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How can you be sure a product is authentic?

Imagine all of the resources, work and creative vision it takes to create unique, highly-differentiated products. Companies invest millions of dollars to design, manufacture, test, market and sell items that generate an emotional connection among consumers. What’s more is the customer places trust in the brand and the retailer to deliver what they want. So how can retail industry stakeholders be sure the handbag sitting on a store’s shelf or a football jersey hanging on a store’s shelf is authentic?

In today’s retail marketplace where the consumer can buy a product through a multitude of different channels, it’s more important than ever for brands to protect product authenticity by implementing proactive anti-counterfeit strategies. At the heart of any good anti-counterfeit plan is inventory visibility, with the adoption and use of Electronic Product Code (EPC)-enabled Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) being one of the critical enablers.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Make it harder for counterfeit products to blend in with authentic products, be able to identify products at the item level with EPC-enabled RFID, rather than at the batch level.
  • EPC-enabled RFID allows brand owners to assign a unique serial number to each item, which is then stored in a common database.
  • In 2015,  over 40 billion tags will be used.

Retailers and brands are witnessing the transformation of today’s supply chain — and those who are taking an active role in the adoption and usage of standards-based technology in their everyday business practices are seeing a boost in sales and ultimately, customer satisfaction. Consumer expectations are high and negative experiences travel fast through social networks and product reviews. Brands and retailers can protect their integrity by enhancing anti-counterfeit strategies using the common language provided by global standards.

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Note:  Information supplied from Melanie Nuce, GS1 US, VP for Apparel and General Merchandise, April 2014