The fourth industrial revolution is a new chapter in human development which is characterized by a series of new technologies that bring together the social, political, cultural, and economic world that will bring about change in the way we live and interact with the world around us.
The emergence of digital systems, networked communications, machine learning and large-scale data analysis will impact all disciplines, industries and economies. The Fourth Industrial Revolution’s Technology which includes new advancements such as Artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of thing (Iot), genetics editing, neuro-technological brain enhancement, robotics are changing our ability to create and provide value.
As systems are changing and the world is shrinking, humans have started embracing digital technology which makes work easier and more effective.
However, illegitimate companies have taken full advantage of the advancement in technology, enabling the wide spread of counterfeits across nations. Counterfeiting has been in existence for years and the revolution of technology has made it worst. Technology and the Internet of things (Iot) have also aided the distribution and accessibility of counterfeits in developing countries.
The proliferation of counterfeit goods is having a major impact on consumer buying behavior. Consumers are less likely to buy a product once they notice there is a replica. This has led to great losses for legitimate companies and the reputation of many brands have taken big hits. In order to thrive in the fourth industrial revolution, companies need to get ahead and learn how to limit counterfeiting, build trust, and upgrade their systems in this revolution.
STRATEGIES TO EMPLOY IN ORDER TO SURVIVE COUNTERFEITING IN THE FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
The Fourth Industrial Revolution, finally, will change not only what we do but also who we are. It will affect our identity and all the issues associated with it: our sense of privacy, our notions of ownership, our consumption patterns, the time we devote to work and leisure, and how we develop our careers, cultivate our skills, meet people, and nurture relationships —(Klaus Schwab, The Fourth Industrial Revolution).
However, as these changes occurs, organization’s need to embrace and employ new technology strategies which includes;
- WEB MONITORING: This involves the use of social media and analytical tools in reaching out to your customers as well as aggregation of data. This enables companies to have access to consumer’s opinions and reviews about their brand. Through reviews and reports, they get notified when there is a replica of your products. By knowing this they will be able to take immediate actions to ensure their consumers’ safety and satisfaction and also create awareness about the replica while sharing their distinctive features. With big data analytics, organizations can also monitor their supply chain process and enable visibility and transparency in the process. Generally, web monitoring helps monitor progress, shows weaknesses and helps in engaging customers.
For example, an article published by ADMA (read article here: ) describes how Coca-Cola has been able to thrive using big data for customer’s acquisition and retention. Coca-Cola have been able to earn and build client trust over the years through the use of web monitoring. In 2015, Coca-Cola managed to strengthen its data strategy by building a digital-led loyalty program.
- PROACTIVE REBRANDING: This might be a crucial decision for companies but it is advisable to rebrand in cases of counterfeiting. Rebranding helps companies develop a new, differentiated identity in the minds of consumers. This influences customer’s perception about your brand and gives you an edge against counterfeiters and competitors.
For example; In the early-to-mid 1990s, Apple was suffering from low sales, low consumers interest and competitors. Apple was able to attract a new, diversified customer base and innovate new products. They are one of the best technological industry and best-selling brand across nations having an advantage over others in the industry.
- STANDARDIZED PROCESS OF GOODS DELIVERY TO CUSTOMERS: This process involves analyzing customers demand and predicting sales for the next period so that the gap in the demand and supply system is minimal. Analysis of customer demands through marketing helps in predicting sales. Information acquired is used in the planning and distribution of goods in order to meet up with demands.
For example; A consumer food and beverage company (PepsiCo) have implied a standardized process of delivering goods to customers in order to bridge the gap in demand and supply. They have been able to generate report from their customers through warehouse and POS inventory tracking. The data generated is used to reconcile and predict production and shipment demand.
- BUILDING EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE INTO MANAGEMENT TEAM: Upgrading skills and building team members will help companies thrive against counterfeiting in the fourth industrial revolution. This involves helping team members gain knowledge through seminars/trainings in order to boost their industry knowledge. Change is inevitable and unavoidable, adapting to new technologies (investing in data analysis capabilities) and learning how to use it gives your company an edge over others.
For example; Bonobos (a green house customer company) said TED-style training environment has sharpened employee’s skills and as well increased transparency and cross functional awareness across the company.
As the world evolves through advancement in technology, organizations have realized the need for evolving from a knowing organization to a learning organization. The fourth industrial revolution have the capacity to be transformative for manufacturing industries in an unprecedented way. How do you ensure that your company survive in this evolutionary change? Be a nimble witted business or risk being at loss to counterfeiters.