By Cassandra Balentine
Part 1 of 2
Every industry must consider bad actors looking to profit from the vulnerabilities of successful businesses. Print is no exception. Brand owners look to protect products and packaging from tampering and counterfeiting. The good news for print providers is they can help assure confidence in print with several methods of overt and covert security techniques. Many are easy to produce with existing digital printing equipment.
In the January/February issue of DPS Magazine, we offer an in-depth look at the solutions and strategies available in terms of anti-counterfeiting/anti-tempering for digitally printed output, as well as a discussion on what brands look for regarding protection.
In part one of a two-part web series we further investigate this topic and provide tips and tricks on offering these features. Part two highlights specific offerings from press, substrate, and software providers including anti-counterfeiting, anti-tampering, and authentication products for printed output.
Implementing a Strategy
A variety of high-volume documents benefit from security solutions. The list of applications is extensive and spans many industries including financial, insurance, education, government, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, entertainment, manufacturing, and consumer products.
Michael Poulin, director of product marketing, production print solutions, Canon Solutions America, points out that anything with intrinsic value is at risk and should be protected.
Packaging is one segment that easily benefits from counterfeit protection. Jeroen Van Bauwell, director of product management, Xeikon, points out that most products in our every day and professional lives come in some form of packaging. “How else would one present, transport, protect, preserve, or promote from the production site all the way to the store shelf and into customers’ hands? For many products, it is the only medium to inform, communicate, and sell. Without print, packages would be nameless containers for unknown contents with unspecific characteristics and unreliable quality. Print is an absolute necessity for distribution, conveying information, and tracing quality and reliability. Print, if well used, can be a strong weapon and major headache for brand owners,” he comments.
Keith J. Cutri, VP, global business development, VerifyMe, suggests that if you are producing labels or packaging for clients today, most likely they are in need of authentication and tracking capabilities for brand protection.
Jason Grady, COO, DSS Secure, says two factors can help deter counterfeiting through print. The first is a secure print design. The second is inks, toners, and fluids that make up the images.
Kent Mansfield, chief sales and marketing officer, Authentix, stresses the importance of understanding the different levels of security, including varying ink technologies, numerous physical marks, tamper-evident seals, and other specialized features that can be applied to all types of packaging to provide protection to printed products, resulting in quick detection, quantification of the problem, and enabling a course of enforcement.
He says brand owners demand brand protection solutions so print providers need to advocate this as part of a sales and marketing strategy. It begins with selecting the right technology provider. Mansfield suggests avoiding one-off, single-platform technology providers that are running on startup capital. “Instead, look for a partner with a portfolio of solutions and experience implementing and running authentication programs for both small and large customers,” he advises.
Tips and Tricks
Understanding the vulnerabilities brand owners face and the value print providers can bring to the table with the knowledge of secure print options and implementation in invaluable. Here are some tips and tricks on how to communicate these offerings.
One tip for growing revenue with anti-counterfeiting solutions is targeting likely products, like pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, coffee, wine, and cannabis, offers Ralph Giammarco, VP, S-One Labels & Packaging. Become a resource for brand customers by providing statistics and federal regulations that may be applicable. For example, some of the benefits of using HP Indigo-based technology to offer anti-counterfeit capabilities are strategic, secure, scalable, seamless, and simple. He says these traits enable businesses to be more responsive to upcoming federal regulations, solve global counterfeiting issues, integrate with existing technology, utilize HP link and cloud-based servers, and allow brands to implement easy-to-use track-and-trace capabilities.
Mansfield suggests print providers add a high-value premium security portfolio over time by implementing solutions with a technology provider who is skilled and can assist with training and cooperative sales efforts. “Being effective in the brand protection business requires a broad level of knowledge and will need months and possibly years of building experience through such a partnership. Ultimately, this capability can provide additional revenue and makes the print provider far more valuable to the brand owner customer.”
It is essential that print providers know their customers, and their customers’ customers when considering document security. “Of your current and potential customers, how much of their print could benefit from anti-counterfeit measures?” asks Yuji Fujiwara Buchan, senior portfolio manager, production toner sheet-fed color and B&W systems CIP product marketing, Ricoh USA, Inc. He points out that a local concert venue could look to adopt more secure ticketing. “In any case, anti-counterfeit measures are a value-add even for jobs unlikely to be counterfeited. For example, invisible red makes a promotional scavenger hunt that much more exciting, or it can be paired with intermittent UV lighting and eerie effects,” he shares.
Patrick White, CEO, VerifyMe, Inc., suggests hosting a luncheon with multiple or individual brand owners to make a presentation of the technologies in a live setting. “When we have a brand owner use their own smartphone camera to scan our code and see it populate on the internet, software showing his exact location, that’s impressive. We also ask the brand owners to find our RainbowSecure Invisible ink. Brand owners also love the customer engagement and data gathering as well. Data is gold to brand owners. It’s a whole new way to protect their customers and market to their customers at the same time.”
Cutri recommends thinking beyond security for further profit potential. He points out that those in need of authentication and tracking capabilities for brand protection may also benefit from customer engagement features on their labels and packaging, including quick response (QR) codes that enable end users to register products, sign up for marketing campaigns, and scan for additional information on the purchased product. “QR codes utilize embedded website URL address information, along with serial numbers, which can be passed to the brand owner when the consumer scans the code with their smartphone. In addition, the location of the scan can also be saved by the brand owner, providing greater insight into where their products are being used. From a brand protection perspective, this information is very useful to determine if product diversion is occurring with certain serialized products—and where. In the case of bogus or duplicate serial numbers that are scanned, it provides a clue into potential counterfeiting,” he shares.
Print providers benefit from understanding the risks and vulnerabilities that printed products, especially labels and packaging, face. Offering anti-counterfeit and tamper-evident solutions is a value-added option for brand owners and is not difficult to administer on press.
In the second installment of this web series we highlight applicable features and solutions on the market.
Jan2020, DPS Magazine