A new report from Digimarc (digital identification and detection-based solutions) has revealed what brand integrity and values mean to UK consumers and shows that they are more important than ever before.
“Being able to verify that a product is authentic is now important to 73 percent of consumers and over half (59 percent) said transparency into how and where a product was made was key to their purchasing decisions,” said Ken Sickles, EVP, Chief Product Officer at Digimarc. “Furthermore with 45 percent of consumers concerned about which country a product has come from and 38 percent advising that they consider the number of miles it has travelled, brands cannot escape the high demand to better demonstrate and communicate their integrity and values to consumers.”
The findings highlight how brands must do more to protect their integrity and limit their exposure to the damaging impact counterfeit products can have on consumers, as well as their reputation. Still, a third (36 percent) cite difficulties in getting key information on claims from the brands they shop with about the authenticity, origin, ingredients, or sustainability of their products.
Key highlights from the research include:
- While online shopping may be convenient, 40 percent of consumers think it has contributed to the sale of counterfeit goods.
- Similarly, a third of consumers think social media has normalised cheaper products that may or may not be counterfeit.
- 53 percent of UK consumers say they are worried the new products they buy are counterfeit.
Consumers worry about the authenticity of products across industries
Consumer concerns about their health and the quality of products span from across the food industry through to fashion and beyond:
79% OTC Medication
78% Apparel and Fashion
78% Chocolate and Confections
57% Alcohol and Tobacco
55% Baby Food and Formula
Worries Across Generations
Interestingly, the research also found that certain demographics within the population worry about different elements when it comes to the authenticity. The degree of their concern appears to vary depending upon which life stage they are at.
Combating the counterfeits
To feel reassured that a product their purchasing is authentic/genuine (not counterfeit) and really from the brand of choice;
- 38.5 percent want certainty that they are purchasing from a certified retailer/ online marketplace
- Closely followed at 38 percent is the ability to easily check a manufacturer/producer’s claims
- 31.5 percent were keen to see a certificate to prove chain of custody and reading reviews from other consumers who can vouch for the product (31 percent)
- Being able to track the product along the supply chain/ package journey and scanning a QR code to prove it also appealed, with 64 percent saying they’d happily scan a QR code if it gave them information quickly and easily and 52 percent of millennials saying they’ve used QR codes more over the last two years.
“The challenge brands face from counterfeiters is multifaceted with sales online, the altering of packaging and product labels, as well as infringement of intellectual property,” commented Sickles. “The need to address counterfeiting is no longer just about protecting brand reputation, it is also about protecting consumers’ health and safety and must be addressed.”
“As this research highlights, consumers also have a vested interest in ensuring the products they purchase are authentic, with nearly half of respondents saying it would help them feel reassured they are purchasing an authentic product if they had a way to check the manufacturer’s claims. It’s hugely positive therefore to see that nearly two thirds (64 percent) of respondents would happily scan a QR code if it gave them information quickly and easily. Adopting this type of technology will enable brands to unite with their consumers, keeping their products real and protecting their reputation.”