PACKAGING – THE BAIT OF COUNTERFEITERS TO MAKE YOU BUY FAKE PRODUCTS.

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  • PACKAGING – THE BAIT OF COUNTERFEITERS TO MAKE YOU BUY FAKE PRODUCTS.

Beauty literally moves us and no human being is an exception. Instinctively, we reach out for attractive things. It has been discovered through brain scans, that the sight of an attractive product can trigger the part of the motor cerebellum that governs hand movement. It should come as no surprise that good things if in scarce supply would require a fight to own while the reverse is the case if the thing is far from good.

A poor rice plate
A rich plate of rice

Every human being wants the best of anything that is available. My guess is that you chose the best rice plate in the above images and that should suffice to prove my point.

Is it a mistake that product, is one of the 4Ps of marketing? Definitely not. Every brand desire to have buyers for their product and services, increase the volume of customers, earn the trust of their customers, and turn them to loyal customers with referral advantage, then expand, and remain a brand that everyone is talking about positively. All these goals would birth a marketing strategy segmented into 4.

People,

Product 

Promotion, and

Place.

Counterfeiters also have their own marketing strategy too. It usually include using a trusted brand’s label to make theirs look like the real deal.Product among these four has to do with the offering of a brand but much more how that offer is being presented. A product would involve the content and its container. This duo usually forms the product.

Content: take a look at your toothpaste, drinks, even food packaging etc. What you need on the long run is what is inside (content) the packaging but how nicely created the container looks greatly influences your decision to go for it or not.  It is a ground rule that such offering must attract even those who do not have need for the product and interestingly those that do not understand the purpose of the product. The magic here is the packaging and this is the first bait, counterfeiters use in selling inauthentic products to people.

Papito body cream

Take a look at this scenario,

“Alan’s favorite body cream is the “Papito brand”- it is rich in milk, shea butter, etc. The container with which it is packaged is a white color with company’s logo, brand model, expiry date, manufacture date, and size. For almost a year, Alan kept buying the cream because it really was working for her so well that her skin even glowed and many complimented her for such beautiful skin too. One morning, after rubbing the papito cream, her skin began to itch, it got serious and unbearable. Before you call jack, she jumped back into the bathroom for a shower as her entire body had turned red from continuous scratching. It took a careful examination by a dermatologist to discover that she had been rubbing the compromised papito cream. It had PEGs (polyethylene glycols), Phenoxyethanol, and artificial fragrances massively distributed and innocently purchased by Alan (and other users).

PEGs: Polyethylene glycols are a family of ingredients derived from petroleum and preferred by manufacturers because of their versatile application. They act as emollients which help soften and lubricate the skin, emulsifiers; allows water-based and oil-based ingredients to mix properly, and vehicles that facilitate the absorption of active ingredients. So far so good, but are they safe?

Though polyethyelene glycols have very low toxicity, their use in self-care products should be avoided because of the high risk of contamination with ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane – human carcinogens that easily penetrate the skin and get into the bloodstream. Besides, ethylene oxide may interfere with normal human development and – have a neurotoxic effect on the brain.

Phenoxyethanol: it is a relatively cheap preservative that limits bacteria growth and is often used as a substitute for parabens or in conjunction with them. The primary problem with phenoxyethanol is that it is highly irritating. It can cause severe allergic reactions and even trigger eczema in people.

Artificial Fragrances: Whenever you hear of fragrance, just know it’s a brand’s way of keeping secret their blend of scents. Often times, they contain allergens or xenohormones and usually come with side effects on the reproductive and respiratory organs. You think there’s a way you can find out what fragrance is in a skin care product, no you can’t figure it.

What if Alan didn’t seek an expert’s help on time? Should anyone’s attempt to stay beautiful make them crippled? Imagine that baby food, dog feed, toiletries, milk, beverages, cooking ingredients, flour, cosmetics, clothes, lubricants etc, are deceitfully sold to you in such harmful conditions. Now, that’s the exact picture of how much harm a fake packaging can do to anyone.

What consumers do not know is that on the internet, it is typical for counterfeiters to incorporate registered and mostly well-known trademark into a domain name. The more recent method employed in peddling counterfeit items over the internet space is the display of these products as genuine products on e-commerce platforms that are available in Nigeria like Jumia, Konga and over social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. Likewise, physically it has been discovered that many consumers are unsuspecting, while others patronize the vendors knowing that the product is counterfeited. One major rife, is the correlation between low income and counterfeiting.  

HOW DO COUNTERFEITERS CONFUSE YOU?

Have you ever tried collecting something more valuable from a kid using something less tangible before? That’s exactly how counterfeiters deceitfully take money away from ignorant buyers. No doubt these days, counterfeiters also put up their A games as the market gets knowledgeable enough to discover they are being cheated.  See the 5 things that they do:

A confused consumer

FALSE LABEL: You may have seen a product carrying the exact label as an original one. Yes, this is usually because the original manufacturer made room ignorantly for the counterfeiters e.g cartons, nylons, plastics etc may be re-used by just picking them in large numbers and cleaning them inside out. This then, becomes a low hanging fruit for counterfeiters to easily gather materials for their bad market. All they are left to do is put their compromised content of the real product and get them to the market. Manufacturers that are smart enough to deploy the technology-based solution such as BrandMark Safety icon, and BrandMark App, would automatically render such packages useless after the first use by the end user. This for sure, will make an attempt to counterfeit such product dead on arrival. No doubt it is protection for both the manufacturer and the final consumer.

Label 1
Label 2

LOGO: is a graphical design representation of a brand, usually it comes as a small appearance on any product of the brand. Interestingly, what counterfeiters do to make a falsified product look like it’s the real one is to add a look alike of the original logo on the fake counterfeited product. Unfortunately, one cannot rely on ordinary observation by looking to detect it. As a matter of fact, no store would provide any buyer with plenty (more than three units) samples so as to compare. To add to the pain, even if it is provided, they all may be counterfeit and, in such case, how do you use one to compare others?

Let’s agree it may be impossible for a bank to hand you a fake ATM card, how about other products. Take a close look at the image beneath.

Image Source: istock.com

TEXT: It may not be so difficult for counterfeiters to write the same text on a product as the original hence why buyers should only trust brands with trademark on their text which should also be verifiable on the internet.

BRAND COLOR: Favicons are really tricky. Take for instance, pink color has more than seven derivatives of it. Once it appears like the color arrangement on a product looks slightly different from the original one, then it’s a red flag to watch out for. This may be a sign to say something fishy is happening.

Source: footy headlines.com

With all thesethen it would really be difficult for anyone to play a trick on you but the truth is that you do not even have the tools and expertise required to identify these things when you see them. It is way beyond just having a deep look at it.

Wouldn’t you be glad to spot counterfeiters gimmicks on you? We know you would and here is how to identify counterfeits.

Though the old methods of identifying counterfeits are still useful, we cannot deny the fact that they are unreliable and ineffective. Sometimes, you cannot even rest your decision on the results from them. This is because the world is evolving and as such the solutions are expected to follow suit. Innovations and technology made it faster, more reliable, seamless, and even keep track record of products testing via scanning and the likes. There are a number of apps and software in the market place for use, however, the  BrandMark anti-counterfeiting solution is in a class of its own and highly recommended for all and sundry regardless of the category of user you are; either as a manufacturer or a consumer. Apart from being a go to tool for people, it is also dynamic and usable in any industry whether agro- allied, petrochemical, food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, veterinary, cosmetics and skin care, shoes & clothing and many more.

Safeguard your own life and that of others by verifying authenticity with the BrandMark app anywhere, anytime.

We would love to hear your feedback. You can reach us info.nigeria@brandmarksafety.com or call 09130981298

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