Packaging not only protects the goods inside from damage, it also plays the important role of information carrier.

When it comes to purchasing goods, many consumers are overextended in their purchase decision because of the wide range of goods and the similarity of the products. Because of this, packaging becomes an important information carrier. It has to communicate information and create customer expectations, such as authenticity, distinctiveness, uniqueness, reliability and security.

The purpose of brand protection is to have tools and methods to distinguish an original product from one that is counterfeit. These tools and methods must be part of a strategy to improve trust for a brand and to secure the whole production chain.

There are many security solutions available on the market to protect goods against counterfeiting. It can be difficult for the brand owner to decide which solution is the best for their products. Trustable suppliers are developing [with the brand owner] an overall anti-counterfeiting strategy instead of offering only their own technologies.

Levels of security

Some suppliers in the brand protection market are offering solutions on different security levels. To reach the highest level of security, a mixture of features from different security levels are recommended – for example, Jura JSP works on the basis of the following security levels:

1st verification level

This level is dedicated to the human senses. These features are easy to verify with the senses and can be explained to the consumer through press releases, advertisements or internet sites.

2nd verification level

This level requires some equipment and knowledge. Customs, field agents and wholesalers use tools (magnifiers, UV-lamps and decoding lenses) to check these features.

3rd verification level

This level is reserved for in-house testing and laboratories. Specific equipment (such as microscopes, laser projection devices and spectrometers) enables the brand owner to verify his products on a forensic level.

Case study: Pharma Box

The customer gets in contact with the supplier, usually at exhibitions or conferences. Sometimes the contact is established via a third party, advertisements or the supplier’s homepage.

Because of the confidentiality of the projects and topics, it is mandatory to sign a non-disclosure agreement between the supplier and the brand owner. The brand owner then forwards the design/layout to the solution supplier. The design/layout will be analysed and checked if security elements (overt and covert) can be implemented. The supplier also analyses the production process to guarantee the realisation of the security elements on the pharma box.

The supplier provides the brand owner with some suggestions (a mixture of features from the three different security levels) concerning the securisation of the product, or both parties create a new security layout according to the customer’s demands. A reliable supplier will request a test print to check the quality and realisation of the security elements at the authorised printer of the brand owner. The supplier will usually assist the printing house during this test stage. If the brand owner agrees with the result of the test stage, the rollout can commence.