It’s been said for a number of years that Visual-AI is changing the game when it comes to brand protection. As technology advances, so too do the ways in which Visual-AI can be used to protect a brand. From logo detection to visual search, it’s understandable that more brands are looking to Visual-AI as a method for protection against infringement, counterfeiting and misrepresentation.
In this article, we’ll take a close look at the five key benefits of using Visual-AI in Brand Protection.
The EU suggests that one of the best practices to adopt when combating counterfeit sales is to stop it at the source.
Logo and Mark Detection gives organisations the ability to automatically analyse marketplaces for counterfeit products purporting to be genuine articles under their brand. For example, Nike can use this Visual-AI technology to detect exact or similar replicas of their main Nike swoosh, as well as subsidiary logos such as the Air branding, the Jordan icon and the Converse logos.
With this Visual-AI technology brands of all sizes can analyse hundreds of millions of images per day, then alerting any potential counterfeits on online marketplaces. This gives them the speed and power to drive timely issuing of takedown notices where their logos, markings and distinctive designs are being used without permission.
With brand counterfeiting being an enormous problem, not just for brands, but in the realm of child labour laws, worker health and safety and the environment, the impact of this benefit widespread.
While counterfeit clothing, accessories and footwear are problematic for the respective brands, the impact of fake cosmetic and pharmaceutical products can be dangerous and even fatal to users. And that is not an overstatement.
The dangers of counterfeit pharmaceutical products, or indeed the illicit selling of genuine pharmaceutical products, include both physical and mental illness as well as possible death.
Less obvious, perhaps, are the perils involved in counterfeit cosmetics, where products are produced and sold under the name of well-known make-up and perfume brands. Many of these products have been found to contain arsenic, lead and even, brace yourself, faeces. As with preventing the sale of counterfeit clothing, putting a stop to the sale of cosmetics and pharmaceuticals goes beyond brand protection.
Visual-AI can help these companies and their protection partners to combat counterfeits of this nature by scanning for product-IDs, known discrepancies with logos, product volume, size or weight markings that are not sold by the genuine brand. The smallest difference between a genuine article and a counterfeit can often go unseen by the naked eye, but Visual-AI grants the power to see these small details. This is possibly one of the most important benefits of using Visual-AI in brand protection.
People often think of counterfeiters as back-street amateur organisations, but in many cases, they are high-tech and very professional organisations. Manufacturers will go to great lengths to use devices like holograms on their products. However, counterfeiters will often even go so far as to copy the holograms with fake versions, that they then place on their fake products.
To the human eye, the hologram looks genuine, but not to Visual-AI!
Using a simple app on a smartphone, anyone can scan the hologram and validate it as genuine or identify that it’s a fake, with absolutely zero training. This can allow customs officials to stop fake products entering a country, it can allow warehouse workers and retailers to check products as they come into their warehouses and stores. It can even be used by the end customer to confirm that a product they have purchased is genuine.
Manufacturers can also integrate unique product IDs into the holograms, allowing things like warranty activations and other consumer benefits with a simple scan.
Custom print companies are lucrative businesses, however, they run a high risk when it comes to copyright infringement which can incur enormous costs. Despite explicit terms and conditions, many end customers upload designs that include copyrighted imagery or trademarked logos. This puts the website, not the third party, at risk of litigation at the hands of some of the world’s best-known brands.
Compliance teams can only catch so many infringements by manually scanning uploads. A scalable Visual-AI solution, however, can automatically scan uploads, match them to a library of protected images and either immediately remove them or flag them to the compliance team for manual inspection. This has the potential to save custom print companies millions in legal costs.
Brand protection isn’t just about stopping counterfeit sales, it can also be about preserving your brand image. Using Visual-AI to monitor social media and other online sources for appearances of your brand is an excellent way to prevent your brand from being misrepresented online. Brand managers know all too well how easy it is for a person to appropriate a logo or slogan and misrepresent it.
This could be mocking up tweets to make it seem as though the brand said something outrageous, to someone aligning the logo with something inappropriate or controversial in an edited image. We don’t need to tell you that it would be impossible for a human to analyse millions of instances where a brand might appear. Visual-AI has the ability to scan images on public social media accounts in a flash, flagging potentially damaging misrepresentations.
There is no denying the many benefits of using Visual-AI in brand protection. It enables the people behind brand protection operations to carry out their jobs to near perfection. And the most exciting thing? As Visual-AI continues to grow and enhance, so to will the benefits it can have for those working in brand protection.