Counterfeiting and the second-hand market
Beyond the simple economic risk of lost sales (which is particularly felt in the cosmetics and perfumery industry) fighting counterfeiting is necessary for two other reasons.
1. The opportunity of the second-hand market
Boston Consulting Group has predicted strong growth for the second-hand market. Indeed, for many consumers, used items are becoming an acceptable and common way of acquiring luxury goods. Moreover, these pre-used items are often the only way to get hold of some rare luxury bags or garments. But at the same time, according to the Global Brand Counterfeiting Report, luxury brands lose around $30 billion worth of sales to counterfeits online.
For many consumers, brand sustainability influences their purchasing choices. Indeed, they pay attention to the environmental and social impact of brands, choosing those that are more committed. In other words, the principles of the circular economy are penetrating the fashion industry and concepts such as "resell" and "reuse" are becoming the new paradigms.
However, consumers willing to buy second-hand products want to be sure about product authenticity. For these reasons, brands need to find a way to fight counterfeiting and have control over the second life of their products.
How to fight counterfeit with technology
A brand can protect its products in many ways. In fact, there are different types of technology useful in the defence against counterfeiting:
- ELECTRONIC TECHNOLOGIES
They provide for the use of electronic devices that make it possible to uniquely identify, authenticate and track products;
- MARKING TECHNOLOGIES
The products are marked with visible details or with systems verifiable by electronic devices.
- CHEMICAL-FSIC TECHNOLOGIES
Manufacturers can use special substances to mark the products. The verification process often requires laboratory analysis.
- MECHANICAL TECHNOLOGIES
The product includes physical elements (labels, hidden materials) or particular processes to ensure its authenticity or prevent tampering.
- DIGITAL MEDIA TECHNOLOGIES
These are methods for embedding and identifying information in digital files or electronic devices to protect, identify and track the intellectual property.