Amazon’s latest weapon in the Battle Against Counterfeiters is its Transparency Program (“Transparency”).
Transparency allows manufacturers and brand owners to place “Transparency Codes,” which look similar to QR codes, on their products and packaging. Consumers can scan these codes and access data about the product’s origin, including manufacturing location and date.
Program participants have the option of providing even more data to validate the authenticity of their products, such as indicating specific ingredients or materials used.
The consumer experience is essentially seamless—purchasers can either scan the codes with their mobile Amazon app or through the downloadable Transparency app. Upon scanning, the information about your product immediately pops up.
While the intent of this program is to help alleviate the pain of China-based counterfeits, there may be some heavy lifting involved on your end, as the brand owner. Depending on your products, you’ll need to keep the information that is consumer-facing (and accessed via the QR scan) up to date.
According to Amazon, the benefits of the Transparency program go far beyond counterfeit prevention. Participants in the Transparency program also claim to have higher quality product reviews, diminished concerns about unauthorized sellers, and increased consumer trust with their brands.
As all good things, however, Transparency comes at a price. As of right now, manufacturers will be charged per scan, depending on how many products the manufacturer has enrolled in Transparency. Amazon may offer a free term for brand owners, but this will be done on a case-by-case basis. Also, there may be price breaks for larger quantities of scans.
For manufacturers and brand owners battling with hijackers and counterfeiters, this relatively new program is likely a vital weapon to add to the arsenal! You do need to have your trademark registered for Transparency enrollment!
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