Counterfeit products have the potential to not only erode turnover, but also the reputation of a manufacturer’s products. For this reason Shimano is taking its fight against copycats to the next level.
As a dominant supplier of components, Shimano has been facing this issue for many years – from copies that are hard to notice to blatant counterfeits with the misspelling “Shimona”. Just as with any other brand, these counterfeits are likely to cost some sales, and more importantly these fake parts are a potential safety hazard.
To fight the counterfeiting of its products and those copycats looking to make a business from doing so, Shimano has announced state-of-the-art technology to reassure consumers. Starting with its clipless pedals and the matching shoe plates, the Japanese components maker is going to add QR codes to the original packaging. These QR codes will be part of a sturdy and safe, double-layered smart label. As for the original packaging, Shimano will be opting for materials that are both eco-friendly and difficult to counterfeit.
Another important element of Shimano’s initiative against fake products is a smartphone app that first will be launched in China and Japan. The main purpose of this app is to cross-reference the QR code’s information with databases on Shimano’s legitimate production. Within moments of scanning the QR code on the packaging you are told whether you’re dealing with an authentic Shimano product or a counterfeit. This technology will first be rolled out in Japan and China. For the moment, Shimano has not disclosed if it plans to expand this initiative to other markets or product categories.