The story of how overseas knockoffs are destroying a hundred-year-old brand.
Just as you and I are susceptible to identity theft, our brands are open to the same dangers when products and product-lines have no defense against impersonators. But keeping off invaders can be difficult as is the case with the more than 100-year-old Victorinox Original Swiss Army Knife.
Victorinox® recognized that its brand was essentially being stolen under its feet by poorly emulated versions brought in from overseas. The market was being flooded with junk knives that looked like the real thing, but didn't share the quality of Swiss Army knives.
Sure, it's red. It has a white insignia that vaguely represents that of the cherished Victorinox® brand. It even has a can opener. But what really separates it from the Original Swiss Army Knife? It's a low-quality knockoff. And it has the potential to destroy the brand, and steal sales at extremely low price points.
"It's confusing to the public," G.M. Davison reflects. "They think they're buying a Victorinox knife, but they're not."
While the competition was stealing customers at the cost of an iconic brand, a team at Davison was breathing new life into their line to innovate their products, separating Victorinox from overseas fakes. Davison developed a 120db emergency whistle-knife housing. It was engineered to fit over the existing knife frame and fit into the brand model perfectly, offering a simple method of locating hikers and military personnel, as well as providing an alert system for emergency situations.
The whistle housing was a cost-effective bet for Victorinox. Not only did it fit the existing knife in usefulness, it literally fit the existing knife. The company had no need to change its manufacturing process. It simply exchanged one housing for another that had a whistle in it.
Davison furnished Victorinox with a sample and packaging before ending its development method, which eventually led to a patent and an end to impersonators.
"Our final design was unique for patentability and simple for easy manufacturing and consumer friendliness. Victorinox was smart enough to recognize that brand threat and had the will to do something about it. We were glad to help."