Jargon Glossary


Connected product

A connected product is one that can be linked to the internet so that it can share information about itself, its environment, and its users.

Connected products feature a unique digital ID, that is machine readable via NFC, QR code, or other forms of label or tagging technology, which enables the product to be authenticated, traced, and accessed in order to deliver information and services that support commercial, marketing, brand protection and sustainability strategies.

Once connected, analogue products are transformed into smart digital assets that can be integrated throughout the entire omnichannel consumer journey and circular product lifecycle. Connected products are the last major puzzle piece of fashion and luxury’s digital transformation. Until recently considered as new and perceived as “nice to have”, connected products have become mainstream. As a matter of fact, brands are pushed by the EU regulating authorities to adopt connected products (the US will follow shortly), making them a must-have tool to undertake corrective actions in order to make production more sustainable, and to prove to consumers that they’re “walking the talk”.

The connected product is the embodiment of the regenerative circular economy. It is the digitised product itself that acts as a connector that brings together all of the actors along the entire value chain and empowers the transformations required to transition its lifecycle from an extractive and linear paradigm to one that is regenerative and circular. 

Certilogo provides connected product solutions that are designed to connect people and brands together by making it easy for brands of any size to build the most valuable, long-lasting, and trusted relationships with their consumers worldwide. Products connected with Certilogo technology are secured with best-in-class counterfeit-proof digital authentication. Certilogo’s digital product  IDs and product engagement platform unlock the power of a product to see, hear, think, and speak for itself; giving them an unrivalled capability to inform, educate and converse with anyone along the value chain, so they can convey and generate greater value for brands, consumers, and the planet alike. Certilogo’s mission is to democratise connected products, and accelerate the delivery of the most reliable authentication, relevant information, compelling services, and engaging experiences; enabling brands to monetise their products beyond the moment of first purchase, while collecting actionable insights that extend value throughout the entire organisation.


Digital Product Passport

The Digital Product Passport (DPP) is a digital certificate that traces the extensive information about a product, its supply chain, and lifecycle: from the raw materials used to the manufacturer and the processes that were employed in its production; from its history of ownership to how it should be disposed of at the end of its useful life.

The DPP is intended to be accessible to everyone along the value chain, to transparently share data that can allow all contributors to further optimise the product's sustainability. DPPs provide information on the product's social and environmental impact, helping to educate consumers on the consequences of their buying behaviour and make better-informed purchasing decisions.

From 2026, every industrial and electric vehicle battery must come with a digital product passport. Fashion and textiles are already identified as one of the next product categories that will require Digital Product Passports by law, and legislation is expected to be introduced by 2024. 

Each product is provided with its own unique digital identifier, which enables the product to be recognised, tracked and documented throughout its lifecycle, much like our own travel passports certify our identity and the accumulated stamps bear witness to when and where we have travelled.

As with any type of passport, Digital Product Passports are no exception and must be secure and counterfeit-proof. Only certified genuine products can share trusted green claims. Without secure product passports, counterfeiters will not only clone the design of products but also bestow them with stolen product identities, making them more convincing and harder to identify as fakes.

Certilogo provides the solutions and expertise to secure products and their passport data with unclonable anti-counterfeit digital identities that are easy to adopt without disrupting existing company processes and procedures.


Product authentication

Product authentication is the process of verifying that a product is genuine.

The most common goal of product authentication is to protect companies and consumers from the negative effects of counterfeit products, such as financial loss or damage to brand reputation. It is often employed to identify other instances of illicit products such as over-production and non-conforming grey market distribution.

In addition to addressing the brand IP protection needs, consumer-facing authentication responds to the tangible, consumer need for reassurance when buying expensive new or preloved items.

Once the domain of large luxury brands that are severely affected and damaged by counterfeiting and illegitimate distribution, its usefulness is being exploited across an increasingly wide number of applications beyond brand protection, making it relevant for brands of any size and positioning.

Product authentication applications include:

  • Supply chain management, where it is used to track a product's journey through the supply chain and ensure that it is not altered or contaminated.
  • Quality control: by verifying the authenticity of a product, manufacturers and retailers can ensure that they are only selling products that meet their standards and are of the highest quality.
  • Fraud prevention: product authentication can help prevent fraud in industries such as fashion and luxury goods by making it more difficult for counterfeiters to produce fake products that can be sold for profit.
  • Consumer safety: product authentication can help ensure that products are safe for consumers to use by verifying that they are genuine and have been manufactured to appropriate standards.
  • Compliance: product authentication can demonstrate compliance with regulations and standards.

The standard and most widespread way to protect and prove the authenticity of branded products would consist in equipping each product with a removable (and copyable) certificate of authenticity or attaching infringeable elements (such as holograms for instance) that would be recognisable exclusively by authorised personnel trained by the brand but that would remain unintelligible to consumers.

Such manual methods of authentication processes can be time-consuming, especially if a large number of products need to be verified, and are prone to human error, are costly and unscalable. Their unstandardised and inconsistent nature, with a limited collection of quantified and quality data, leads to limited effectiveness. They are also vulnerable to tampering and can easily be bypassed by counterfeiters.

Modern product authentication solutions generally adopt unique digital identities applied to the product in the form of a QR code, NFC or other machine-readable tags. However, simply applying a unique digital identifier to a product does not confer immediate security on the product.

Certilogo was born in 2006 with a view to help consumers easily and instantly authenticate their products. Products are protected with the gold standard in counterfeit-proof digital identities and AI-powered authentication that is ‘secure by design’. The combined media and cloud-based authentication ensure the swiftest, easiest, and most reliable verification, via a consumer's smartphone or any other internet-enabled device, without requiring any app download.

Consumer-facing product authentication was pioneered by Certilogo, as a smart and effective solution to the brand protection issue: data generated through consumer authentications are turned into commercial and consumer insights that enable brands to verify the actual distribution of their products in the market, monitor overproduction and parallel trade and detect counterfeits; collect leads, enrich CRM programmes and consumer feedback. Thanks to APIs and bespoke operator apps, product authentication can be easily integrated across the entire value chain, and throughout the entire circular lifecycle of the products.


Secure by Design

Security is far more than just a feature of Certilogo’s connected products. It is the foundation on which the company, products, and services are built. Secure by Design™ is the capability to implement and manage connected product projects with security in mind, from day one, thanks to a deep knowledge of counterfeiting practices and of the vulnerabilities of common implementations. 

Just as fingerprints or a retina are unique to each individual, due to the way they are formed, the security of the Certilogo solution is a consequence of how we uniquely engineer our solution.

The key to secure product authentication does not rely on a single marker type or ID-issuing technology. Rather, it involves a complex, layered system of multiple and interconnected factors. When consumers access Certilogo’s web app, which is normally customised so as to be consistent with the brand’s image and with the look and feel of its proprietary channels, they’re taken through an authentication journey designed to collect implicit and explicit information provided by the user and its device.

Captured data are analysed in real-time by a proprietary Fraud Detection System, which is based on Artificial Intelligence and is able to recognise fake products, as well as any nonconforming distribution of genuine products. Certilogo’s media can be either produced and delivered by us, or by the brand through its trusted partners, provided they can meet Certilogo’s security requirements. The Media can integrate any interaction technology (Serial number, QR code, NFC) and combine them with complementary new or pre-existing tracking solutions, from internal serialisations to RFID. Our authentication service can also work with third-party media and serialisations.

Failure to include the capability to reliably verify the authenticity of connected products and to detect fake replicas voids the brands’ investments into expensive product connection technologies that start from traceability and go all the way down to consumer-facing circular services. By making security a key pillar of their digital ID strategies, and ensuring they are supported by a dedicated experienced partner, smart brands will avoid the pitfalls of insecure authentication and obtain increased returns on their investment by leveraging authentication throughout the circular lifecycle of their products.


Consumer engagement

Customer engagement describes the innovative and evolving methods brands adopt to attract and retain customers.

In an increasingly cluttered market with a proliferation of fragmented communications channels, successful brands set themselves apart by going beyond merely delivering quality products or services, by cultivating a bi-directional relationship between them and their consumers. While building on themes of customer satisfaction and user experience, consumer engagement aims to deliver mutual value that supersedes that of the product transaction.

Consumer engagement increases brand loyalty and customer retention, reveals new monetisation opportunities, streamlines purchase cycles, attracts new customers and ultimately sets brands apart from their competitors.

Effective consumer engagement demands the ability to listen, understand and deliver personalised solutions tailored to the consumer's individual needs.

It is through these very capabilities of connected products, that Certilogo empowers brands to build revolutionary relationships which are based on trust, value and sustainability, directly through their products. Connecting them with their consumers in the moments that matter most, to deliver the most reliable authentication, relevant information, compelling services and engaging experiences; transforming a brand’s products into the most powerful engagement channel they never knew they had.

Certilogo leverages authentication as a hook to drive consumer engagement, which in turn enables brands to monetise their products beyond the moment of first purchase, while collecting insights that support commercial, marketing, brand protection, and sustainability strategies, throughout the entire omnichannel consumer journey and circular product lifecycle.

Thanks to a fully customisable web-app, brands can use their products to conduct surveys, deliver engaging content and campaigns, drive traffic to their own channels, collect leads and enrich CRM programs, as well as innovate new experiences that connect the physical world with dematerialised purchases, including NFTs and blockchain.

Certilogo transforms product relationships from being transactional, into a platform of services and experiences that deliver value long beyond the moment of first purchase.


Digital Product ID & Digital twin

A digital product identity refers to the unique identifier assigned to a product in the form of a machine-readable marker such as a QR code, NFC tag, or RFID. If implemented correctly, a digital identity can enable the product to be securely authenticated and traced, as well as provide access to trusted information, services, and experiences that support commercial, marketing, brand protection, and sustainability strategies.

The identity may be enriched with any other available product information including descriptions, photographs, videos, and other content that may describe the product, or its relationship with other products, becoming a kind of product identity card.

Digital product identities provide access to an ever more comprehensive and detailed description of the product as companies create more product content, and harvest it from across the entire design, production, and communications workflows. This increasingly detailed description of the product can acquire the status of a Digital Twin, which is able to accurately represent the physical product in its absence. The digital ID makes the authentication of the product and access to its digital twin, portable and accessible throughout the entire lifecycle of the product, to all players involved in its production, distribution, sale, and use.

A secure ID is an essential requirement for a product to be equipped with a digital product passport, so that its origins, production, distribution, and use may be securely traced, and so that such tracked information about its lifecycle may be made available in a transparent manner. To avoid the risk of identity theft, product identities must include measures to prevent them from being stolen, in the same way that our own travel passports include extensive security measures.

Product identities also provide access to services such as customer care, or circularity services including repair, resale, and recycling programmes.

Certilogo enables brands to tag products with a secure counterfeit-proof identity that bestows a unique point of origin, that makes it easy to recognise, trace and authenticate throughout the value chain, by both humans and machines.


Digital markers

A digital marker is a method of tagging or ‘marking’ a product with a digitally readable identity.

The marker generally contains a unique Digital Identity, so that the product can be recognised and distinguished at an individual level from any other product. There are many types of markers, or interaction technologies, such as QR codes, NFC tags, RFIDs and barcodes

Some are designed to be immediately recognisable and easy to access by the consumer, such as QR codes, while others may be covert and embedded into the design of the product, and accessed only through proprietary software.

Digital markers work together with digital product IDs to turn analogue physical products into interactive, digital assets that can be authenticated, traced, and accessed in order to deliver information and services that support commercial, marketing, brand protection and sustainability strategies.

Each type has its own benefits and limitations, so it's important to choose the right one for your business need and target audience. RFIDs, for example, are a widely adopted digital marking solution for supply chain traceability, thanks to their ability to be read at a distance of up to 1.5m, enabling hundreds of products to be recognised simultaneously. Their disadvantage is that they require specialist hardware to read, meaning that they can’t be read by a consumer’s smartphone. Today, many brands are adopting hybrid solutions that use combinations of markers to make their products recognisable by multiple methods, to ensure they can be traced and accessed throughout their entire lifetime.

The marker is also a product of the interaction technology itself and the media with which it is applied to the product. In the case of QR codes, a label could be printed or embroidered. There is a vast range of different types of NFC tags, designed for a different range of specific applications, all of which will determine the durability, accessibility and security of the marker. In some cases the product itself can be used as the marker, using high-resolution images to document microscopic imperfections and details unique to the product.

Certilogo is agnostic of marker technology and is able to assist brands to adopt and secure any interaction technology (Serial number, QR code, NFC) and combine them with complementary new or pre-existing tracking solutions, from internal serialisations to RFID. Our authentication service can also work with third party media and serialisations

Certilogo has accumulated unrivalled experience in industrialising the process of applying digital markers to products. Having brought online over 500.000.000 products to date for over 100 brands, Certilogo is unique in ensuring fashion and luxury brands can adopt secure digital markers without disrupting established production processes and procedures.


Authentication as a hygiene factor

No authentication, no sustainability. Only certifiable authentic products can be truly considered sustainable.

The damage caused by counterfeiters goes far beyond that caused to the targeted brand. Production is unregulated, meaning there’s an increased likelihood of waste, pollution and the use of harmful chemicals, problematic underpayment, child labour, unhealthy and unsafe facilities, and other human rights violations. In addition, their sale further perpetuates organised crime and other illegal trades. Ultimately, counterfeit products are by definition unsustainable as they simply should not exist.

While brands may not have the power to single-handedly end the knockoff trade, thanks to product authentication they can ensure that consumers never unknowingly purchase a fake version of their products.

However, product authentication must be secure by design.

Counterfeiters embezzle more than product design. They steal digital product identities and the Digital Product Passport data associated with it, to bestow their illegitimate products with added credibility. Only a securely identifiable product can be transparently traced along its supply chain and demonstrate its green claims with certifiable trustworthy data, to counter the problem of greenwashing and justify any premium that brands are asking consumers to invest in the sustainability of a product.

Products with authentication built-in are easier to sell and safer to buy, enabling them to command higher prices on the resale market; incentivising consumers to use re-commerce instead of throwing them away when they finish with them; contributing to extending its useful lifespan and reducing waste.

Meanwhile, circularity services like rental, repair, resale, and recycling depend on authentication for returns and end-of-life processing — both to securely match individual items to specific customers (rental), and to avoid the risk of processing fake or non-own-brand goods. Manual authentication is burdensome and expensive, which reduces the viability of such important initiatives.

Certilogo brings together unparalleled experience in product authentication and leverages it towards creating consumer engagement, to ensure brands can build the most effective and sustainable relationships with their consumers.