Organizing for brand protection and responding to product counterfeit risk: An analysis of global firms
Product counterfeiting represents a large, growing risk to many global firms, albeit one whose dimensions are not easily measured. While firms increasingly recognize the need to address the threat of counterfeiting, there has been little research, typically highly specific case studies, on how they do so. To advance analysis of how firms respond to product-counterfeiting issues, we interviewed representatives of 10 large global firms providing goods and services in a wide variety of industries. Our interviews covered organization for brand protection, measurement of counterfeiting and its effects, practices the organization uses for brand protection, success of brand-protection efforts and other issues related to brand-protection efforts. All these firms report a multifaceted approach to counterfeit risks. Most report multiple measures to assess prevalence and impact of counterfeit products. Programs claiming success attribute management support and adequate funding and understanding of counterfeiting problems. Respondents also agree that constant communication is a key determinant of success. Though having the shortcomings of any study with a limited sample, this work finds several common themes in brand-protection efforts, identifies several lessons for firms and identifies issues for further exploration.
Keywordscounterfeit risk brand organization trademark
The authors would like to thank David Howard for his assistance in the collection of data for this project.
- Abbott, G. and Sporn, L. (2002) Trademark Counterfeiting. New York: Aspen Publisher.Google Scholar
- BASCAP (Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy) (2011) Estimating the Global Economic and Social Impacts of Counterfeiting and Piracy. London: Frontier Economics.Google Scholar
- Brigham, T. and Linssen, S. (2010) Your brand reputational value is irreplaceable. Protect it! Forbes 1 February, http://www.forbes.com/2010/02/01/brand-reputation-value-leadership-managing-ethisphere.html, accessed 22 January 2016.
- Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) (2002) Counting counterfeits: Defining a method to collect, analyse, and compare data on counterfeiting and piracy in the single market. London, UK: European commission directorate – Single market, http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/indprop/docs/piracy/final-report-cebr_en.pdf, accessed 12 January 2015.
- Chaudhry, P. and Zimmerman, A. (2009) The Economics of Counterfeit Trade: Governments, Pirates and Intellectual Property Rights. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
- Cordner, G.W. (1981) The effects of directed patrol: A natural quasi-experiment in pontiac. In: J. Fyfe (ed.) Contemporary Issues in Law Enforcement. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Counterfeiting Intelligence Bureau (1997) Countering Counterfeiting: A Guide to Protecting and Enforcing Intellectual Property Rights. London: Counterfeiting Intelligence Bureau, International Chamber of Commerce.Google Scholar
- Deloitte (2007) Supply Chain’s Last Straw: A Vicious Cycle of Risk. London, UK: Deloitte University Press.Google Scholar
- Deloitte (2014) Global survey on reputation risk, http://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/pl/Documents/Reports/pl_Reputation_Risk_survey_EN.pdf, accessed 11 October 2015.
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (2005) Financial crimes report to the public 2005. Washington DC: U.S. federal bureau of investigation, https://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/fcs_report2005, accessed 20 January 2016.
- Firth, G. (2006) IP protection best practice tips. The China Business Review 33 (1): 18–25.Google Scholar
- Fortune (2015) Fortune 500, http://fortune.com/fortune500/, accessed 4 December 2015.
- Heinonen, J., Spink, J. and Wilson, J.M. (2014) When crime events defy classification: The case of product counterfeiting as white-collar crime. Security Journal. doi:10.1057/sj.2014.18.Google Scholar
- Government Accountability Office (GAO) (2010) Intellectual property: Observations on efforts to quantify the economic effects of counterfeit and pirated goods. Washington DC, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-423, accessed 23 May 2015.
- International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition (2005) The negative consequences of international intellectual property theft: Economic harm, threats to the public health and safety, and links to organized crime and terrorist organizations, http://cdm16064.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p266901coll4/id/3379, accessed 23 May 2015.
- International Organization for Standardization (2012) Performance criteria for authentication solutions used to combat counterfeiting of material goods, ISO 12931:2012 http://www.iso.org/iso/catalogue_detail?csnumber=52210.
- IMA (2014) Unrecognized intangible assets: Identification, management, and reporting, http://www.imanet.org/docs/default-source/thought_leadership/management_control_systems/unrecognized_intangible_assets.pdf?sfvrsn=2, accessed 10 October 2015.
- Kavilanz, P.B. (2007) Lax oversight, globalization erode product safety. CNN money. 14 June, http://money.cnn.com/2007/06/14/news/economy/supplychain_risk, accessed 10 October 2015.
- Kotler, P. and Pfoertsch, W. (2006) B2B Brand Management. Berlin, Germany: Springer Science & Business Media.Google Scholar
- Murray, B. (2004) Defending the Brand: Aggressive Strategies for Protecting Your Brand in the Online Arena. New York: American Management Association.Google Scholar
- National Defense Authorization Act (2012) Public Law 112-81, https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Documents/ndaa_publaw.pdf.
- National Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (2008) The Economic Impact of Counterfeiting and Piracy. Paris: OECD, http://www.oecd.org/sti/ind/theeconomicimpactofcounterfeitingandpiracy.htm, accessed 20 January 2016.
- Post, R.S. and Post, P.N. (2007) Global Brand Integrity Management. New York: McGraw Hill Professional.Google Scholar
- Sherman, L.W., Gottfredson, D., MacKenzie, D., Eck, J., Reuter, P. and Bushway, S. (1997) Preventing Crime: What Works, What Doesn’t, What’s Promising. Washington DC: Office of Justice Programs.Google Scholar
- Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (2011) Mitigating the risk of counterfeit products, http://library.ul.com/?document=mitigating-the-risk-of-counterfeit-products, accessed 11 October 2015.
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection (2002) US Customs Announces International Counterfeit Case Involving Caterpillar Heavy Equipment. Washington DC: U.S. Department of Homeland Security.Google Scholar
- Wald, J. and Holleran, J. (2007) Counterfeit products and faulty supply chain. Risk Management 54 (4): 58–62.Google Scholar
- Waring, A. (2013) Corporate Risk and Governance: An End to Mismanagement, Tunnel Vision and Quackery. Burlington, VT: Gower.Google Scholar
- Wilson, J.M. and Kinghorn, R. (2014a) Brand Protection as a Total Business Solution. Center for Anti-Counterfeiting and Product Protection Paper Series. Lansing, MI: Michigan State University.Google Scholar
- Wilson, J.M. and Kinhorn, R. (2014b) Training for brand protection: What your team needs to know. Global Edge Business Review. Michigan State University 8 (5).Google Scholar
- Wilson, J. M. (2015) Brand Protection 2020: Perspectives on the Issues Shaping the Global Risk and Response to Product Counterfeiting. Center for Anti-Counterfeiting and Product Protection Paper Series. Lansing, MI: Michigan State University.Google Scholar
- Wilson, J.M. and Kinghorn, R. (2015) The Global Risk of Product Counterfeiting: Facilitators of the Criminal Opportunity. Center for Anti-Counterfeiting and Product Protection Backgrounder Series. Lansing, MI: Michigan State University.Google Scholar
- Wilson, J.M. and Kinghorn, R. (2016) A total business approach to the global risk of product counterfeiting. Global Edge Business Review 10 (1): 1–6.Google Scholar
- World Economic Forum (2003) Corporate brand reputation outranks financial performance as most important measure of success, http://web.worldbank.org/archive/website00818/WEB/OTHER/CORPORAT.HTM, accessed 10 October 2015.