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No More Fits Over Counterfeits

Because of this century’s boom in digital imagery, brands are finding themselves vulnerable to counterfeit usage of their digital assets. According to the 2018 Global Brand Counterfeiting Report, the online portion of these activities cost brands upwards of $323 billion per year. Adapting to this new environment poses various difficulties for brands, such as protecting their assets, customers and reputation.

Online Commerce Prompts Insecurities

The main avenue of counterfeiters’ online success stems from duping consumers with authentic product images through online channels, such as Amazon marketplace, and passing fake items off as authentically sold products. Brands boosting their presence on social media is also a factor. For example, Ghost Data Analytics firm identified approximately 56,000 counterfeit accounts on Instagram which equaled a 171% increase from three years prior.

Additionally, for an average consumer, discerning the difference between authentic and fake vendors online is difficult. These consumer misconceptions allow counterfeiters to sell through cybersquatting, which is the creation of fake, but legitimate-looking websites, often using top level domains. Lastly, online platforms unknowingly enable a comfortable selling environment for counterfeiters because of the ease in account set-up.

Brands Face Damaging Consequences

The misuse of digital assets forces brands to tirelessly fight back against perpetrators and makes it hard to protect their reputation. This activity circulates like a virus across the brand’s entire value chain. Counterfeiting can also result in plunging prices, as brands compete with fakes, and are forced to combat with costly legal fees.

Luckily, brands can take proactive approaches. Among them are digitally watermarking their product images and communicating trademark information with both domestic and international governing bodies.

And while the online environment is a beacon for continued profitable commerce, brands need to adapt and strategize how to proactively protect their digital assets.

Learn more about the implications of counterfeiting and how brands are fighting back. Download the free whitepaper, “Protect Your Brand, Power Your Success.”

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