In today’s complex supply chains and demanding market environments,
brand owners are facing more challenges than ever when it comes to the
protection of their brands and goods. Challenges such as counterfeit and
pirated products, gray market practices and unauthorized distribution are part
of their daily business.
Counterfeit is growing in value and reach, harming businesses and brand owners
across all continents and industries. By 2015, the International Chamber of
Commerce (ICC) expects the value of counterfeit products globally to exceed
$1.2 – $1.7 trillion USD. The estimated economic costs of
counterfeiting in the food and personal care industry are about $50 billion
each per year.
As for brand owners, counterfeits are big brand value detractors resulting in
considerable financial losses, for example, lower sales revenues, eroded market share,
wrongful lawsuits etc. Besides these direct monetary losses, brand owners are
also facing heavy impacts on their brand image and brand reputation. Due to
counterfeit products, consumers see less value in authentic products versus
cheaper look-alikes, brand reputation is harmed once consumers are let down by
counterfeits that don‘t work, consumers‘ health and safety may
be at risk, and relationships with distribution partners will suffer.
How to effectively fight counterfeiting
What can brand owners now do to effectively fight counterfeiting? One of the
drivers of counterfeiting is the increased complexity of the modern supply
chain – internationalization, outsourcing, e-Retailing etc. leads to
less control for brand owners.
Brand owners need to secure their assets from source to sale, as counterfeit
products can and do enter the supply chain from many points. This includes
from the very raw material sourcing stage, at the manufacturing site, across
distribution channels and at the final point-of-sale.
Holistic brand protection solutions can integrate control across the supply
chain to combat counterfeits and channel diversions. Brand protection
solutions enable authentication and tracing via various stakeholders for example,
company internal audits/authentication controls, third-party inspections and
authentication checks by consumers.
RFID technology enabling holistic and effective brand protection solutions
There are various different technologies on the market enabling brand
protection solutions, such as holograms, watermarks, 2D barcodes, matrix
digital code, etc. All of these enable asset authentication but compared to
RFID technology, these methods can be more easily copied or tampered with.
RFID is very powerful and unique as it provides a combination of brand
protection functions – these are authentication, track & trace and
tamper evidence. This multi-functionality enables an integrated end-to-end
brand protection solution making RFID a highly cost effective and easy to
implement choice for total asset protection along the supply chain.
Key reasons to choose RFID brand protection solutions:
Unique identification: RFID
can uniquely identify a product – the embedded unique serial
identifier (UID / TID) verifies that the product associated with a tag is
genuine and that it has been supplied through authorized channels
Highest security: Secure
cryptography integrated into an RFID tag offers very high counterfeit and
Size and no line of sight necessary: RFID tags can be very small and can be covertly embedded into products
– no line of sight required for being able to read the tag
Tamper protection: RFID
tamper protection can be useful to identify if tampering has occurred or if
the packaging has been opened previously
systems facilitate supply chain management and inspection – helping
to assess identity, location, ownership trail and condition of an individual
Reading and identifying multiple items at once: Anti-collision permits near simultaneous identification of hundreds of
items – therefore the ability to count multiple items automatically
through packaging and speed up processing
Consumer self-checks and enhanced consumer interaction/experience: Consumers can verify a product‘s authenticity using their own
smartphones to gain assurance on product quality and provenance. Brand
authentication apps function in conjunction with RFID or NFC tags carried on
the packaging or on the product itself. In addition, consumers can now get
access to additional product information, consumer rewards and warranties
for buying authentic products, complementary merchandise recommendations and
location-based messaging and offers. This allows the capture of valuable
consumer data to generate new behavioral insights.
NXP RFID brand protection success story
DUCLOT, the famous and most prestigious Bordeaux wine merchant, protects its
unique DUCLOT BORDEAUX COLLECTION CASE using Qual’ID Solutions’
services and NXP’s HF RFID chip. Consumers can tap their NFC-enabled
cell phone against DUCLOT‘s RFID tagged Bordeaux collection case to
verify its authenticity via a unique serial identifier on each tag. The RFID
solution also offers integrated traceability from vines all the way into
points of sale, and consumers receive additional product information, for example,
about the growth variety, the cellars, serving tips etc.
Why NXP RFID solutions?
NXP is #1 in Identification and leading in RFID industry innovations. We offer
a full suite of high performance contactless solutions across the full RFID
frequency range – enabling a world of smart objects. Our ICODE, NTAG,
MIFARE and UCODE product families meet your specific brand protection needs
across different security levels and operating ranges. We’re trusted by
governments and the banking industry for decades, equally working with
multinational clients across many industries.
 Source: ICC/BASCAP – Frontier Economics Report, 2011; G20:
group of the 20 most important industrial and emerging countries in the
 Source: WHO, World Customs Insitute – Datamonitor
Anti-counterfeiting for FMCG report, 2013