Hologram is the most effective product to combat counterfeiting.
One of the reasons why hologram is successful is because hologram is based on optical technology and also till date hologram cannot be copied, scanned or electronically transmitted, unlike all other forms of printed graphics.
Hologram when correctly specified for an application is very difficult copy and any copies or attempts to copy are easily identified. Holograms help the user to identify and authenticate a branded product or a document.
Though Hologram cannot on its own stop counterfeiting, but it helps one to identify the duplicate. This is the reason why currencies around the world use hologram based anti-counterfeiting devices.
Using a hologram is like building a 20 -feet fencing around your home. The burglar will attack a home with low levels of protection.
Counterfeiting is a menace for all the successful brands, in fact one can say that one is not successful until one is copied. But why let someone else enjoys the fruits of your labor; protect your brand and your profits. Counterfeiters want profits and they don’t care for the safety of the consumer. Counterfeiters will copy any successful brand.
In order to successfully combat counterfeiting, one needs to employ a multifaceted anti counterfeit strategy comprising of legal, enforcement, and technological elements.
Legal is the domain of the legal profession e.g.: patents, trademarks, copyrights, etc. Investigation and Police is the enforcement Hologram addresses the technological aspects of counterfeiting.
The application of hologram acts as a 24×7 guard and hence addresses the physical part of the anti-counterfeiting strategy while the technical complexity of the hologram image – both overt and multi-level covert elements looks after the technological aspect of the strategy. Higher the technical specification, greater is the security.
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Today all brands are at war. In war everything is in a flux, nothing remains constant. Similarly, in a world of brands where large money is involved counterfeiters are constantly attacking successful brands, they leave alone brands with good anti counterfeit measures. Good anti counterfeit protection involves a multi-faceted strategy, remember there is no one product panacea, it requires technology in all aspects of the product, manufacturing, product packaging, etc.
One cannot say I have a security device, now I am safe. One has to keep “raising the bar” to keep one step ahead of the counterfeiters, very much like protecting ones’ home: 1st a door bolt, then a pad lock, then a grill, high wall, electronic surveillance, alarm, the list keeps getting longer.
Security has to constantly evolve to meet the The risks faced by the brand by evolving the hologram specification to meet desired requirements. Hologram when combined with other techniques is still the most formidable product to combat the counterfeiters, and the counterfeiters hate it. That is why over 80 currencies around the world use holograms.
A brand can make or break the reputation of an organization. The secret to your hard-earned success is the result of a winning brand and nurturing it to perfection. But there’s danger lurking around the corner. Whether you like it or not, your brand is sitting target for many counterfeit product manufacturers in our country. Your brand requires protection like the way you protect your prized possession: leave nothing to chance.
So why take a chance with your brand? Protect your brand with Holotechs. We offer the wide range of anti-counterfeit and authentication solutions.
Counterfeiting is considered to be a major threat by the packaging industry. Therefore, industry has developed many processes and products to counter this menace. One of the most successful methods in packaging is to integrate it with hologram, thus making the package difficult to copy.
One of the examples in HoloSleevv for beverage neck seal; in pharmaceuticals, it is PharmmaSeal foil with hologram for tablet blister packs. Also used are special inks like color changing inks, fluorescent inks, thermo chromic and then there are specially formed packs requiring special machinery to produce them.
While the packaging industry is ready with a solution to suit all budgets, it is the brand owner who has to take the lead in selecting and specifying the right anti-counterfeit package to suit his/her marketing objectives.
Counterfeiting of pharmaceutical and food products is certainly a critical issue, and many leading companies are addressing this. In fact, if a brand is successful, then a counterfeiter will copy it. Other major sectors that suffer from counterfeiting include automotive spares, music and cinematic industry, consumer products, etc.
Today, hologram offers best and most cost-effective solution against counterfeiting; however, it also suffers from attack by pass-offs. It is difficult to copy a hologram, and that is why over 100 countries around the world use hologram as one of the means of protection from counterfeiting on their currencies. Holograms have a rainbow effect, which is often crudely simulated by other methods. A properly specified hologram combined with other techniques like high-quality printing offers the best anti-counterfeiting solution for the lowest cost, when compared to other techniques. Moreover, hologram cannot be copied by any other printing technique.
China has a reputation for producing many counterfeit products in almost every sector however; people in India have become aware of these products and the low value it offers. Quality Indian brands should not fear such counterfeits provided they have taken adequate measures to protect their products and packaging. If you want to know more on how Holotechs can help secure your brand, talk to us now!
Rohitt D Mistry
The threat posed by counterfeits, cheap pass-offs and smuggling are higher today than at any other point during the past twenty-five years. FICCI estimates that businesses in pharmaceuticals, FMCG, packaged foods, mobile phones, alcoholic beverages and bottled water have lost over one lac crore rupees of sales in 2015 in India alone.
A staggering figure that is growing at over 20% per annum. This threat affects everyone in our society: businesses, consumers, and the government.
Many businesses underestimate the risks from counterfeits and pass-offs, they argue that they don’t suffer a direct cash loss. True, counterfeiting causes no cash loss. However, each fake, each cheap pass-off is one less product sold by the brand owner, meaning lower revenue and lower profit.
And not only this, the consumer may be harmed by the fakes and pass-offs, which steadily erodes trust in the brand and risks the future of the business.
Government suffers loss of tax revenue and higher economic burden of higher medical costs as counterfeits cause danger to life and public health.
In the same way that we protect our homes by locking our doors to make it difficult for intruders to enter, so businesses need to protect their brands by using brand authentication solutions which build barriers against counterfeits and pass-offs.
Studies have shown that companies that have implemented even rudimentary forms of brand protection have seen increases in their sales and market share resulting in ROI’s of over 600% on their investment in brand authentication.
A hologram can be made from flat art designs but it will not add any depth which was not originally there, similarly photographs reproduced in a hologram will only show what is in the photograph. The holographic process cannot add depth to a photograph being made into a hologram
True-color holograms can be made, but the true colours are viewable only at one specific angle and once you shift your view point the image will cycle through the rainbow spectrum.
The hologram records an infinite number of views of the object, whereas a photograph records only one view. Thus, when viewing a hologram, the left eye sees a different set of information than the right eye so that the image appears three dimensional.
Unlike photograph, hologram cannot be reduced or enlarged. Hologram made from 3 dimensional models is recorded in identical size as the original object and the image size cannot be changed.
Whereas computer generated holograms can be reduced or enlarged; stereogram holography which is created on computer from movie footage, can be varied in size
Holography is the science of recording interference pattern of light in space specific to an object.
Hologram is the result of recording interference patterns of light for a specific object on a photo – sensitive plate. A laser light beam generated by a single laser is used to make the hologram; the beam is split into two – one half of the beam, is called the reference beam and this is shone directly onto the photo – sensitive recording plate.
The second half, known as the object beam is shone onto the object to be recorded. The light reflected from the object strikes the recording plate, causing an interference pattern with the reference beam and the interference pattern created is specific to the object being recorded.
The exposed plate is developed in a similar manner to that employed for photographic process. The hologram is replayed by illuminating the developed plate with a beam at the same angle as the reference beam. When viewing the hologram, one sees a three dimensional image of the recorded object.
Moving holograms can also be made with specially filmed motion pictures of 3 to 10 second lengths that can be used to create animated holographic images. This process is known as stereogram and the resultant image can ideally be viewed under point source light.
Danger - Branded to Generic
The government has thrown a “cat among the pigeons” by demanding that medicines be sold with generics names rather than as branded products.
The government’s endeavour to reduce the cost of medicines and medical therapy for the masses is highly laudable. The question is whether the method is right for India?
The Indian pharma industry has grown by reverse engineering pharma formulations and branding generic medicines. The merit or demerit of the government’s directive is being widely discussed by industry experts. Most of the discussion revolves around the implications for pharma market dynamics and competition, and whether it can be effectively implemented to the benefit of consumers.
All companies in any business sector rely on differentiation and branding is the way companies differentiate from each other. A brand communicates the message of the company, it is the differentiator that sets a company and its products apart from the rest of the competition and helps companies compete in an overcrowded marketplace. All commerce relies heavily on branding.
It is the same for us individuals. We are all brands, one’s name is an individual’s brand. The government’s directive is like asking people to drop their names and only use their profession as the identifier, obviously, it would not work. Therefore, I believe this directive will not achieve the desired outcome and the consumer prefers to buy branded products.
Yes, the directive may reduce the cost of medical therapy, but only for a short period of time. It will reduce the pharma industry to a “subzi mandi” where the lowest price will be the only USP. As a result, there would be no R&D. No new development as companies will not have the ability to invest in new products. In the long term the industry will stagnate as there will be no incentive to develop and research new concepts and quality of care will fall and medical costs may rise due to a less healthy population.
India, being a land of enterprising people, will see cottage industries springing up, producing potentially sub-standard pharma products in uncontrolled environments; where just a generic label will do and there is little need to build a brand or reputation to make some sales. We believe this trend may also encourage more counterfeits as producing fakes of generic packaging, especially that of less established companies, will become easier. The authorities are already over-stretched trying to regulate the organized sector and the burden to investigate and follow up on these cottage units will be very difficult.
A major risk for the consumer will be safety due to greater distribution of substandard or even fake products. The consumer may struggle to differentiate between what appear to be “vanilla” products but which actually may have real differences in quality and efficacy. The sole purpose of the directive is to benefit the common man, but it may possibly end up putting them in harm’s way.
The directive will result in established, organized player’s sales being at greater risk from marginal generic producers, pass-offs and counterfeiters who put downward pressure on pricing and also take market share. The organized player should thus take-action to improve their packaging design and use non-copy-able, easily identifiable device(s) to enable consumers and pharmacies to identify genuine products and differentiate from the competition. This will be necessary to protect both the consumer as well as the company’s reputation, market share and profits.
Contact Holotechs TODAY. To learn more about the most suitable protection for your pharmaceutical products!
Maintaining the wellbeing of a Brand
The wellbeing of a company’s brands is the senior managements’ responsibility. Senior management understand that brands are the company’s most valuable asset and a brand which is successful in the marketplace is liable to be copied. Following initial success, management often take steps to protect the brand through both legal means (e.g. trademarks and copyrights) and by employing various security processes and physical devices on their branded products. Successful application of brand authentication devices usually results in a significant increase in sales and growth of market share by curbing counterfeits.
After some years as the brand finds its niche, settles into its segment and counterfeiting activity is limited due to anti-counterfeiting actions taken earlier by senior management. Its market share stabilises around a level and growth trends towards that of the underlying market. It is at this point that complacency often creeps in; the danger from counterfeiting is a distant memory within the organisation and with slowing growth the focus shifts toward cost-cutting. At this time a zealous company employee, who doesn’t understand the risks from counterfeiting or the benefits of the existing anti-counterfeiting specifications, may proactively review the costing and possibly arrive at a conclusion that the company can possibly benefit if it could reduce cost of the brand authentication device that has been employed. In most cases costs may be reduced and substantially so if the specification is downscaled. Initially, an improvement in profit may be seen from the reduction in costs, but as counterfeiters become wise to the lower security levels, they will once again target the brand potentially impacting sales, market share, reputation and customer safety.
A brand authentication device that has successfully combated spurious and counterfeits and enabled the Brand to grow maintaining its market share should not be tampered with. As is often the case in such matters, the security is in multiple layers and only certain features are made public, even within a company (it should be on a need to know basis). It is critical that a successful brand authentication device is not de-specified, if it has thwarted duplicates and counterfeits to date; change for the sake of cost reduction can be detrimental to the brand. It is important to ensure that responsibility and decisions are not being pushed down the management chain, where incentives are often different and not holistic as far as the company needs.
Therefore, it is imperative that senior management continue to be engaged with brand protection and monitor its wellbeing.