Counterfeits are a multi-dollar underground industry which is imposing threats for any business or brand. Counterfeit products weaken the original company’s brand image.
There are some serious implications on the brand value and brand reputation as discussed below.
- Loss of revenue & profit margins: Consumers purchase fake product thinking of buying a branded product. The sale of the legitimate brand gets diverted to the counterfeit product. Even the profits derived from the sale of these fake products are based on the reputation of the original brand.
- Deteriorate Brand Image: Fake products devalue the original brand by using inferior quality and substandard material and components. The expectations of the end consumer regarding the quality are lost. Even the exclusivity of the branded products is lost.
- Customer loyalty is lost: Customers lose their trust in the brand after unintentionally purchasing a counterfeit. The positive image gets eroded and what is passed on is the bad word of mouth.
- Sabotage Brand Equity: counterfeit products use a brand’s image and reputation and destroy them. Establishing a brand image is not an overnight process. It involves the hard work of the employees and the employers. When it comes to enjoying the fruits, brand equity is ripped off by the counterfeits. Brand value and credibility diminish in the market.
- Brand and product reputation damage: Product reputation gets damaged when the consumer buys it expecting the quality of an original brand but gets an inferior quality. Counterfeit products might wear out easily because of cheap and substandard materials used in making them. Counterfeit pharma products might have serious health repercussions also, putting the life of the consumers in danger.
Brand image needs to protect more
There might not be any short-term serious impacts of fake products but they might hit the consumer’s buying behavior in the long run. With the growing e-commerce channels, the growth of the counterfeit products doesn’t seem to slow down.
Brand image needs to protect more as the counterfeits are continuously increasing their numbers and imitation quality. The original brands need to become more cautious about their intellectual property infringement and take appropriate legal actions.