Aug 17, 2010

Consumers’ says “be easy with copy”: It’s counterfeiting!

The supply of fake products has been growing dramatically all over the globe. Manufacturers of the original products and government find themselves in a constant battle against counterfeiters.  Preferred targets of counterfeiters are products which carry a high brand image and require a relatively simple production technology such as wearing apparel, consumer electronics, media, cigarettes, watches and toys. Manufacturers of the original products are well aware of these developments and leave no opportunity untapped to limit damages to their company’s brand reputation and profits. 
Everybody display a strong focus on the supply side, while the demand side factor is why consumers buy fake products which are neglected badly. Even if companies and governments manage to restrict the supply of fake products, counterfeiters have consistently demonstrated their abilities to find new ways to serve customers, as long as the demand is still booming. It is therefore necessary to focus more attention on the demand side in order to gain a better understanding of what drives customers to voluntarily buy counterfeits.
Counterfeiting appears in two different forms as deceptive and non-deceptive counterfeiting. Under deceptive counterfeiting the consumer is not aware of the fact that he/she purchases a copy rather than the original product and cannot be held responsible for the act. Second is the non-deceptive counterfeiting where actually consumers intentionally purchase fake products. Before further going deep down in the topic it is crucial to notice that why is actually an original brand stands for consumers? The answer is as Consumers are buying branded products basically for two reasons: physical product attributes and the intangible brand image associated with the product. They communicate meaning about their self-image and enhance their self-concept.
The above is especially true for luxury goods which are bought much more for what they mean than for what they are. The fake product might not fully comply with all the physical attributes the original product offers the image dimension of the original branded product is preserved. However, the price differential is much to the advantage of the counterfeit product.  That is buying fake products means getting the prestige of branded products without paying for it as its original worth. The second one is the price advantage itself. Third one is consumers’ behavior as they see themselves as smart shopper. Forth is people are day by day becoming weak on the ethical grounds. 
To overcome these problems some areas need more attention over the others are as: Communication Campaign, Target consumer lobbying to think positively about attitude, and realize them the difference between the weak shopper & the smart one. At last this menace habit of counterfeiting can only be control if it popularized on the global level than gradually move to local brands. The endorsed model in the branding campaign could be helpful if use rightly to convey the brand message. 

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