How Smart Brand Protection Works

Smart Brand Protection

Smart brand protection refers to actions that a brand owner can undertake, utilizing digital technology, to prevent third parties from using their intellectual property without permission. Without brand protection, a company can suffer from a loss of revenue and a loss of trust & reputation, in turn leading to brand erosion.

Besides the direct loss of sales to counterfeit products, the negative publicity from complaints by consumers on the poor performance of the fakes can potentially damage the brand further. This negative effect is magnified with the widespread usage of social media, reaching potential consumers and in turn leading to a loss in potential revenue.

An additional benefit of smart brand protection is its ability to engage consumers, in turn becoming an avenue for revenue generation. By being able to engage consumers, a brand would then have the ability to upsell products and also drive brand awareness in a two-pronged approach. By reaching out to more customers, marketing efforts are enhanced.

An interlocking smart brand protection solution would enable the following:

(1)  Authentication for a product in a simple, fast and secured way to provide assurance.

(2)  Tracking product distribution along the supply chain to empower visibility. 

(3)  Capturing of data and insights of consumer trends to drive business growth.

Smart Brand Protection for Counterfeit Protection

In the new age of brand security, brand protection solutions:

  • Provides BOTH high security and consumer engagement.
  • Capture data & insights of consumer trends to drive business growth.
  • Provide visibility to supply chain.
  • Allow users simple, fast & reliable way to authenticate products and packaging through mobile verification.
  • Drives awareness and provides marketing channels to upsell.
  • Enhance brand value.
  • Become a profit centre instead of becoming a cost centre.

Smart Brand Protection Through Data Analysis

A brand protection solution is smart when data can be analyzed. This is because important insights can be derived from it. Each physical product will have their own unique digital identity code (like a unique birth certificate), making the authentication and tracking of every itemized product a simple task. The unique identity code can be recorded and assigned to distributors prior to shipping the physical products.

Smart brand protection has only become possible with the advent and rise of the smartphone. With the help of smartphones, distributors, retailers and consumers are able to scan or tap the product for verification along the supply chain. The data captured in different stages provide important insights. Information such as product details, usage, origin, photo and video are useful for consumers to make a buying decision. For the brand owners, more insights like the following can also be captured:

  • Which products are the top selling items, and which products are catching up.    
  • Locations of the products being sold.              
  • Which distributors are selling what products.
  • Alerts on products sold outside the distribution channels.

With the above data and insights from consumer engagement, product and consumer trends can be derived. Brand owners can make faster and better decisions for their sales and marketing efforts to drive business growth. By using these valuable consumer insights, brand owners can ensure that they are always ahead of their competition.

As mentioned above, smart brand protection also offers high security and intel. Data of failed authentication attempts can be captured and traced back to the locations where they occurred. Suspicious areas can be narrowed down upon and detected down to the street level. This information can then be given to a company’s enforcement team for follow up on actions to be taken.

Smart brand protection combines interlocking physical and digital solutions. New technologies such as Blockchain and Augmented Reality (AR) can also be integrated. Blockchain provides the added value of immutable data integrity and smart contract activation, while AR offers immersive content for consumer engagement. This AR content can be made to be activated only upon authentication of genuine products, giving it the potential to make brand protection efforts more engaging for consumers.

In conclusion, smart brand protection offers companies business advantages that were not possible in the past. Things like comprehensive product identification, direct consumer marketing platforms, counterfeit detection, distribution tracing and market data analytics can be significant game changers. In this new era where speed and data dominate, brand owners who embrace smart brand protection will gain the unfair advantage over their competition.


Guankai is a solution architect based in Singapore and the business development director of Nabcore Pte Ltd. He specializes in designing and implementing smart brand protection tracking and solutions. With over 10 years of experience navigating the grey market in Asia, his focus is on providing interlocking physical and digital applications for FMCG, industrial and automotive products. His solutions have helped brand owners to prevent loss revenue due to counterfeiting and enable consumer engagement to drive business growth.

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