Many brands in India have been measuring the effectiveness of the brand protection spends by way of the seizure value of the good in criminal/civil actions. While it may be a good idea to get some objectivity in the internal brand protection teams of brands owners, but their actual effect on the market scenario may be very different.
It is still not proven that this method of measuring effectiveness actually helps to get the very benefits brand protection activities are expected to be deliver. The impact of this seizure numbers on the organizations business, the motivation of trade channels and the consumers, may not be directly measurable. This may actually lead to many situations where the many infringers & actual retail channels may not be acted against at all. For want of minimum seizure numbers, the option of taking alternate actions and getting more benefit for less spends is also ruled out. It might also lead to many violators not being captured into the system and allowing the small infringers to become menace for the future. This information of minimum seizure values is also known to many violators and they manage their stock and operations to avoid any action.
To make this whole issue even more complex is the role technology is playing in terms of real-time collaboration and stock pooling, WhatsApp and other social applications allow very quick movement of stocks and nearly real-time manufacturing & smart logistics of material.
Another issue is shift of focus from counterfeit goods to lookalike good, where the expected seizure values are expected to be more and it is relatively easy to track & trace the real manufacturers. It actually is nothing but blindfolding the internal system and achieving numbers without any real benefit. Many times it is seen that brand owners issues instructions only to target lookalikes to achieve more numbers and show internally to the organization.
It is imperative for brand owners to capture all the violations/violators and use different yardsticks (& activities) for various violators. What is more important is getting all the data at the first place and scientifically using the data to undertake different activities. This data/information comes at a cost, so there is a need to budget these Information Gather Costs separately and allow all the data to get captured on a real-time basis.
The effectiveness needs to be measured on market impact basis. This could impact the revenue in specific regions, the impact on brand positioning with the trade channels, motivation of the sales channels and activities for increasing consumer confidence. This all needs to be looked at by the marketers and they should be able to manage the budgets out of the marketing budgets depending on the specific leads & needs of specific regions, from time to time.
www.brandsandfakes.com is one such initiative which has created an online application, an eco-system and the processes to capture all the information on real-time basis and allow optimal spends for various activities. The 3-tier activities of brand protection when used for all such violations give a much better impact and more chances of getting the real benefit of the investments being done in brand protection.
Brands and Fakes has aligned the capabilities of the service delivery eco system with the industry verticals, so that the Brands under various industry verticals and sub verticals are able to get services from expertise in their specific domains.