How counterfeits are hurting your business
Despite the counterfeit goods trade growing at alarming rates and accounting for a $323 billion global economic loss, consumers remain unaware of the many negative consequences that online infringements and purchasing fake products can have on them as end users, on the economy and on society as a whole.
Adding to the often poor quality of counterfeit goods, which can make a product virtually useless, knock-offs and imitation products can pose serious health hazards. The safety of consumers is a low priority in order to keep production costs as low as possible. This means that dangerous ingredients and poor quality materials are often used, global standards and regulations ignored, and labour rights and fair wages practically unheard of.
Besides the safety concerns and the moral aspects involved in the counterfeit goods industry, businesses and rights-holders are also hit hard by online infringements. The reputations of companies can take huge blows when targeted by counterfeiters as consumers are often unaware that the product they have purchased is, in fact, an imitation. Bad reviews and negative references spread through word-of-mouth will likely affect the original brand, not the knock-off manufacturers, leading to losses in sales and decreased brand loyalty.
Steps firms can take in order to protect themselves from online infringements:
- Begin by determining which assets of the company or which areas are most likely to be targeted by counterfeiters.
- Focus resources on identified risk areas as well as counterfeiting “hot-spots” where fraudsters are known to operate.
- Prioritise enforcing takedowns as quickly as possible.