Bye 2020! - The year of globaleyez in review
2020 has been an unusual year for the whole world. With the COVID-19 pandemic hitting us hard in early spring, many people found their lives turned upside down in a matter of days. Had this happened a few decades earlier, before the internet, the changes would have been even worse. So, in a way we’re lucky that in 2020, we’re a lot more connected than we were in, say, 1980.
However, even so, people and businesses still have to face a lot of hardships because of the coronavirus and the restrictions aimed at controlling it. According to the World Bank’s recent report, the global economy is projected to shrink by 5.2% in 2020.
As physical retail shops were forced to close due to lockdowns across the globe, people increasingly turned towards online shopping, accelerating the already existing trend of diminishing physical retail and growing E-Commerce. But with the boom of online trade come hidden dangers as well. Like the increasing number of scams and counterfeits.
2020 - the year of scams?
It certainly feels like 2020 cheated us out of a thing or two. But many people were literally victims of counterfeiters and scammers. According to The Global State of Scams 2020 report issued by our partner Scamadviser, the amount of online scams rose by a staggering 40% this year.
Scamadviser’s study found that the 10 most popular scams are indeed age-old ones, or new variants of those. Only two scam types are somewhat related to the global pandemic situation.
For example, the advance fee scams (aka a Nigerian prince who will leave you his inheritance if you send a little money for postage) are still going strong in 2020. So are pyramid schemes (fake investment opportunities with unreal returns), dating scams (fake profiles professing their love in exchange for costly gifts or dating site membership upgrades), and tech support scams (a pop-up window informs you of a “virus” infection, with a number to call to solve the “problem”).
Specifically cruel are the COVID-19 related scams, including the increased work-from-home “opportunities”. These were well-known before the coronavirus, but thanks to the economic downturn, many people have lost their jobs. This means that scammers have a significantly larger group of victims to prey on, as desperate people who just lost their jobs would grasp at opportunities to find a source of income. But the work-from-home scams don’t offer real opportunities; in fact, they’re just a scheme to cheat money out of people for “membership fees” or app upgrades.
From an online brand protection point of view, two types of scams are particularly harmful for brands and consumers alike. First of all, when ordering from a distant marketplace, many consumers fall victim to counterfeits and low quality products.
Counterfeits are damaging for a brand because of the significant loss of revenue, and an even more devastating loss of image and prestige. Not to mention the dangers a cheap, bad quality counterfeit poses to consumers. This means that with the rise of online shopping, brands need to be pro-active when it comes to online brand protection and take up the fight against counterfeits.
Secondly, phishing scams constitute risks not only for individuals but for brands as well. The stealing of private and confidential data is a big problem in itself, but sometimes this data theft even results in copyright infringement. When an unauthorized person or company uses your brand imagery, it harms both your brand and your consumers.
2020 has been an exciting year for us. As every other company, we faced previously unknown situations that we had to solve quickly and effectively. Luckily, we already had a bit of a head start.
About a year ago, globaleyez decided to become more sustainable. We introduced new procedures and technology to help us reduce our paper consumption and operate on a more sustainable basis.
This means that when the first COVID-19 lockdown hit in March, we were able to fully function from Day One without actually being present in the office. What a great example of the unforeseen benefits of a sustainable workplace! The only real downside to not seeing each other every day is, well, not seeing each other every day. But we’re making sure that despite working from home, we still don’t feel isolated.
Even with the coronavirus running amok in the world, counterfeiters don’t rest and so neither can brand protection experts. In 2020, we helped many clients protect their brands from counterfeiters, copyright infringers, grey marketers, and much more. One of our bigger projects even became national news when the German edition of Technology Review featured a case study on how we helped Audi combat counterfeiters in China. What an exciting day that was for us!
And, last but not least, globaleyez closed the year with the release of a new website. We worked very hard on it and were proud to present it to the world. A sleek, flat design, and informative content make our new site user-friendly and easy to navigate. With the new site we aim to create an information hub on brand protection, allowing people a peek behind the curtain at globaleyez.
What our team members think of 2020
My favourite part of 2020? Finding out that in a year of turmoil our work and solutions stay relevant for our clients and are an integral part of facing up and coming challenges in brand protection and distribution control. And that working with great people actually makes us a great place to work.
A company is only as good as the people behind it. We’re really lucky in that regard: globaleyez has an excellent team that is ready to take on any challenge quickly, effectively and, if needed, with a healthy dose of humour.
globaleyez is like a family for me. I love going to work and I know I can count on my colleagues, both on their brand protection knowledge and their friendship.
According to Marvin, 2020 was great for improving work processes and increasing our efficiency. Besides the general digital work processes, we continuously improve our brand protection software tools. Together with IT, Marvin has worked on fine-tuning infrimage, our image monitoring tool: “infrimage was my first software project, and I enjoyed how we increased its functions and created a better user interface.” Both team members and clients appreciate the upgrade.
In 2020 I got to work with clients on many exciting projects. One of my favorite parts was uncovering a large counterfeit market in China that poses real dangers for our client, Festo. I can’t wait to find out more about it in 2021.
I loved how our team pulled together this year. My favourite part was definitely the close cooperation amongst us that led to the removal of almost 2,000 fake Audi Sport T-shirt listings from textile platforms.
Another one of Felix’s favourite projects was for another client that required close to 100 test purchases in only two weeks. And all this in the summer, when everybody else was off on holiday. That required some serious coordination skills!
For me, one of my smallest project is the most exciting. I’m working on domain monitoring for one of our clients, and I love how I get new and fascinating insights into this field of brand protection.
Philip started at globaleyez this March, right before the first COVID lockdown. This meant that his onboarding happened entirely online. Despite the less-than-ideal circumstances, Philip quickly became a valued member of our team at globaleyez.
I enjoyed gaining information from clients: what they like about globaleyez, and areas where we need to improve. I also loved working on the new website. It’s simple, but full of information which is important for existing and potential clients.
2020 was a very special year for me. I started at globaleyez and met many great new people. I participated in many exciting projects and learned a lot. I am happy to be part of this great team and am excited about what 2021 will bring at globaleyez.
I really enjoy brainstorming and implementing different ideas, especially those that are a bit out of the box. I love how we share knowledge throughout the team and last but not least, I have the chance to improve my German!
Thanks to intensive, strategic planning and a focus on Tooling, many of our work processes are now based on self-developed tools and automatic data processing.
Since our paperless office was already up and running in 2019, we were able to continue providing our services as usual when the pandemic restrictions hit. In 2020 we steadily optimized our tooling and our services for this.
Despite the pandemic, 2020 was a rather good year for me at globaleyez. With the flawless switch to remote work and work from home, I had no trouble continuing my job during the first lockdown. Many team meetings and fun hangouts helped the team to stick together.
And what about 2021?
As we’ve done so far in every new year, globaleyez plans to further develop as a brand and company in 2021. We’ll continue to monitor economic and social trends that have an impact on brands and develop our comprehensive solutions for online brand protection accordingly.
We wish that all globaleyez people and customers stay safe and sound and overcome the second COVID year in good health and condition.
I hope that in 2021, work at globaleyez continues to be just as effective and fun as in 2020.
In 2021, I want to continue providing highly tailored brand protection services to our clients. I hope we can further increase the usage of image recognition and open source intelligence (OSINT) in our services.
In 2021, I want to keep learning from different projects and perhaps to dive a bit more into programming.
I hope that we’ll all stay healthy and happy in 2021. I wish for us to continue to work together as a team, keep helping our amazing clients, and probably win new ones as well.
One of my most exciting projects for 2021 is the development of a portal that would give our clients an even better and more transparent insight into our work.
In the upcoming year we will work on providing more detailed insights and improving the customer experience for our valued clients.
In 2021, I look forward to further optimizing our website. I’d love to see a more comprehensive, more mature look with real images, more icons, and more muted colors.
For me, 2020 was a year where I really felt I was becoming a brand protection expert.
Finally, we’d like to take this opportunity to thank our valuable team members for their amazing work amongst the challenges of 2020. We’d also like to thank our wonderful clients for trusting us with all their brand protection needs. We look forward to another year of great cooperation.
On that very positive last note about 2020, we wish you all a very happy new year!