Improving Product Security with Covert Watermarking

4 min read
August 31, 2023
Improving Product Security with Covert Watermarking

In an economy built on commerce and consumption, having a product security strategy has become a necessity for brands across industries. Product security should be a critical concern because it directly impacts a brand’s reputation, customer relationships, and the bottom line. But what is the best way to safeguard your products from counterfeits, theft, and tampering? In the quest for protection, digital watermarking technology is a great modern solution for brands to incorporate into their product security strategy because of its easy implementation and versatility.

To learn more about digital watermarking and how it can better serve your brand, we recently sat down with Dale Jacobs from Digimarc to dive deeper into the benefits of this technology, how it works, and how it compares with other alternatives in the market.

The Benefits of Digital Watermarking Technology

Unlike the visible watermarks you may recall seeing utilized in document security, a digital watermark is different in that it is imperceptible to the human eye. This covert mark (a minor alteration of the printed graphics) can then be detected and scanned by specialized software without consumers or bad actors being aware of its presence.

This technology has many benefits, including:

  • Easy Implementation – Watermarking software integrates with existing packaging design tools and does not disrupt existing print processes. You simply integrate the watermark into the artwork before it goes on the press.
  • Secure Technology – Unlike open-source codes such as QR codes, digital watermarks can only be created with licensed software. This provides a dramatic upside to security since only proprietary software can create and detect the information, completely removing counterfeits from the picture.
  • Covert Protection – Watermarks are imperceptible to the naked eye and are only detectable with activated devices, making them very difficult to circumvent and replicate.
  • Flexible Application – They can be applied to a variety of packaging solutions and can be customized according to your brand’s security and aesthetic requirements.
  • Reliable Results – Even when packages are damaged, watermarks remain easily detectable and are especially resistant to compromise.

In essence, digital watermarking technology ensures the security of products in a simple and straightforward way, making it an appealing solution for brands looking to protect their products throughout the supply chain.

How Does it Work?

With such advantages, you may wonder, how does it work? To better understand the application of digital watermarks, let’s dive into two very important elements of the technology:

Understanding the Digital Twin

Digital watermark technology involves the creation of a digital twin of a physical product. You can think of the twin as a digital representation that holds all sorts of information about its physical counterpart. It includes information such as the composition of the product’s packaging material, the product's ingredients, batch affiliations, where it was recycled, events that happened to the product like if it has been inspected by a brand protection agent, and so on.

Digital Twin_Robot hand and Human hand

The watermark then connects the twin with the product, creating an interactive bridge between the physical and the digital. This process is crucial because on top of improving product security, having a digital twin allows brands to uncover new insights into their products so they can better manage their business.

Applying Digital Watermarks in Print

As we have mentioned, digital watermarks are covert, meaning they are imperceptible and can only be detected by licensed devices or applications. But if they can’t be seen, how do we scan them? Check this out:

Covert watermark_Applying watermark in print

Digimarc’s presentation on their digital watermarking solution. Watch the webinar to learn more.

As you can see, watermarks can be applied to the entire package without impacting the branding, making all types of products easily scannable no matter the size. Unlike other security solutions such as fingerprinting, the application of digital watermarks is also quick and can be completed within days.

Learn how Digimarc’s Digital Watermark Technology Can Help Your Business

Digital watermarking and its advantages make it a great solution for brands looking to protect their products. When compared to alternative technologies, digital watermarks stand out from the crowd with a range of benefits.

Covert watermark_Comparison chart

With its broad applicability and easy implementation, preserving product integrity has never been easier. To learn more about Digimarc’s watermarking solutions, the ways it can help your business, and watch a live demo showcasing how it works, watch our webinar, “Anti-Counterfeiting Goes Covert: Improving Consumer Package Security with Watermarking” presented by Digimarc:

Digimarc Webinar Recording Thumbnail

Ready to explore digital watermarking for your custom printed packaging? Contact our team of expert Packaging Advisors to start today.


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