Digimarc Corp., a next-generation digital identification and detection-based solution provider, is rolling out a new solution to help brands verify the authenticity of products.
Separately, Digimarc has released insights about consumer behavior in a report that looks at differences in shopping preferences between generational cohorts, including the importance of product authenticity.
Regarding the launch of the Digimarc Brand Integrity digital solution, the company said it works by assigning each product with a serialized digital identity “that can be tracked in the cloud and accessed through a variety of on-package digital triggers, including the industry’s most secure and covert: the Digimarc digital watermark. Adding that this combination of digitized products and cloud-based data “makes the process of authenticating items more accurate and scalable than traditional physical authentication measures,” the company said.
Digimarc also noted that the support of dual-factor authentication, “such as scanning both QR codes and digital watermarks on a single package, provides a strong defense against bad actors accustomed to easily circumventing lesser brand protection measures.”
Ken Sickles, chief product officer at Digimarc, said as counterfeiters have become more sophisticated and supply chains more diffuse, “companies are recognizing that traditional brand protection approaches that are largely reactive and reliant on trained inspectors and specialized equipment are both ineffective and inefficient.”
“Digimarc has created a uniquely digital solution that leverages the ubiquity of smartphones and other digital devices to make product authentication much more streamlined and less prone to human error,” Sickles said, adding that while digitizing products with QR codes is a great starting point, “when coupled with a robust product cloud and covert digital watermarks, brands can gain even greater visibility into their products and offer their consumers the chance to do the same.”
Sickles said the company’s brand integrity solution helps brands “to protect their reputations by giving every product a digital presence connected to a cloud-based record of its journey and interactions proving products’ authenticity, uncovering counterfeits and their origin, and gaining insight into products’ supply chains so that brands can anticipate issues and act fast.”
In the consumer behavior report, Digimarc teamed up with Censuswide to survey shoppers on several topics. Some of the top takeaways include that 80 percent of Baby Boomers “care about whether products they buy are authentic, versus 53 percent of Gen Zers.”
“Boomers also care more about whether brands are reputable and take their environmental responsibilities seriously, with 63 percent of the group saying they are concerned about these factors, followed by 58 percent of Gen Zers, 56 percent of Gen Xers and 55 percent of Millennials,” Digimarc said in a statement.
Sickles said the recent consumer study “shows that Baby Boomers are, surprisingly, more concerned than the youngest shoppers are about buying genuine products from reputable brands that are committed to sustainability,.”
“However, consumers of all ages have significant concerns about how the products they buy are made, where they’re made and what’s in them,” he said. “To address these concerns of shoppers of all demographics, brands need to not only ensure their product and brand integrity, but clearly communicate their trustworthiness and authenticity to consumers.”
Digging deeper into the results showed that Baby Boomers are most concerned about counterfeit goods. “Whether buying new or secondhand, Boomers are most concerned about whether the items they buy are counterfeit (new: 64 percent; secondhand: 54 percent)” while Gen Zers are “the least concerned (new: 53 percent; secondhand: 50 percent).”
Authors of the report said a majority of all age groups are concerned with the ethics of buying something that may be counterfeit, but Baby Boomers are most concerned at 64 percent, followed by Gen Xers with 60 percent and Millennials at 56 percent. Generation Z came in at 52 percent.
Other findings include that with luxury goods, product quality is important to more than three-quarters of all age groups when shopping for luxury goods, “but Boomers and Gen Xers (both at 73 percent) care most about where the luxury goods they purchase were made.”
Additionally, Baby Boomers are much more concerned than Generation Z with what products are made of with — 80 percent of Baby Boomers polled said they are concerned with the ingredients or materials in the products they purchase, compared with 54 percent of Generation Z.