2 out of 3 Consumers Believe That Brands are Responsible for Protecting Them from Fake Products and Misleading Marketing Content, According to Incopro Survey
Research findings support that protecting brand authenticity is becoming a critical element of consumer engagement
December 16, 2020, LOS ANGELES and LONDON — A new consumer survey released today by online brand protection software provider, Incopro, delves into shopper perspectives on the role that brand authenticity plays in their decision-making process in time for the holiday season and looking ahead to 2021. The findings also have implications for brands in terms of how to market their products in a way that nurtures a sense of the original, builds trust, and retains customers while growing market share. The survey was conducted with 2,000 U.S. respondents in November 2020, in partnership with marketing research firm, Savanta.
“With online shopping at an all-time high, and consumers on the lookout for holiday deals, we wanted to run this survey to take the pulse of where brand authenticity stands with consumers today,” said Piers Barclay, chief strategy officer at Incopro. “Having worked with hundreds of leading consumer brands, we have seen the damage counterfeit goods and other scams can cause. We have also seen the speed at which bad actors, such as counterfeiters, impersonators, and copycats, react to new opportunities that arise as consumers move online. Our research has demonstrated, not only that brand authenticity is vital to consumers, but also that many consumers view this area as the brand’s responsibility.”
The shift online, coupled with minimal or non-existent regulation for e-commerce, search and social platforms, has led to an explosion in fake goods and inauthentic brand experiences. The rise of ‘insta-shopping’ and the ability of malicious actors to replicate complete brand experiences means that trust in brands is more at risk than ever before. While no brand can control all of the content that consumers are exposed to in their name, establishing where to act and how stresses the importance of gaining a comprehensive view of “what’s out there” – from the customers’ vantage point. Incopro’s new consumer survey found that:
- U.S. shoppers continue to run into fakes on the Internet – Approximately a quarter (24%) of U.S. consumers reported that they have been sold counterfeit products. More than a third (36%) have experienced fake ads or social posts, while 41% have come across fake websites and 35% noted fake social media accounts.
- Brand reputations can be significantly impacted when they are targeted by counterfeiters – Three out of four U.S. consumers, (73%) said they would be put off by a brand after unwittingly buying fake products. And 63% said that simply Googling and landing on a fake web page would taint the brand in their eyes. The vast majority (79%) of respondents said it was either very or extremely important for brands to feel real and authentic.
- Consumers believe that fakes are a problem –60% of respondents said that they agree with this statement. 71% are concerned about counterfeit goods feeding into criminal activity.
- Brands are responsible for the public’s protection from counterfeit goods – 69% of consumers surveyed believe that brands are responsible for protecting shoppers from fake versions of their products sold online, and 65% of respondents feel that brands are responsible for protecting them from fake marketing content (e.g., communications, websites, etc.). Additionally, 77% of consumers believe that brands are responsible for reporting fake social media accounts that impersonate them.
- Consumers think that brands can do more about fakes – 71% of consumers believe that brands should be doing more to protect them from impersonating brands and phishing attacks. Only 33% of consumers see fraudulent products and content as an unavoidable part of today’s world.
The survey findings reveal that brands are falling below consumer expectations in dealing with the counterfeit goods problem. They are looking to brands to do more and that may mean extending responsibility beyond legal and deeper into marketing departments.
“Marketers are responsible for consumer engagement and how consumers perceive their brands across every conceivable touchpoint,” added Barclay. “If more marketers become accountable for monitoring and stopping the threats to their brands’ authenticity, we will see them deliver a truly outstanding experience. That’s why we are seeing growth in the number of marketers embracing protection as a new 5th “P” of marketing, alongside product, place, price and promotion.”
The full report, titled, “The Fifth ‘P’ of Marketing”, is now available for download.
About Incopro – www.incoproip.com
Incopro uses data driven intelligence to remove brand misuse online. Over 750 brands use Incopro to protect their consumers and revenues. Customers include Mondelēz International, Dr. Martens, Reckitt Benckiser, Superdry, New Era, Brother, Adobe, and Ted Baker.
Incopro employs over 200 people, who use multiple language skills, data science and machine learning to gather and act upon scalable intelligence data online. Incopro was founded in London in 2012 by CEO and IP lawyer Simon Baggs, & current CTO and system architect Bret Boivin. In May 2018, Highland Europe invested $21m to push Incopro’s expansion into mainland Europe, China and America.
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