Case Study
Fashion
Ralph Lauren
15,000
Counterfeits Detected
99%
Enforcement Success Rate
$1 Million
Value of Counterfeits Removed
Ralph Lauren

Founded in 1967, Ralph Lauren is an American fashion corporation that sells apparel, accessories, fragrances, and home products. Ranging from casual to premium, Ralph Lauren’s best known segments include Ralph Lauren Collection and Polo Ralph Lauren, a couple of the world’s most beloved brands. The corporation has progressively expanded its international reach over the decades, and ever since Ralph Lauren entered the Korean market in 2008, it has thrived domestically from its global brand recognition.
 
Unfortunately, Ralph Lauren Korea’s offline stores underwent revenue cuts after the onset of Covid-19. Nonetheless, the brand pivoted by turning the crisis into an opportunity to pursue online sales more aggressively. Along with the exponential growth of ecommerce following the pandemic, Ralph Lauren proactively partnered with various Korean marketplaces to scale its online business.

The Challenge
Staggering number of counterfeits and knockoffs in online marketplaces negatively impacted consumers’ trust
Manually detecting thousands of infringing listings was consuming in-house resources and staff’s valuable time
Even where a handful of infringements could be identified manually, the absence of strong relationships with local marketplaces and limited understanding of counterfeiters’ infringing patterns resulted in ineffective enforcement

One of the primary obstacles that Ralph Lauren Korea faced in its foray into online channels was the staggering number of counterfeits being trafficked on leading Korean marketplaces. Although the brand had always been aware of counterfeit issues online, the high volume of infringing listings competing with the actual brand on these specific marketplaces highlighted the urgent need to address counterfeit problems before further expansion.

Ralph Lauren Korea initially attempted to address the issue by re-assigning a Senior Manager who previously had a more strategic function to the role of manually detecting and reporting counterfeits full-time. However, despite dedicating eight to nine hours a day to the task, he was able to detect only around 1,500 counterfeit listings per month. Furthermore, even when the counterfeits could be identified, the listings would often sell out before appropriate actions could be taken to enforce them. This manual approach was inefficient, creating limited value compared to the high amount of in-house resources required.

Due to its relatively short history in the online market, Ralph Lauren Korea did not have strong relationships with Korean online marketplaces that are necessary to effectively enforce against infringing listings. Also, limited understanding of counterfeiters’ infringing patterns resulted in ineffective enforcement. Thus, implementing a time-efficient and effective means of tackling counterfeiters arose as Ralph Lauren Korea’s utmost priority—and this is where MarqVision stepped in.

The Solution
Automation of repetitive chores involved in detection increased capacity for high-value, strategic activities
IP enforcement expertise and established relationships with marketplaces increased effectiveness in enforcing online infringements

Ralph Lauren Korea started with a coverage of two leading Korean marketplaces, but was quick to expand to a total of five. The company has seen a significant increase in efficiency thanks to MarqVision’s automation platform, which has freed up capacity for Ralph Lauren Korea to focus in-house resources on high-value creating activities. Now, the Senior Manager only spends 4 hours a month simply reviewing MarqVision’s monitored results, as opposed to 8 hours a day manually detecting and reporting every counterfeit listing.
 
Furthermore, MarqVision’s IP enforcement expertise and pre-existing relationships with online marketplaces have enabled the effective removal of infringing listings. Prior to MarqVision, Ralph Lauren Korea struggled with marketplaces that were uncooperative in processing reports. Now that MarqVision’s service comes with strong connections and IP experts, the client is at last free from the burden of carrying out the manual procedure from detection to enforcement that was ineffective in blocking counterfeit sales on time

The Results
15,000 counterfeits detected
99% enforcement success rate
$1 million value of counterfeits removed

In the first five months, MarqVision was able to successfully detect over 15,000 Ralph Lauren counterfeits across five Korean online marketplaces. At a 99% removal success rate, the total value of counterfeits that MarqVision has removed for the client amounted to $1 million. With the help of MarqVision, Ralph Lauren Korea was able to effectively deal with counterfeits and successfully scale its online businesses in the Korean market. 

“I would recommend MarqVision to any American or European brand that has counterfeit issues in Asia.”

Daiyoung Hwang

Director of Business Development at Ralph Lauren Korea

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