The most valuable asset of a business is its brand, not physical assets. Protecting brands from counterfeiting and fraud have become extremely important in an environment where technology has made it possible to duplicate virtually everything relatively easily.
Your brand equity, as well as profitability, can be severely impacted by fraudulent activities such as counterfeiting of your products, misrepresenting your brand names and logos on marketing materials or packaging, or duplicating coupons.
By employing new digital printing features, you can secure your brand and its promotion against counterfeiting and fraud. Irrespective of your business’s size, you need to make yourself aware of the security concerns and how you can address them as a top priority. Highly-evolved digital printing applications can reduce many of the common security concerns by giving you increased control to restrict and prevent fraud.
Table of Contents
What Is the Need for Security Features?
Infringements of security can negatively affect both your profitability and brand reputation. Whenever a brand is counterfeited, it damages your brand equity with its less than expected performance delivery to your customers. Since consistently poor product performance will end up ruining your brand reputation and sales, every business owner should devote adequate time to auditing brand infringements and evaluate different approaches for brand protection. The plan to combat brand equity’s erosion due to security infringements must include security solutions that protect all marketing materials, promotions, and communications.
Becoming Aware of the Brand Being Under Threat Due to Fraud
Whenever a brand is falsely represented or duplicated in an unauthorized manner, it amounts to fraud. As far as print is concerned, the deception could be as simple as duplication or reprinting of promotional offers or as complicated as fiddling with expiration dates, geographic limiters, product qualifiers, currency limitations, intended audiences, etc. Any fraudulent exposure will surely impact brand reputation, finances, future promotions, and relationships with customers.
By adding available deterrents in digital printing solutions, you can prevent brand infringements. Certain solutions are tangible, being in an easy and open view to make it obvious to everyone, including counterfeiters, that brand protection steps are being taken. These devices include barcodes, serial numbers, QR codes, variable data, dimensional printing, etc., that hinder easy counterfeiting.
Additionally, you can include in your brand protection strategy various intangible solutions. Since these cannot be seen with the naked eye, it can make duplication quite difficult. Among the popular ones with brochure printing Mumbai services are watermarks, UV and fluorescent inks, micro-printing, and hidden QR codes that can generate alerts of fraud or notify when a coupon is being attempted to be redeemed a second time.
Micro-type signature lines can be used to confirm authenticity at the time of redemption of coupons and offers. Similarly, routing numbers and bank account information with MICR ink facilitate automated processing.
Established Digital Printing Alternatives for Security
There are a number of innovative digital printing technologies that can be employed individually or in tandem.
Security/Red Fluorescing Inks: Digital printing technology permits the printing of inks that can be seen only when irradiated with ultraviolet of red fluorescent light. These are an excellent method of adding security features to printed matter. With the use of an appropriate bar-code reader, these inks can also be used to facilitate workflow automation.
Clear Inks: Several clear inks can be used to add a dimensional texture of a 3-D effect to a printed document, either in the form of a glossy coating or a watermark. By doing this, easy duplication or tampering of an important document can be prevented.
Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) Printing: Most commonly seen on financial instruments such as checks, this security feature is widely used in the processing and checking redemption programs. The document containing the MICR code is easily identified through automated processes like a simple MICR reader.
Micro-Printing & Variable Data: The financial sector and the healthcare sector have taken to printing a line of excellent type that is not legible to the human eye to prevent document duplication. The technique becomes all the more powerful when used with variable data unique to a specific document. For example, micro-printing on a redemption check can include the name of the beneficiary, the amount of the check, and the expiry date.
Substrates: Printed documents can include specialized substrates that incorporate textures or security features that can present severe duplication impediments.
Digital printing makes it possible to add a wide variety of security features to print documents that can go a long way to preserve the brand from being damaged due to fraudulent activities.
Article By: Alan Taylor is a brand security adviser to a number of leading companies operating in the financial sector. He writes extensively on brand protection and fraud prevention using printing technology. Some of his articles may be read on JakPrinters.com.