Digital Brand Protection: Fingerprinting for Serialized and Non-Serialized Products

Systech’s next-generation platform is a brand protection suite that integrates fool-proof product authentication with serialization, traceability and insight.

Systech, a global technology provider of digital brand protection and authentication, launched its Systech Brand Protection Suit
Systech, a global technology provider of digital brand protection and authentication, launched its Systech Brand Protection Suit

Systech, a global technology provider of digital brand protection and authentication, launched its Systech Brand Protection Suite at PACK EXPO Las Vegas. The platform delivers a fully integrated system to combat counterfeiters, solve product diversion and meet regulatory compliance.

The Suite is designed to seamlessly integrate the key pillars of brand protection—serialization, traceability, authentication and insight—and transform a simple package barcode to give brand owners end-to-end visibility and actionable, data-driven insight about a specific product as it moves across the supply chain.

“As counterfeiters and gray market criminals become more and more sophisticated, traditional measures like holograms and special inks alone are not enough to combat supply chain threats while other technologies like RFID are too expensive for most products,” said Ara Ohanian, CEO of Systech.

Though different parts of the suite can be used individually and can integrate with others’ technology, Stephen Lisa explained, “One of the benefits of a single-stack solution is that we handle all the integration and we don’t have the issues with compatibility. If we upgrade one solution, we know it’s compatible with all of our solutions.”

Fingerprinting without the need for serialization

While the highly regulated pharmaceutical market is an obvious choice for the technology, brand owners can still benefit if they aren’t serializing their products. CPG manufacturers also address issues with counterfeiting.

For a company running 100 million bottles of high-end shampoo, each one will have the same UPC code on it. As good as the print looks on the UPC codes, looking more deeply beyond what the eye can see, there are variations in ink color. “To the eye it looks like a black bar, but there are different layers of black—it’s more of a grayscale from the camera perspective. That’s what makes it a unique print,” said Lisa. Temperature, vibration, humidity, and even the stock it’s printed on all contribute to the uniqueness of each UPC print.

“You’ll never have two variations that are completely identical. By using fingerprinting technology, the brand owner is actually able to identify each and every bottle as unique,” he said. “So in a sense, you don’t have to serialize every item to take advantage of the technology, making it feasible in other markets,” including cosmetics, personal care and wine.

If a bad actor were to take a used product’s packaging, refill it, and put new tamper-evident label on with an identical code, Lisa noted, “with Systech technology, the system could tell it’s not the original print.”

Customer engagement is made possible by the Suite’s offerings, allowing manufacturers to reach their customers when they scan codes through apps. What information is shared with the consumer is up to the brand owner, from authentication information to product instructions, incentives and more.

Since its soft launch earlier this year, the Systech Brand Protection Suite has been adopted by major brands across multiple industries including pharmaceuticals, e- cigarettes, cosmetics and spirits.

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