According to the OECD’s most recent report ‘Trade in Counterfeit Goods that pose Health, Safety and Environmental Risks’ published in March 2022, China and Hong Kong remain the largest identified exporters of dangerous fakes, accounting for more than 75% of all seizures. Postal parcels have, perhaps unsurprisingly, become the most common method of shipping (albeit shipments by sea clearly dominate in terms of value and volume). From online sales seized, the most frequently seized products were cosmetic items, followed by clothing, toys and automotive spare parts, of which 75% emanated from China.
While none of this is really a surprise, particularly the ‘what is being sold online’ component, it gives credence to our approach to start any conversation about brand protection – whether proactive or reactive – asking where China lies in terms of business priorities.
Are genuine products manufactured there (in full, or in part), are there any current intellectual property registrations in China (and Hong Kong), is China a key export market for the brand and, if so, what are the routes to market … online, offline … local representation … the list is endless BUT is a key conversation starter – always.
Online brand protection is just one piece of a much wider jigsaw. For larger brands and businesses this, of course, includes considerable investment in offline activity and litigation. For small and large, test purchases, the gathering of intelligence and, frequently, the identification of ‘brand threats’ perhaps not discussed previously – notably fake domains have become a wider conversation.
For the smaller business, online brand protection is critical – in identifying and removing – as fast as possible – any illicit sellers, listings, links or websites. Removing all these denies any further visibility to potential customers – who may buy, export, distribute. Or in the worse case scenario, be harmed, or cause serious harm.
No brand/business can tackle the whole world at once and if anyone says they can, or they are planning to, I would be wary. The most important things are to understand the business/brand priorities: what needs to be prioritised – protecting the product/s which are contributing most to profit, or the territory where profits are the greatest? They may overlap, or not …
At SnapDragon Monitoring, our hard won experience in manufacturing, supply chain and distribution – as well as considerable expertise in brand protection and enforcement – enable us to dig, and dig. To ask the questions … why did the ship stop in Singapore for a few days when you weren’t expecting it to … and was there then more stock to unload than your logistics partner had perhaps anticipated. These are frequent things we hear … because we ask.
We will, of course, always help. It’s never a magic, or instant, wand. If the brand/business doesn’t have the intellectual property that is likely to be required, we may even send you away with recommendations about who to talk to.
What we promise is never to waste your money.
A planned, tenacious brand protection strategy, well executed, can change your life.
It will protect your brand, your revenues, your reputation and your customers.
It will enable you to grow, to thrive and to channel your personal and corporate energies into growth, rather than worry.
Why not talk to us today?