What makes your brand worth counterfeiting?

What makes your brand so irresistible to counterfeiters?


The illegal trade of counterfeited goods is constantly on the rise, and a recent study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has estimated that it is costing the global economy a whopping €250 billion in revenue per year.


The vast majority of counterfeit goods are manufactured in China, and it is also estimated that American brands are the most popular ones amongst the trade of fake goods. While it is true that any product on the market can be practically copied, from clothes to food, electronics, and even jewelry, there are some brands that are more popular than others amongst counterfeit manufacturers.

Brand is Power

One of the greatest measure of success for any product is the power of the brand name and how recognized it is. If we take shoes as an example, simply think of the first five brands that come to your mind, and these would probably be the most counterfeited in the world.

The reason for this is an obvious one – popular brands do not solely rely on recognition, but more importantly enjoy a strong foothold in the global market. As such, anyone that can create convincing copies of these brands would automatically gain access to a large part of the market that is already looking for a much more expensive original.

Copies are easy to manufacture

Despite the fact that several original branded products can be quite expensive, there is a significant amount of them that are produced with cheaper materials. In fact, China remains one of the most popular locations for American retailers and manufacturers to source their goods or parts from.

As such, it is quite a natural conclusion for knockoffs to be also mainly produced in China and then shipped to Western markets for consumption. It might also be the case that some manufacturing factories producing original branded products may be indirectly fueling the rise of counterfeits of the same brand.


Factory workers could have access to product details of the originals, as well as the machinery used, which can be used to create copies. And since both original and copied products are sourced from the same country, differences can sometimes be difficult for consumers to spot.

Which brands are the most copied?

Some of the most copied brands in the illegal trade of counterfeit goods will always be luxury goods. As already indicated above, such brands generally attract a good price, and good fakes can also fetch a great price if they are very convincing. Moreover, some consumers would actually purchase a cheap knockoff knowingly in order to get to experience owning an imitation of a luxury item that would be way beyond their budget.

In 2013, figures released by US Customs showed that handbags and wallets were the most popular counterfeit goods, making up around 40% of the total confiscated items. Second to these were watches and jewelry at 29%, followed by consumer electronics at 8%, clothes and accessories at 7%, and footwear at 3%.

Concluding section

Counterfeit branded goods still pose a large problem for retailers in the global market. Despite the fact that such fakes can be seen as a form of indirect promotion that increases the reach of the brand, they ultimately still detract from company sales. In addition, such copies also cheapen the brand and make it less appealing to potential consumers that might be vying for an original luxury item.

Consumers should always buy branded goods from trusted retailers, and if this is possible they should be aware of how they can spot good fakes. If you have a popular brand out on the market, odds are that someone out there has already created a counterfeit of it.