• YPB Group is leading the way in smart phone consumer engagement with QR codes
  • Company’s ProtectCode sees first-party data opt-in rates of up to 35%
  • Authentication and brand protection market to reach US$4.3 billion by 2028


Brands seek greater engagement with their end consumers, along with protection of their products from counterfeiting. One ASX company has the technology to achieve both.  

YPB Group (ASX:YPB) develops and sells a suite of technologies covering physical anti-counterfeit solutions along with digital transfer technologies which trigger engagement between brands and consumers.

YPB Connect is the dashboard unifying the company’s products giving brands access to a global view of their products from supply chain to end consumers in live time.

In focus YPB’s proven, trademarked product ProtectCode can easily authenticate fast moving consumer good (FMCG) products, ID documents, pharmaceuticals, and more.

YPB founder, chairman and CEO John Houston says ProtectCode is also used to trigger engagement with end consumers using their smartphone to scan a QR code, known as ProtectCode.

He says brands can turn an invisible consumer into a visible one using the technology building not only trust but also gaining a ROI on their packaging spend.

“The benefit of our technology is it’s smartphone readable, meaning any consumer with a mobile phone can engage with brands that use ProtectCode on their product packaging,” he says.

“This enables consumers to verify the goods and engage with the brand, think of it like turning a brand’s packaging into a mobile billboard.”


Surge in counterfeit products

Progress of 3D printing, artificial intelligence (AI), and other rapidly advancing technologies is leading to a surge in counterfeiting activities and deceptive consumer interactions, causing significant harm to brands across various industries.

MarketsandMarkets forecast the authentication and brand protection market to reach US$4.3 billion by 2028 from US$2.9 billion in 2023, at a CAGR of 8.3% during 2023-2028.

According to the International Trademark Association global sales of counterfeits are growing at 15% each year and reached more than US$1.82 trillion in 2020.

Houston says counterfeit is affecting a range of industries from luxury goods such as handbags and clothing to pharmaceuticals, electronic equipment and parts to name just a few affected.

In September airlines globally were caught up in a dangerous fake parts scandal, which YPB’s technology could help solve.

“Food and medical corporations are also actively striving to safeguard authenticity of their goods and specimens, guaranteeing clarity regarding their origins, ownership, and even optimal storage temperatures,” Houston says.


Dynamic QR codes to learn consumer behaviour

Houston says QR codes, which rose to prominence during Covid-19, can be particularly useful for brands to understand consumer behaviour.

YPB’s serialised, dynamic ProtectCode users recently reports ~42,000 scans per month, highlighting the widespread adoption of smart QR code technology.

Houston says the scans are not just a simple interaction but represent an opportunity for businesses to learn more about their customers and adapt their strategies accordingly.

“With YPB’s serialised dynamic ProtectCode you can see the precise time, date and location of people scanning your products, all placed neatly on a global dashboard,” he says.

“As consumer’s don’t need to opt-in to share this data, you can see exactly where your product is having the most impact and interaction.”

Houston says while first-party data is invaluable, obtaining it can be challenging with consumers increasingly cautious about sharing their personal information due to concerns about privacy and data security.

“Our QR codes (ProtectCode) provide a non-intrusive way for consumers to engage with businesses while maintaining control over the data they share,” he says.

“ProtectCode has seen first-party data opt-in rates of up to 35%, showcasing the immense potential of the technology.”


Ability to target messaging  

Houston says ProtectCode scan represents a data point that allows businesses to understand their consumers better, anticipate their needs, and deliver personalised experiences.

He says businesses can tailor their messaging to each country location, without changing the QR code on the packaging.

“This means someone scanning your product in Italy can receive a different landing page, in a different language to someone scanning in Australia,” he says.

“You can also easily incorporate local customs or references, and use imagery that resonates with the local audience, boosting your opt-in rates and resales.

“Leveraging the knowledge of where your products are most popular can be an asset for your marketing strategy. “


Onwards and upwards for YPB

YPB was founded in 2011 and listed on the ASX in 2014. The company has been rebuilding in recent years with a new management team focusing on commercialising its technology with scalability based on feedback from industry partners.

“We’ve always been ahead of our time in regard to the technology, but it’s also required a heavily capital investment in rebuilding to be a market leader in the segment of consumer engagement and anti-counterfeit,” Houston says.

“We’ve closed non-performing business segments and focused on our core developed IP.

“We’re confident going forward that YPB has never been in a better position with both its technology and leadership team to scale and head towards profitability, delivering value for shareholders.”


This article was developed in collaboration with YPB Group , a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.