Better Safe: Proven Brand Protection Tactics
The importance of brand protection couldn’t be more apparent. An OECD report stated that counterfeit goods reached 3.3% of the overall global trade, and in 2020, U.S. Customs seized $1.3 billion worth of counterfeit products. Phil Lewis, Director General of the Anti-Counterfeiting Group, stated that “The counterfeiters exploit every possible avenue to profit.“
Still, studies show that many brand owners are unaware of the above stats and only 10% of the threats their brand should be protected from are visible to them. Meanwhile, scammers work hard to deceive customers into buying what may seem like an original, genuine product.
The proper protection cycle includes detection and removal of online trademark infringements, counterfeit sales, brand abuse threats, and more across a long line of internet platforms. To win the critical battle against counterfeiters, businesses must adopt work methods that prove to be effective.
Brand protection tactics that really work
A company’s brand protection strategy begins by gathering all the necessary information and analyzing it to properly assess the threat and uncover every relevant vulnerability. Following our brand protection strategy, we then break it down into tactics that really have an impact. This isn’t an amorphic plan, but one that should be based on the following KPIs:
- Website takedowns: This metric measures the brand protection program’s efficiency by tracking the percentage of websites offering counterfeit goods that were successfully detected and removed. With our technology we are able to proactively takedown these websites, differentiating us from other solutions.
- Marketplace listings: Not all counterfeit merchants operate via owned websites, and there are other channels they can exploit, such as marketplaces and social media networks. The KPI measures the number of such listings that were discovered and taken down, with the aim of reaching at least 95% over time.
- Unauthorized sales and products: When scanning prominent marketplaces such as Amazon, we ideally want to see a distinct drop in counterfeit goods. This would indicate that sourcing and offering such items has become more difficult for scammers.
- Impact speed: While some brand protection tactics take time to execute, the period until brands manage to reach substantial impact should be as short as possible. Impact is considered sufficient when it directly relates to the company’s bottom line and ROI.
- Grey market: This refers to products being manufactured with the brand’s knowledge and consent, but then being sold outside the original manufacturer’s approved channel. The import and sale of such goods is unsanctioned, however not illegal and must be monitored.
- In addition to owned and external channels, brands should monitor 3rd party compliance to ensure that their business partners are aware of the risk and remain alert for unauthorized sales and infringements. For example, brands should check to see if websites implement adequate security measures such as SSL technology, to protect customers from attacks involving malware.
Solid brand protection delivers results
There are many benefits to a solid brand protection approach. Detecting and taking down counterfeit scams can achieve the following:
- Boosting direct website traffic: Traffic will rise while you’re investing the same resources because scammers are a form of competition in that sense, and removing them will lessen the chance that potential shoppers searching for your products reach counterfeit products.
- Revenue increase: Once again, removing competing counterfeiters will direct more customers to your channels, increasing your revenue.
- Fewer customer complaints: Consumers who have mistakenly purchased a second-rate counterfeit product often leave complaints, not realizing they did not buy a genuine product, but hold the original company responsible.
- Improved customer trust: Customers will be able to rely on search results, ads, and websites because you’ve made the effort to create a safer online experience for them. They will also receive high-quality products which can boost satisfaction levels and positive online reviews.
Robin Schouten, the security expert of ABN AMRO Bank N.V, recently said, "You must invest in security; it's not a question of whether you want to do it, or consider it. You have to." These words are true, and the way to invest is by following the above tactics. Make sure that your brand protection solution constantly evolves to stay ahead of the threats, covering every step, from detection to takedown.
A strategic, proactive, holistic approach to brand protection is the only combination that can truly keep you and your customers safe. Choose the technology that has it all, and contact BrandShield’s experts to book your demo and learn more.