The fashion apparel and luxury goods industry has gone through some remarkable changes in the past five years. From a pandemic-induced, accelerated digitalization of brands and the rapid growth of social commerce to the emergence of re-commerce and a consumer prioritization of buying sustainable products, the industry has completely evolved.
But there is one key step left in the industry’s transformative journey: Integrating products into the digital value chain.
And this is where Certilogo plays a role. The Milan-based technology company, founded in 2006, is a pioneer in connected products. Its digital ID, SaaS web app empowers brands by allowing individual products to be verifiable. Certilogo’s platform, which is already used by over 80 brands, is a game changer as it has revolutionized the relationship a brand has with their customers — which is built on trust, value, and sustainability.
For consumers, a digitalized product is easily authenticated, and opens the door for brands to offer various engaging experiences while also meeting sustainability goals and mitigating counterfeits. As a result, demand for digitalized products is soaring. For its part, Certilogo has seen average yearly growth of 34% in the number of products the company has digitized over the past five years, which accelerated to 54% growth in 2021. The company said consumers are 3 times more likely to connect to a product than they were five years ago.
Some of what sets Certilogo’s consumer web app apart from other solutions is its ease of use and integration capabilities. The web app allows brands to offer fast product authentication of genuine products with a greater efficacy at intercepting fake products than other solutions, and an effortless way to deliver relevant information, compelling content and innovative services, “in moments that matter most, custom designed to match the brand’s own style and tone of voice,” Michele Casucci, founder and CEO of Certilogo noted.
Certilogo creates an intimate and authentic connection between the product, brand, and consumer. The technology transforms the customer experience with a brand while bolstering trust and brand loyalty. Moreover, it creates a narrative that remains permanently attached to that product — whether it is resold or passed down from generation to generation, thereby increasing the value of that product.
Other benefits for brands include an affordable way to digitalize products, which essentially turns individual items into “secure smart assets” that are easily integrated into the omnichannel journey of connected customers and traceable throughout their circular product lifecycle.
So, why does this matter? Think of a luxury item, say a watch. When that watch is sold, and leaves the store, that’s the last a brand will see of it. But with a digital ID, analogue products are digitalized, and transformed into a connected authentication, engagement, and services platform. “Smart-connected brands gain the advantage of remaining in constant contact with consumers and their products along the supply chain, throughout all distribution channels, beyond the point of sale until the end-of-life regeneration of the product,” Casucci said.
The value proposition for brands also has another dimension. Certilogo’s technology enables brands to identify and associate unclonable physical products with unclonable digital products. Brands can offer consumers digital experiences with their purchases — such as tickets to events or backstage content, for example. Or they can meta-port their purchases to be worn in the metaverse. And ownership of NFTs could be later exchanged for access to purchase exclusive physical products. The possibilities are endless.
And aside from a digitalized and enhanced post-purchase experience, consumers are also protected from unwittingly buying fake products since they can instantly check the product’s authenticity. Meanwhile, the brand benefits from crowd-sourced product monitoring and can also use the data generated from the authentications to act against counterfeiters as well as control overproduction, grey market distribution, and licensed products. It’s a win for brands and their customers as well as consumers in the secondary markets.
It’s noteworthy that the versatility of Certilogo’s solution wasn’t part of the initial mission. “We originally set out to overcome the challenge of how to easily and reliably authenticate products, to protect the consumer and reduce counterfeits. As this technology has become a basic hygiene factor for connected product strategies, our mission has evolved to leverage that technology to help brands build the most trusted, engaging, measurable and sustainable relationships with consumers through their products. Empowering the product to convey, extend and create new value for brands and consumers, such as when the product is resold, where products that can certify genuineness retain for more of their value,” said Rossella Munafò, head of sales and marketing at Certilogo.
Another key part of the value proposition for brands and consumers is the role the technology plays from a sustainability perspective.
“Secure and verifiable connected products benefit the planet too,” Casucci said. “Not only by helping to reduce harmful counterfeit products, but by creating trust through transparent traceable sustainability information, and making the product easier to repair, resell and recycle, extending product life and favoring greater circularity.”
This past fall, Certilogo released the results of a consumer survey that revealed the importance of offering sustainable products. Researchers at the company found that the sustainability of a product directly influences the purchase decision. In its survey, Certilogo found that 70% of respondents “consider the sustainability of their purchases to be important or very important,” the authors of the report noted.
The research also showed that 93% of consumers “find products that offer sustainable services useful, with 1 in 5 finding green certifications as being most useful.”
The report concluded that knowing that a product is authentic and legitimate is fundamental to the consumer — especially younger generational cohorts such as Gen Z and Millennials. Moreover, product authentication is considered by these consumers to be the most useful sustainability feature of connected products. The survey showed that 70% of respondents “regard product authentication as being the most important ‘green’ service.”
So, what’s next for the industry? And for Certilogo? Casucci sees boundless opportunities and is inviting brands to create a bright and connected future. “While we don’t yet know exactly what the future of fashion will look like, we only have to look at what happened when the products of the music and film industry were digitized, or the way self-driving cars are predicted to revolutionize both the driving experience as well as the auto industry itself, to know we should expect radical change,” Casucci said. “Certilogo will empower brands to invent that future, and we are confident it will comprise exciting experiences for the consumer, new business opportunities for brands, and be whole lot better for the planet. Considering the pressing nature of climate change, speed is of the essence, so Certilogo’s aim is to democratize connected product technology and accelerate its adoption. We are doing that by making the technology as affordable and accessible to adopt for all brands, regardless of their positioning, size, or digital maturity.”