The rapid development of technology has made it easier to make and widely distribute near-identical copies of original products. Cracking down on counterfeits is difficult to do, so it’s important to protect your brand as early as possible. Here are some preventive measures you can take to minimize your company’s losses and safeguard your products against counterfeiting:
Utilize labeling and marking technology
Lasers are paving the way for anti-counterfeiting technology. For basic measures, you can mark serial numbers on your products through laser marking which works on stainless steel, plastic, and most surfaces. This will help you identify original parts or products that belong to you. If you want to take it a step further, you can also include a barcode that links back to your production data. Missing data found on a barcode will help you find non-authentic products.
Be aggressive with your anti-counterfeiting strategy
Fight aggressively and visibly to remove counterfeit goods from online venues. Report counterfeit listings on online marketplaces, request for the removal of ads linked to counterfeit sites, and send takedown notices to repeat offenders. By being a difficult target, you’ll be able to scare away potential counterfeiters and infringers of your brand.
Pay attention to points of promotion
The one thing you have in common with counterfeiters is that, more likely than not, you both use the same promotional techniques and activities to market products. Therefore, you should pay close attention to where and how they market their products. You can do so by monitoring the same places you’re promoting your products. Take note of how they’re using links within social media, how they’re doing paid search advertising, what their SEO tactics are, and if they send spam, which can diminish the ROI of your brand.
Get your priorities straight
Take down the biggest offenders with the greatest number of your counterfeited goods in highly trafficked venues. You might not be able to catch every single counterfeiter out there, but you can at least set your sights towards getting rid of those who generate the largest sales.
Keep your customers informed
Your customers are possibly one of your best defenses against counterfeiters, especially if you’ve gained and maintained their trust. Inform your customers about the risks associated with buying from unauthorized sources, and let them join you in your efforts to curb counterfeiting by reporting suspicious sellers and goods. There are also plenty of web-based tools you can use to deliver early warnings to customers who are purchasing goods online.
Get ready to take legal action
Once you’ve identified suspicious sellers and counterfeit goods, you should follow through and take legal action against them. You can do so by sending a cease and desist letter or by pursuing civil litigation. Make sure to do this as soon as possible so you don’t give these sellers enough time to pack up and disappear once they’ve made their sale. The sooner you begin the process, the better chance your company has of winning the lawsuit.
It might be impossible to completely deter people from copying your products, but you can always try to lessen the instances of it happening.