Dundee firm hits back at counterfeiters with digital tech

James Buchan with Andrew Chapman, director of sales and marketing at the Keith Brewery. Picture: Contributed
James Buchan with Andrew Chapman, director of sales and marketing at the Keith Brewery. Picture: Contributed
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A Dundee digital marketing agency has rolled out an anti-counterfeit service to help UK exporters avoid having their products copied in the vast Chinese consumer market.

Sales of counterfeit goods worldwide are thought to amount to more than £1.3 trillion and it is estimated that 80 per cent of all fake goods are produced in China.

The growth of online sales has exacerbated the issue, while production of counterfeit goods has become increasingly sophisticated and punishment is rarely severe.

Zudu, which also has an operation in China, has launched an anti-counterfeiting management system using QR codes, tracking software and a promotional strategy to protect brands against fake products, control pricing and streamline distribution. The tracking process involves an immutable labelling system which is said to provide transparency through the supply chain process.

James Buchan, managing director of Zudu, said: “Addressing counterfeiting is a front-of-mind issue for UK exporters and to be successful we believe they need a China specific sales strategy which is consistently monitored to keep ahead of prospective counterfeiters.

“Our system gives back control to the product manufacturer in a market where counterfeiting is rife and transparency is low.”

The firm said that the full system adopts a “multi-faceted approach” using digital marketing to increase brand presence and visibility to the consumer, furthering highlighting the differences between the genuine and fake products.

One of Zudu’s clients is the Keith Brewery, whose ultra-strong Snake Venom beer has won a substantial following in China.

Andrew Chapman, the brewery’s director of sales and marketing, said: “We were aware that there are at least two, and possibly more, fake, copycat products in the market.

“Zudu has helped enormously in protecting the integrity of our brand by providing market intelligence, generating more customer demand through a cohesive digital strategy and setting up the anti-counterfeit solution. A digital presence in the market can prove authenticity for consumers and combat fakes.”