while letting attendees know about Pointer’s various solutions and tailor-made strategies.
My name is Tobias Herzog, General Manager of Tailorlux integrity Solutions. I have a bechground from the defence industry and just stumbled recently into the area of product and IP Protection with Tailorlux.
I think there are huge differences between the product and market in conjunction with the counterfeit-quality. If someone buys a luxury watch for a ridiculous price at the beach during holiday, the buyer will be almost 100% sure it is a fake. The difficulrties start with the high-end fakes that will come with complete made up licensees and certifications.
The Internet is the vehicle for the market place not the perpetrator per se. The line between manufacturer and buyer has become blurry because of the www and this is the strongest argument to make the product istself the carrier of its authenticity by marking each product in the manufacturing process.
Tailorlux and the TailorSAFE technology has a proven track of more than 1.200 product lines secured in various industry branches. The TailorSAFE principle is based on the optical fingerprint based on luminescence material that can have no influence on product characteristics and can leave a trace each time the product passes a sensor. Tailorlux has done this from products from plastics in automotive industry, Egyptian cotton, varnish, ink or luxury goods.
Customers will ask for the supply chain. I think the discussion about carbon pricing shows that supply chains become more and more the area of brands which felt quite comfortable by looking at first tier suppliers only. I think that sourcing and branding will become a interdependent determinant for success.
Tailorlux has a patented state of the art solution. We are in high-end products and mass-markets but we cannot talk about it by means of public marketing instruments. Events like the BPC give us the chance to push the knowledge on this key-technology for brand protection.
I don’t see any big game changer for the 5-10 years. The existing trends will go on: increase of serialization, increase of AI use for authentication and detection of suspect sales, increase of number of ACF suppliers.
Hi everyone, my name is Guankai from Nabcore Singapore. You can also call me, GK. I have been creating and implementing Anti-counterfeit and Brand Security Solutions for companies and government agencies since 2008. My interest is in advising companies on how to prevent fakes, gain visibility along supply chain and engage consumers. I like to share insights and empower companies to increase their brand value, protect their products both Online & Offline to prevent loss revenue due to counterfeiting and grey marketing. Till date with the support from our team and partners, I have created and implemented solutions that helped to protect more than 100 million product units for consumers to easily verify genuine ones. The products are primarily distributed across S.E Asia and China in sectors such as FMCG, Automotive, Industrial manufacturing. Before working in Nabcore, I was a General Manager in a Singapore based business consultancy firm for 6 years spearheading security solutions for Authentication, Track and Trace for Start-ups, SMEs, MNCs and Governments. Prior to that, I was a Key Account Manager with Singapore Airlines Cargo where we planned for the supply chain needs of many companies.
The strategies that corporates should have in place to protect their brand would depend on 2 things: (1) The area of operation or intend to operate. (2) Budget. For countries where the Intellectual Property (IP) laws and regulations are generally weak or at its infancy, it is better for companies to focus in having authentication solutions for their products. The authentication solutions on their product would allow consumers and employees to identify and report on fake products. When the solution is designed holistically, it will act as a deterrence and also help brand owner as a marketing channel to engage consumers. This will give a better ROI for corporates. The authentication solutions should cover for both online & offline strategies. For countries where there are stronger IP laws, it is best to have the basic IP rights (eg Trademark, Copyright, Patent) filed first. Once done, companies can embark on a good brand authentication program so that stakeholders along the supply chain (eg: custom officers, distributors, retailers) and consumers can easily verify genuine products. Corporate can also conduct outreach with incentive through their program for consumers to create awareness and encourage buying of genuine products. Lastly, with extra budget, corporates can then look into track & trace solutions to gather insights. With the support from private investigators to further gather evidence, submit to law enforcement to carry out on raids.
Counterfeiting affects and destroys a brand and business through 4 stages. Stage 1 – Entry. At the start, normally small volume of fake products would penetrate the supply chain and reach the consumers. The loss of sales by the brand is often hard to detect. Usually at this stage, brand owner and official distributors are unaware about the presence of the fake goods. Stage 2 – Growth As the time goes by, sales of the counterfeit grew. At the growth stage, fake goods sales volumes increase significantly due to their low prices and prompting more fake suppliers to jump in. Fake products volume scaled up while genuine products volumes begin to decline. Brand owner and their distributors become aware of the counterfeit products as they see loss of rightful sales and revenues. Stage 3 – Critical At the critical risk stage, sales volume and growth of counterfeits now overtake that of the real products. This is also the stage where retailers would be selling fakes openly or even mixing the real & fake products to sell to consumers. It becomes a Do-or-Die stage for the brand. Business need to take swift actions to counter if they haven’t done so earlier. Stage 4 – Fatal When it reaches the fatal stage, consumers cannot or do not want to differentiate the Real and Fake products. They have lost trust of the brand and no longer buy the product. Consumers would start to look for competitor brands. The Product, Brand and Business incur fatal damage (a point of no return). Sales volume of genuine products nose-dived. Counterfeits products volume also started to fall. With shrinking demand, the stronger counterfeiters would then look for other brands which are more lucrative for them to fake. Then the cycle starts again.
There will always be people wanting to buy fakes, especially those products that are deemed or appeared to be non-harmful when in use. These items are usually garment, footwear, media, luxury goods or industrial parts. However, for items like food, medication, cosmetic that people consume directly, they will buy real products. Many of the solutions that brand owners adopted are either ineffective or hard for consumers to check. Worst, some don’t even bother and have given up to allow fakes to eat into their market share. These shortfalls give opportunities for counterfeiters to grow. Furthermore, with E-Commerce, the overall sales condition has become even better for fakes to thrive. Hence, our focus is to allow people to easily determine whether a product is original or not when they need to for their purchases.
At Nabcore, we are technology agnostic. Our aim is to design, integrate and implement the most suitable solution for our brand owners’ needs. There is no single technology that is so superior to be proclaimed as most effective. It takes interlocking solutions for that to happen. We listen to understand the needs of our customers and their operations so as to provide a seamless solution. To develop an effective product authentication, the solution needs to empowers users, simple to implement and practical. The ease to authenticate products create immediate result for BOTH brand owners and consumers. The key lies in having the authentication solution to pass the Granny’s test. Meaning even an elderly with lower level of technology experience is able to verify. Our domain strength lies in providing Brand Protection solutions for FMCG, Pharmaceutical, Industrial and Automotive products.
The supply chain world of tomorrow will be leaner, faster and self-organized. For the next 5-10 years, the design of supply chain is critical. No two supply chain are the same. There are 2 game changers that we see on 2 fronts for companies. They are namely for (1) Cost saving and (2) Sales increase. For cost saving and security, it would be pairing Blockchain with IOT. For Sales increase and customer satisfaction, would be Machine Learning with Human guidance. Block-chain in the supply chain is presumed to be an ultimate solution for visibility and transparency. The ability to track purchase orders, record production activities, link physical goods to IOT devices for instant data, and sharing information with other partners along the supply chain helps to reduce cost substantially by eliminating many manual processes. In additional, the ability to allow consumers to authenticate products further create value for brand owners. Machine learning’s most significant contributions is to provide companies with better insights into how supply chain performance can be improved. Product Sales can be increased with the use of machine learning-based planning and optimization techniques by ensuring products are made available for consumers whenever they need. Inventory reductions can also be reduced in the process. Abnormalities in supply chain performance, cost and potential fraud can be anticipated before they occur. Furthermore, machine learning does provide insights for automation which is the key for business scaling. Many supply chain challenges are time, cost and resource limitation. Machine learning is an ideal technology to solve them.
However, whatever the game changers solutions are, they are dependent on 2 critical characteristics for success: Technology Accessibility and Collaboration among people who are using.
I hope to learn about new counterfeit or grey market issues that companies are now facing which I may be unaware of. Furthermore, I look forward to have fruitful exchange of ideas and opportunities to work with brand owners on the challenges that they are facing. As a holistic solution provider, we work with many technology partners. Hence, it will be great to get to know more technological companies that are aligned to our vision in building an Authentic World.