Don’t Let Counterfeits Ruin the Holidays. Get Online Brand Protection
Everyone loves the holiday season including counterfeiters. Given the immense sales potential of this period and the possible damage fake goods can cause, giving yourself the gift of online brand protection is a must.
Here are the threats to consider and steps to take for a festive, safe shopping celebration.
Special Times: Why You Need To Worry About Counterfeiters During the Holidays
Scammers don’t have anything against the holidays. They simply know that we’re all shopping for gifts and making the most out of special sales. Counterfeiting researcher Jay Kennedy states that, “Given many consumers’ plans to make the ending of a stressful year a bit more joyful, online counterfeiters may be able to take advantage of vast opportunities to make an illegal profit.”
And there sure is a lot of growth. Last year, we saw a 32% increase in holiday shopping compared to the year before, and Black Friday sales in the US reached $9 billion, representing a 22% rise year-over-year. One of the reasons for this increase is that the COVID era has moved many gift-buying sprees online, making internet-based scams the main threat. The more the world shops, the more counterfeiters invest in creative frauds designed to convince unsuspecting buyers that they’re purchasing the real thing.
You might say that this is mainly the consumers’ problem, not the brands’. However, studies show that counterfeiting has a significant negative impact on businesses’ reputation and sales rates. Half of the consumers who unknowingly purchased a fake product, still choose to leave a negative review related to the original brand. Furthermore, 40% said they would file a complaint with the brand, and 25% hold the brand accountable for not eliminating counterfeits, believing it is their direct responsibility. When brands lose the battle against fraudsters, they also lose customers.
The damage caused by counterfeits is severe, harming brands’ earnings, reputation, and growth. Customers who purchased a fake product understandably find it hard to trust a brand that could not protect them from those using its name and logo for scams.
What are the most common online brand abuse methods to look out for?
- Counterfeit sales – copying other brands quickly convinces customers to buy your product as they immediately feel they know enough about the product to make a decision.
- Gray market – where genuine branded products are sold through unauthorized distribution channels.
- Trademark infringement – making use of your business’ logo, company name or slogan to get followers.
- Cloaked content – this is the use of trademarks such as product or brand names in concealed texts, keywords, tags, and meta description to manipulate search engines.
Best Practices To Protect Your Brand During the Holidays
Around this time last year, US Customs and Border Protection had already seized more than $1 billion worth of counterfeit goods. Global organizations consider this an acute crisis, with the International Trademark Association (INTA) promoting collaborations in the field. To mitigate this risk this holiday season, the first step towards online brand protection is raising awareness. Both your team and your customers should learn to identify suspicious behavior and stay alert. The magnitude of the problem is more common than most customers may realize.
What should businesses do?
- Constantly and effectively monitor a wide range of online platforms. The holistic approach covers every digital platform to detect hidden connections and clusters that reveal extensive scam networks.
- Take immediate legal action to take down counterfeit threats by locating attackers and sending notices to everyone involved. This step is essential as it provides an active solution in addition to detection and monitoring.
- Offer clear guidelines to teams and shoppers, giving them the tools to identify fake products or ads. We’ve mentioned the importance of awareness, and this practical step offers customers a valuable resource to rely on, ensuring them that the brand is looking out for their safety.
Holiday Season Brand Alert
Brands should be alert and prepared to protect their online entities. The holiday season presents wonderful opportunities, but only for those who create safe online shopping experiences.
The tips above will help you stay ahead of counterfeits, while BrandShield’s technology automates online brand protection services and ensures that hundreds of online platforms and marketplaces remain secure. Our holistic process includes diligently scanning and detecting threats to prevent counterfeit sales and trademark infringements, following through with advanced takedown techniques. Santa’s little protectors are at your service.
To learn more, download our Holiday Brand Protection eBook and have a safe, successful holiday season.