Dope Pedalling….

A small white lie, maybe just a ‘fake ‘ title , but it beats Counterfeits… if the biggest can’t sort it, what chance have the rest of us got ?  Anyway, drugs are involved.

There is not a week that goes by without me having a conversation about fakes and counterfeits. Somewhat surprising, being that I am ‘a good honest citizen’ and I am not a member of the police or Department of Trade. On the other  hand it is ,perhaps, not so surprising when there is not a single commercial operation that buys or supplies goods or services that does not encounter the problem at some point.

This is not the first time I have posted on this subject but I was ‘gobsmacked’ by an article I read this week.

Apple having been buying some of their ‘products’ to check them out . No surprise there. They have been buying through Amazon. Still no surprise. Furthermore, they have been buying them from Amazon , as opposed to the market place or just Amazon fulfilment. The ‘eyebrow raising’ bit is that 90% were fakes. And the ‘ cor blimey, luvva duck’ moment is that this 90% came from the very factory that is one of Apple’s suppliers.

My immediate thought was that if the world’s biggest brand and richest company ,and one of the world’s biggest retailers is unable to plug this enormous hole, what chance have the rest of us got ?My next thought was ‘none’.

Counterfeiting pre-dates the Roman Empire. Of course, organisations must protect their brands and products but it is an enormous drain on resources. Always has been and the problem only continues to grow.

It is a bit like the drug trade. The theory goes ‘….decriminalise drugs and all the problems stop….. ‘  . Illegal drug trade disappears, petty crime falls dramatically, the streets are safer and a large slice of our social ills go away. If that were the case , how come there is such a massive criminal trade in the ‘legals’ i.e. Fags, booze and legal highs ? There appear to be a couple of unpleasant principles to society as we know it….if there is a big fast illegal buck to be made , there will be those who will exploit that opportunity no matter how high the risk. The bigger the opportunity, the bigger the risk but the larger the participation….

I don’t think it means we should all give up and go home. With the big brands, there will always be those who will only want to purchase the real thing, and those who couldn’t care a toss if it was genuine. But I think a large lump of the counterfeits sold to  ‘don’t care a toss’consumers would never buy the real thing anyway. Consequently the ‘real ‘loss of revenue is minimal. However, lower down the ‘brand ‘ chain the loss of revenue becomes substantial.

I just feel that those of us lower down the chain would be better served by putting more resources into creating and producing more innovative products and ideas, getting them to market quicker and try to make the counterfeiters always have to catch up. The margins at this end are much smaller. If the counterfeiters are constantly having to remodel, redesign and recreate to produce the fakes the returns become less attractive. 

Of course, there has to be some defence of your product , if only for marketing purposes. But, regrettably, it is just ‘peeing into the wind ‘.


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