We focus a lot of our time working with customers and prospective customers who are looking for anti-counterfeiting solutions. And so we focus a lot of our time on learning about this market. In many ways it’s like any other market – products, prices, channels of distribution, etc. But, in many ways it’s very different than other markets – the broad range of markets affected by counterfeiting, the broader range of products that are counterfeited, the problems counterfeiting presents, the myriad solutions to these problems, and the cost of those solutions.
And it’s different in another, very important way. The root of many of the problems that grow from counterfeiting is consumers’ attitudes about this crime. The Global IP Center had Gallup do surveys about it from 2005 to 2007 – and the results are very revealing. Consumers’ #1 reason for purchasing fakes is because they cost less.
Counterfeiting, unfortunately, has long been associated with expensive brands and dismissed by so many consumers as a “victimless” crime. Increasingly, however, counterfeiting is a crime whose victims range from the brand owner (usually the guy that doesn’t get much sympathy – even though his employees suffer right along with him) to the end user.
So – more victims, crimes bankrolled by transnational, large-scale organized crime, and terrorists, and counterfeiting outcomes that range from lost wages to death – how do you reach consumers? How do you get consumers to use the tools available to them to be sure they’re not buying a fake? How do you get them to understand the cost – social, economic, physical danger – and consider those costs to be of greater importance than their “great deal”? In that same Gallup Survey we quoted above? 95% of those same consumers say that if they had known they were supporting organized crime or terrorists, they wouldn’t have purchased the counterfeit.
The Label Printers just got a great package of information from Interpol, asking us to help them get the word out – a package with tools that will help all of us engage consumers in the fight against counterfeits. Tools for us to use to reach the 95% of consumers who just need to know. They’ve dubbed the program “Turn Back Crime”. We’re delighted to do whatever we can to help.
And while you’re on their site – check out a cool video Organized Crime Starts With Money – Don’t Let It Be Yours.
If the folks from Gallup called you today to ask you to take their survey about counterfeits, what would you say?