Visual aesthetics and brand protection are not mutually exclusive. In the lead up to PacPrint 2017, PKN spoke to Stephen Pratt, MD of Kurz Australia about a solution that ticks both boxes.
There are a range of options for making products difficult to counterfeit, but maintaining a strong visual aesthetic – especially in the case of premium products – can be a challenge.
“The more expensive the product and the more exclusive the brand, the greater the incentive for counterfeiters,” says Stephen Pratt. “Security elements need to be integrated in such a way that they don't interfere with the brand design, and packaging characteristics must also be taken into consideration.”
“Every brand owner's requirements are different,” he notes. “In developing a detailed product protection solution, it's important to clearly define what level of security is to be achieved, and how the counterfeit protection is to be integrated into the packaging.”
As one of the leading global decorative and functional coatings manufacturer, Kurz has made great strides in developing of a range of counterfeit protection solutions which respond to the requirements of brand owners.
Packaged up under the banner 'Brand Enhancement', the suite of solutions enables label and packaging manufacturers to employ various brand optimisation solutions in a synergistic way.
Brand Enhancement comprises attractive design elements, optical counterfeit protection features, and may also incorporate a web-based product identification, track & trace information and marketing communication portal system called Trustcode.
“The relative weighting of these elements is governed by the marketing strategy of the customer, as the solutions are tailored are tailored to each individual customer and their specific brand image,” explains Pratt.
Each Brand Enhancement solution addresses the following three central aims:
1. To protect the brand's identity
The Trustseal brand enhancement system developed by Kurz includes optical security features that are easy to identify but difficult to copy, according to Pratt “Trustseal acts as an authenticity label that reassures the customer at first sight, and serves as a quality seal that build trust in the brand.
“The labels serve as identification features as well as eye-catching elements that may be completely integrated into the brand design,” he adds.
2. To highlight the brand's aesthetics
The second Brand Enhancement component is brand decoration. Kurz Trustseal offers a range of metallic surfaces, holographic designs, and tactile structures to visually enhance the product. The light reflecting, light diffracting or tactile designs capture the attention of consumers at Point of Sale and enhance brand value.
Pratt says: “With these decorative coatings, we aim to provide our customers with tools to reinforce the brand's design, convey brand messages and evoke an emotional response.”
3. To engage with customers
The third pillar is brand communication. To this end, the product protection and design elements can be combined with an Internet-based communication system called Trustcode to connect the real and virtual worlds.
Pratt explains that this is achieved by linking authenticity labels, brand logos, signets, image elements or barcodes to the Trustcode database.
“This database can be accessed from a desktop or laptop in the office or via a smartphone app developed by Kurz. The customer scans the image or code and can then communicate with the brand in a wide variety of ways.
Depending on the requirements of the brand owner, the customer may be presented with product information, usage instructions, service centre and sales office addresses, online competitions, sales promotions, loyalty programs or social networks.
"For brand owners, this brand communication is an important element for improving customer loyalty. It also allows manufacturers to receive value feedback from their customers, enabling them to engage in a 'conversation' and get to know them better,” Pratt says.
The Trustcode database also stores important information on product movements, which can be accessed by brand owners, distributors and customs officials.
“It provides data that can not only assist with identifying and tracing goods, but also offers an uninterrupted view of the supply chain,” says Pratt.
Kurz will be exhibiting on Stand E62 at PacPrint 2017 taking place in Melbourne from 23-26 May.