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Raising awareness of counterfeits among distributors and customers using digital media

Counterfeits are a problem worldwide. That is why Schaeffler has a Brand Protection Team that operates worldwide. Its members come together in regular meetings to discuss their strategy and find best-practice solutions. The objective is to achieve even more successes in the fight against counterfeiters.

Raising awareness among distributors and customers is and remains a central topic here. Schaeffler relies on innovative approaches, such as its “Digital Promoter”, which invited visitors to Schaeffler’s trade show booth at the Hannover Messe 2019 to take a digital quiz and thereby test their knowledge of counterfeit products. There was also an opportunity to discuss the topic in depth with members of the Brand Protection Team who were present at the trade show – an offer that was happily accepted by the visitors.

Schaeffler also presented its OriginCheck app, which offers fast plausibility checks to verify the authenticity of Schaeffler products. Visitors were asked to answer six questions regarding product piracy and to take a picture of a data matrix code that was subsequently checked for its authenticity at the information desk using the OriginCheck app, with a complimentary drink for those completing the task successfully.

“Over the last three years, we have seized counterfeit products worth tens of millions. By using the “Digital Promoter” as a new communication approach, we can successfully address visitors, customers, and distributors in a targeted manner and raise awareness of counterfeits,” explains Ingrid Bichelmeir-Boehn, Head of the Global Brand Protection Team at Schaeffler. According to Ms. Bichelmeier-Boehn, the numerous discussions throughout the trade show week made it clear that product piracy is an up-to-the-minute issue with a great demand for information.

Other new, digital means of communication that could be used to raise awareness of the issue of counterfeiting, such as virtual reality applications, are currently being reviewed.