Branding has been the veil of every company through which it told its story. Branding has been a part of a business story even before people understood the meaning of a brand or had the formal contracts surrounding one.
Before technology took over the business world, business was run mostly on trust. Everyone has experienced their grandmother’s tales of how milk from ABC store was better than XYZ store because ABC store did not add water in cow’s milk. Branding is all about trust and quality. People in business promise a certain quality of product and an assurance that it would deliver the same quality the same way. Consumers buy into this assurance and by buying regularly and giving it a name, they create a brand. A brand is not created by a company alone. For a brand to survive, it needs the consumer’s loyalty.
The Misuse of Brand Name
Branding has gone through a lot of evolution over the years. From being a word-of-mouth assurance it had gone onto secure itself with laws and copyrights. This need arose because of the misuse of one brand name by another. It is natural for entrepreneurs to want to win in a competition and in this attempt when Entrepreneur A saw that entrepreneur X sells better because of his/her product name, entrepreneur A too changed his product name to what entrepreneur X was using.
How did it affect business and consumer mentality?
Well, entrepreneur A gained some popularity because of the change. Entrepreneur X lost out on some trusted consumers. Consumers who brought a product trusting entrepreneur X’s quality felt cheated that it did not match the expected standards. This rose the need to protect one’s brand name. This gave rise to the beginning of brands as we know it. Rules and legality arose to preserve the authenticity of a name.
The world of Brands went on quite well with the legal protection that entrepreneurs had. People all over started to associate a certain quality to a certain brand and expect the same from it all the time.
The Emergence of Fraudulent Brands
The faith that people had on a brand gave it a name that was never questioned. The faith of the consumers said it all.
The new found unmovable faith that some brands received made them believe that they are beyond questioning and they can sell whatever they please in the brand name without anyone ever raising a question. This resulted in the middlemen and also some entrepreneurs to change the quality of products to save money.
For example, we are all aware of the Tesco scandal where the company sold horse meat in place of beef burgers. Interestingly this was not detected even when there were food standard agencies and European Directives, certificates and unannounced inspectors on factory visit. Tesco lost an amount of £ 300 million because of the scandal. This is but one example of how trusted brands sometimes fail to keep up with the faith that they are bestowed with.
Blockchain Technology to Replace Branding Credibility
This brings us to the stage where people because of fraudulent experiences with a brand had been seeking to have something more than documents to assure its authenticity. Consumers have been losing their faith on brand names because of experiences where their faith had been toyed with to save the company a couple of dollars.
The Blockchain Technology seems to be the answer that consumers and entrepreneurs all over are looking at. A company is not always to blame. Sometimes, it is also the middle man who intentionally or unintentionally ends up compromising on a brand quality. So for consumers and entrepreneurs alike there has been an urgent need to replace brand credibility with something more concrete and reliable.
Branding is made of a supply chain that has many agencies in between. A little carelessness in any of the agency that make up the whole can lead to a damage of reputation that might take years to rebuild. It is an industry wide problem that is not limited to a company alone. The Tesco issue is one of a kind where some investigators decided to do a DNA test on the meat. But it is not possible to do the same for all products. This is where Blockchain Technology can help. The Blockchain Technology creates a digital record that is connected to a product that is going through the agencies.
For example, the digital record of the product is tied to the real world product. This digital record as it uses cryptography, it is inviolable. The Blockchain Technology can be used like businesses use packing notes that accompanies a consignment of goods. This would help businesses to prevent supply chain frauds from happening. The Blockchain records, unlike the written or digital records cannot be changed without it showing up as being changed. The cryptographic strength of the record would flag any change in record as a hacking attempt.
For example suppose there is a consignment of olive oil to be coming from Italy. If someone tries to switch the lorry with a lorry carrying some different quality oil from Greece, it would show up a different route on the system which would naturally be flagged on the system. The smart contract of the consignment would want the lorry to be coming from Italy and a fault in the origin would automatically alert the smart contract before completing.
The Blockchain Technology promises a lot when it comes to authenticating a brand value and keeping the trust of consumers alive. This can also help entrepreneurs from any surprise loss of brand value caused by an agency in the supply chain. The Blockchain Technology as a replacement for branding trust has become a very important topic in the business world. It is a point of discussion that would soon become a streamline process in the business world. Branding would soon be replaced by the security that the Blockchain Technology would provide to business.