Protecting brand value and securing revenue
Counterfeiting has become a serious problem for manufacturers. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), trade in counterfeit and pirated goods rose steadily over the past few years – even as overall trade volumes stagnated – and stood at 3.3% of global trade in 2019.
Increasing trade in counterfeit goods affects manufacturers on many levels. First of all, it generates direct revenue losses. What’s more, it has a pronounced negative impact on brand value and firm reputation, which also inevitably translates into lost sales. On top of that, it curbs innovation, as companies that invest in developing breakthrough new products fail to benefit from them.
Counterfeiting is also a cause of major concern in a wider social and economic context, as it often puts consumers’ well-being and safety at risk and channels substantial financial resources away from legitimate businesses.
Benefits at a glance
- Preventing direct loss of revenue caused by counterfeiting
- Combating counterfeits with a digital solution based on Bosch computer vision and AI technology
- Enabling additional services such as product tracking and a better customer relationship management
No brand is safe from counterfeits
In recent years, trade in counterfeit goods has spread to virtually every sector of the economy, from luxury items such as watches and designer clothing to food and drink, medical and pharmaceutical products, toys, electronic equipment and automotive parts. With the boom in online shopping and the corresponding increase in outreach, the problem of counterfeit goods has become even more acute. Today, no business is safe from counterfeits, and manufacturers should consider taking serious measures to future-proof their businesses and safeguard their customers.
Current anti-counterfeiting solutions
A large variety of anti-counterfeiting solutions are now available, from scratch-off stickers and holograms to QR codes. However, choosing the best form of protection can still be a difficult task for many manufacturers, as most of these solutions have their limitations. Scratch-off stickers are simple but not particularly user-friendly. Hologram labels provide a straightforward way of checking if a product is genuine, but they are expensive to produce. Using regular QR codes is relatively cheap, but they are also easy to copy.
Our solution: Secure Product Fingerprint
To address these issues, Bosch has developed a digital solution to combat counterfeits based on Bosch computer vision and AI technologies. The Secure Product Fingerprint solution creates a digital “fingerprint” of a product and stores it in the cloud. This “fingerprint”, which is unique for each item, is either an assigned QR code enhanced with special micro-features for added security (“Artificial Fingerprint”) or a snapshot of the product’s surface (“Natural Fingerprint”). Using a smartphone, customers can then scan the QR code label or the designated area of the product itself and verify the product’s authenticity against the sample stored in the cloud. This can be done via WeChat, a manufacturer’s app, or any QR code scanning app.
In addition, the solution provides product tracking functionality and enables better customer relationship management by establishing a direct connection between manufacturers and customers.