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...turn it into a YoY® TRACKED VALUE CHAIN


Whether it's "organic," "sustainable palm oil," "fair trade cotton," or "responsible fishing" - when shopping, one encounters such claims on products more and more frequently. However, anyone who deals with environmentally friendly and fair product alternatives in their everyday life knows that finding truly sustainable items is not as easy as it seems at first glance.

The main reason for the difficulty of such purchasing decisions: the huge flood of information one is confronted with when shopping. Why is the chocolate UTZ-certified? What is the difference between "Demeter" and "organic"? And what exactly do we mean by "sustainable" and "environmentally friendly"? These are certainly questions that everyone asks themselves regularly when shopping. The problem: The mass of seals, certificates and other sustainability promises makes buying environmentally friendly articles increasingly confusing. In addition, scandals involving supposedly green companies are causing customers to have doubts. Whether environmental sins, data falsification or forced labor - such incidents make consumers more skeptical about sustainable products. So it's no wonder that people are increasingly asking themselves when shopping: Which "sustainable" products can I trust?

For companies, of course, the confusion and the emerging doubts of customers are causing major problems. Solutions to counteract this development are therefore urgently needed. But how can consumers be convinced of the sustainability of an article?

Transparency as a trademark

As a study by inRiver shows, more transparent product information is a good way to increase customer confidence in sustainable products. For 71 percent of the consumers surveyed, detailed information about the sustainability of a product would increase the likelihood that they would buy it. If companies make transparency their unique selling proposition, they can prove to customers that the information they provide is correct and thus set themselves apart from the black sheep on the green market.

Creating transparency with YoY®

Small product packaging, hardly any opportunities for attaching additional advertising materials, and an inattentive clientele - in brick-and-mortar retail, transparent communication encounters a number of challenges. As a company, you are therefore right to ask yourself: How can you efficiently provide transparent information about products?

The most important touchpoint along the customer journey is and remains, of course, the product itself. On the digital path, however, this point of contact with customers often remains unused - even though a number of factors speak in favor of this. On average, users switch on their smartphones around 90 times a day and spend almost four hours a day on their cell phones. It is clear that in order to make effective use of customer contact with products at the point of sale and point of consumption for the presentation of transparent information, the product and its packaging can be enhanced by digital solutions.

With the help of YoY®, this idea can be realized. YoY® enables consumers to scan a QR code on the product packaging using their smartphone and then call up information on the extended supply chain of the respective item in a web app. The special feature: With the help of YoY®, the value chain can be made traceable for each individual product, enabling companies to successfully prove that they actually comply with the stated sustainability promises. This technology satisfies customers' need for information and also establishes a completely new communication channel to consumers, which companies can use in a variety of ways.

Success Story: YoY® pioneer Schwarzwaldmilch

YoY® partner Schwarzwaldmilch has already been successfully using this technology on the packaging of its organic hay milk since fall 2019. For more than a year and a half, the company's customers have thus been informed about the conditions under which the cows are kept on the farms, the date on which the cow is milked, and the day on which the milk is transported to the supermarket. In this way, it can be guaranteed: Where it says "organic" on it, it really is "organic" in it.

Counterfeit products-small

Handbags, jewelry and wines, but also cheap items such as dowels or toothbrushes: nowadays, hardly any product is safe from counterfeiting. Goods from well-known brands in virtually every sector are now affected by counterfeiting.

In 2020, German customs alone seized around 3.7 million counterfeit goods worth just under 240 million euros. Despite the already high number of detected counterfeits, it must be assumed that the majority of counterfeit products still reach the target market.

Accordingly, it is not surprising that counterfeits pose a high threat to companies. A study by Ernst & Young (EY) in cooperation with the Aktionskreis für Produkt- und Markenpiraterie (APM) (Action Group for Product and Brand Piracy) shows that 79 percent of the corporations surveyed fall victim to product copies several times a year. In addition, it was revealed that consumers also come into contact with counterfeits easily: 65 percent of them expressed that they had already purchased counterfeit products.

Counterfeit products: These are the consequences

For manufacturers of genuine goods, product copies generate high sales losses. Not only that: counterfeits jeopardize the image of the companies, as they naturally do not meet the quality standards of the original products. Product expectations are not met, customers are dissatisfied, and the company's reputation suffers.

For buyers of counterfeits, the advantage is only apparent at first glance: plagiarized products are cheap, and consumers are lured in by a supposed bargain.

However, this is at the expense of health and safety. Counterfeit electrical goods do not meet safety standards, copied medicines often contain toxic substances, and counterfeit products are often produced by children. As EY and the APM show, 37 percent of counterfeit buyers surveyed have already suffered a disadvantage as a result of the counterfeit products.

Effective proof of the authenticity of products is therefore urgently needed.

How can the authenticity of a product be guaranteed?

Complete proof of the originality of goods and easy recognition of product authenticity by consumers are often difficult to achieve. Corporations usually try to secure goods with special security features such as warranty seals or holograms.

Some counterfeits can therefore be identified simply by consumers paying attention to the external features when buying a product. For example, missing test marks on electrical goods, inferior packaging or missing warranty certificates can provide decisive clues.

It is precisely with high-priced products that things get difficult: professional counterfeiters can now imitate any physical feature of goods, no matter how individual, which is why the aforementioned strategy reaches its limits.

This is where YoY® Digital Identity - Anti-Counterfeit & Brand Protection comes in. With the help of the YoY® Originality Seal, which combines physical features of a product package with NFC and blockchain technology, the one hundred percent authenticity of a product is guaranteed. This allows customers to conveniently check via smartphone whether the product is actually the one they want, and whether the packaging has been opened before. After opening, the confirmation follows: The smartphone reports that the product has been opened - for the first and only time. The YoY® seal is protected in such a way that it cannot be detached from the bottle and used for counterfeit wine.

In addition to guaranteeing authenticity, the YoY® solution makes it possible to use the contact established with customers for further interactions and to generate data on buyers and the distribution of goods.

Special case of expensive wines: Egon Müller - Scharzhof uses YoY®

The Egon Müller - Scharzhof winery will be using YoY® technology in the future. The wines, which are among the most expensive in the world, will then be secured against counterfeiting.

The wine market is popular for counterfeiters. For example, empty bottles are stolen from restaurants in order to refill them with cheap wine and seal them in a way that appears to be true to the original.

Labels are stolen during break-ins at wineries - with the right label, a bottle of wine is suddenly worth 10,000 euros. Such a burglary was also the trigger for vintner Egon Müller to take a new approach: With the YoY® solution, all his wines will be counterfeit-proof in the future.