With London Fashion Week officially kicking off tomorrow, online counterfeiters are poising themselves to emulate the hottest trends and latest designs debuting as part of this weekend’s Spring/Summer 2017 collections.
The 64th edition of the internationally acclaimed fashion week promises to be one of the biggest ones yet, featuring 83 designers and more than 150 shows. And with so many new brands taking to the catwalk for the very first time, including the likes of Nasty Habit, Ashley Williams and Jigsaw, the potential for risk is high.
In the age of digital, it's becoming easier and easier for the online counterfeiters to create and post fake designer goods on the web. And if the online furore that surrounded the last edition of LFW in February is anything to go by, where organiser's reported there were 503,404 mentions of #LFW on Twitter (up 44% on 2015), with 113,348 images tagged #LFW on Instagram, we can be in no doubt that there is enough noise happening online to enable counterfeiters to go unnoticed if it's not being policed properly.
With the future of modern luxury marketing relying in a large part on social media, there is an urgent need for the industry to start getting serious about combating fake designer goods online if it wants to succeed.
So Just How Bad Is Online Counterfeiting For Luxury Brands?
Let’s be under no illusions; online counterfeiting is a very real problem for the luxury industry.
In June, the World Economic Forum identified over 20,000 Instagram accounts that posted more than 14 million photos of counterfeit goods. About 20% of the Instagram posts, it said, related to fashion brands featuring illicit and counterfeit items. Shockingly it reported that $29 billion was being removed from the luxury goods market each year, resulting in almost a 10% decrease in sales.
As brands devote considerable time, money and effort to develop luxury products; counterfeit goods and criminals undermine this hard work by creating an exact replica item and selling it for sometimes a tenth of the price. However, it’s not just an impact on sales.
By imitating the original, using a shoddier product (which sometimes buyers don’t even realise is a counterfeit product), counterfeiters are corrupting the reputation of the brand and devaluing luxury products on a whole.
What Can Luxury Brands Do To Combat This?
Those of us working in the industry have a responsibility to ensure new collections from this weekend’s London Fashion Week and more generally are protected 24/7 online.
According to the insights from our internal Crisp Lab, counterfeiters are on average more likely to post during the night (6pm – 9am), with the majority of those taking place just after midnight. This means luxury brands are most at risk out-of-hours.
Whatever the time, brands need to act quickly and accurately to identify fake counterfeit sites and take down any mentions that appear on your social media channels.
Working with some of the world’s leading luxury brands in the business today, we are frequently exposed to these issues first hand. We know counterfeit goods can lead to a loss in revenue and can severely impact your brand’s reputation.
Through our moderation and monitoring services across numerous social media pages and across the wider web, we can find mentions of your brand online, making it easier to spot fake sellers and allowing you to handle any PR crisis as it happens in real time.
To find out more about moderating your social media accounts and monitoring the wider web for counterfeiting issues, click here to talk to one our social risk experts today.