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Cambridge Satchel Company highlights key brand protection trends for luxury goods

Written on 17th Feb 2014, by Andrew Gilbert

A recently publicised case study of The Cambridge Satchel Company’s brand protection strategy caught my eye as I think it demonstrated a number of the key trends and drivers for high-end luxury brands.

The Cambridge Satchel Company has rapidly grown into an international fashion brand, selling its products in over 120 countries. However, the company has to a certain extent become a victim of this success – attracting the attention of ‘brandjackers’ and criminals attempting to make illegal gains.

Selling exclusively online and in prestigious luxury shops the company recognises the growing importance of the whole ‘buying experience’ when it comes to high-end fashion. So spurred into action to protect its revenue and its customers, The Cambridge Satchel Company instigated a multi-layered brand protection strategy.

Although it was primarily focused on tackling unofficial online outlets the strategy proved very successful – nearly £1.2 million worth of product was removed from illegitimate online marketplaces in the first six months.

It’s a good news story, and a great example of the success of well considered security measures. But it also highlights how the challenge and complexity of brand protection is increasing, as the focus of anti-counterfeiting efforts widens from the products, to incorporate the wider ‘consumer experience’.

And of course online is only one part of the picture. Online brand protection must go hand-in-hand with physical anti-counterfeiting and anti-diversion strategies.

Nonetheless, The Cambridge Satchel Company case study makes for interesting reading. As always though, brands of all kinds need to ensure they are implementing the highest levels of protection at every stage of the supply chain – from the products themselves at the point of manufacture, through the supply chain and then finally at the point of sale, whether that is online or from a physical retailer.