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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.

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The authors would like to thank David Howard for his assistance in the collection of data for this project.

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Correspondence to Jeremy M Wilson.

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This study was supported by DuPont. The ideas expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the opinions of DuPont.

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Wilson, J., Grammich, C. & Chan, F. Organizing for brand protection and responding to product counterfeit risk: An analysis of global firms. J Brand Manag 23, 345–361 (2016).

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  • counterfeit
  • risk
  • brand
  • organization
  • trademark