FernMark pits tech against counterfeiters with scannable logo

  • Tech
  • March 2, 2016
  • Erin McKenzie
FernMark pits tech against counterfeiters with scannable logo

As counterfeiters step up their game around the world, the need to verify products and their accreditation logos is increasing. So, in a bid to counteract the counterfeiters, and to promote New Zealand and its premium products to the world in a unique way, FernMark has incorporated augmented reality into its logo.

The FernMark, featured on the products of 22 New Zealand exporters, was born out of the increasing demand of consumers to know where products are coming from, according to FernMark Licence Programme marketing manager Sarah Morgan.

When consumers scan the FernMark using the Blippar app they will see a video featuring scenes of wine, food, fish and snow topped mountains as well as the values that New Zealand Story uses to promote the country as a brand.

“It talks about ‘open space’ which gives us room to breathe and think and the land to grow premium products, our ‘open hearts’ as, as people and a population we are all about integrity and trust and then our ‘open minds’, so building on that we are quite an innovative country too,” she says.

Alongside the video, which is a shortened version of the New Zealand Story videos, is a link to the FernMark website, which lists all the licence-holders and includes a description about each of them as well as links to the their websites. If the product is not there, it can be reported as a counterfeit, Morgan says

To qualify for a FernMark there is a two step process, Morgan says. First a brand must demonstrate how connected it is to New Zealand through an examination of its ownership, governance, shareholders and employees.

If it passes that test, it must then show that the product is either grown, made or designed in New Zealand.

The FernMark is not the only packaging accessory which aims to verify New Zealand as a products origin. Trust Codes is using QR codes to share product information with consumers.

Earlier this year, StopPress spoke to Trust Codes CEO Paul Ryan who raised the issue of counterfeiters going one step further and copying the codes as well.

“Even if suppliers of the fake products go to the effort to make their own fake code, their IP address will be exposed, giving the Chinese government the upper hand in their hunt for counterfeiters," he said. "If you want to make up a product and fake Trust Code's barcode and go to all the effort to do that, you’ve still got to host that solution somewhere and you will get caught.”

FernMark is tackling the same issue with the augmented reality capabilities and its unique video which counterfeiters will be unable to copy.

Morgan says the FernMark carries a lot of weight, particularly in the Asian countries as it is the same logo that government departments use, so it was necessary to create a way for people to verify it as well as the products it promotes.

The Blippar app is used by a number of companies around the world, which is why FernMark chose to use it, Morgan says.

She says it ensures consumers can experience the augmented reality feature in all the exporter destinations which include: China, India, the UK, the US and Antarctica.

“We needed the capability that we knew would have that reach around the globe and this app had an established reach with 50 million interactions a year.”

To ensure the video remains secure it cannot be shared on StopPress. If you would like to view it you can download the Blippar app and try the augmented reality for yourself.

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