Snake oil is one of the most maligned products in all of history. Synonymous with cure-alls and quackery, it is a useless rip-off, right? Well, no, it’s actually high in the Omega 3’s, EPA, and DHA.
Snake oil fell from prominence because it was all too easy for charlatans to brew up fake oil and pass it off as the genuine article, with sometimes dangerous outcomes.
Today’s customers are smarter than ever and waking up with ever-evolving knockoffs. We are more aware of fake reviews and fake products. Brands that can prove their products are genuine can command higher prices and forge long-standing customer relationships. This starts with securing your supply chain and beefing up traceability.
Securing your brand
Many roads lead to Rome and no single technology will be the one silver bullet to secure your supply chain. That said, RFID technology is likely to play an important role. RFID allows for multi-read without a line of sight, making it a great choice in both production and warehouse/logistics environments. Perhaps more importantly, RFID tags can be encrypted. This adds protection against would-be cheats. The ability to both read and write provides additional flexibility for tracking and tracing in production.
RFID is not the only traceability solution and smart companies will use a combination of technologies to secure their brands. We’ve seen holograms on baseball cards and QR codes on underwear. We’ve seen authorized retailer programs … and RFID on coffee cups and medical devices. As you think through the various options, it’s worth keeping in mind the following 4 questions:
- Is the technology secure? Does it support modern cryptographic methods?
- Does the solution add value – i.e. improve current processes?
- Is the technology future-proof?
- Is the technology robust?
Any technology that answers yes to these questions will be well-suited to meet this new market. Brands that stay ahead of the curve will grow and those who fall behind the curve risk ending up in the dustbin – right next to the snake oil.