Top Brand Protection Strategies In 2021 

Top Brand Protection Strategies in 2021

In recent years, brand protection has become an increasingly important area for companies to focus their efforts on. Now more than ever, (online) brands are under attack, which means companies need to protect their assets by putting the right barriers and protective measures in place.

With anyone being able to easily create a website or Google Shopping profile and start selling online, the number of counterfeit products in circulation has grown tremendously. And due to the almost infinite size of the web, it can be incredibly difficult for a company to trace down potential counterfeits or other brand infringements.

That’s where brand protection strategies come in. By using automated tools and processes, counterfeiters and other malicious brand infringements can be easily tracked and traced. In the short article below, we’ll run through the most important anti-piracy strategies available to businesses today.

Common Brand Infringements

From the actual product to the unique design of a logo: The brand defines the business. Unfortunately, there are people out there trying to bank on another person’s hard labor by stealing (parts of) a brand and using it for personal gain. Below are a few of the most common examples.

Rogue websites

Some internet pirates will copy a brand’s entire website to try and trick customers into believing it’s the real website. They often use a domain name that’s very similar to the original, such as “amazone.com” instead of “amazon.com”, or using a domain extension (such as .com, .nl, .co.uk) that the real company doesn’t own.

Copyright infringement

In this case, the malicious party will try to profit from certain copyrighted assets of a business. This might be using a company’s designs or copying a blog post and posting it under their name.

Counterfeiting

Counterfeiting is probably the most common malicious practice, and, in most cases, it’s the main focus of anti-piracy strategies. Counterfeiting is the unlawful creation of duplicate or very similar products and selling them as if they are made by the original company.

Why You Should Protect Your Brand

Having someone else take credit for work they didn’t do is annoying, but it’s more than just that. Brand infringement can seriously harm a brand and the company.

The main issue is how it hurts a brand’s reputation. Customers will buy from the malicious brand, thinking it’s the real company. Once they place an order, there’s a good chance they’ll receive a faulty product, a fake product, or, worst of all, no product at all. The customer will hold the real brand responsible, resulting in a damaged brand reputation.

On top of that, the malicious brand will hurt the sales of the original brand. Not only by funneling potential customers to their site instead of the real one but also by ruining the brand’s reputation to negatively impact customer retention.

Top Brand Protection Strategies

Now we’ve highlighted the main issues at stake, it’s time to go through the main protection strategies.

Legally protect all assets

The first step is to provide legal protection for all company assets. Once a counterfeiter is caught, this legal protection means the company can rightfully sue them for all the harm caused.

Although some assets are automatically protected by copyright law, others need registration to fully protect them by law. When creating a brand, one should always apply for the right trademarks and patents (at the United States Patent & Trademark Office) and, where applicable, register for additional copyright protection as well.

Educate both colleagues and customers

If customers and colleagues are aware of what makes a brand unique, they will automatically become brand ambassadors and flag any malicious content.

By educating them on what identifying factors set a brand apart from others, they will be more prone to spot a fake from the real deal.

Search the web for potential violations

Time to start tracking down malicious online activity! The easiest place to start is in search engines. Just type the brand name into Google or search through marketplaces like eBay and see if any counterfeit product comes up.

A handy tool is Google’s reverse image search, where one can simply upload an image to find identical or similar images on the web.

Scraping Google data to detect pirated content

The next step is to use a more automated approach. Although manually searching Google can already help spot counterfeiters, this can be a time-consuming process.

Instead, one can use a web scraping tool for anti-piracy purposes to do all the work within seconds. Such a tool can go through search engines, marketplaces, or even social media sites to track down duplicate, pirated content.

Using a scraper to automatically gather data from Google and similar online places can save a company a lot of time and labor.

Take action

The final step is to take action against the malicious pirates. Due to the trademarks, patents, and copyright in place as described earlier, the company will have a strong legal position to force the malicious party to take down their pirated content. In many cases, threatening legal action will already do the trick. If not, it’s time to lawyer up!

In recent years, brand protection has become an increasingly important area for companies to focus their efforts on. Now more than ever, (online) brands are under attack, which means companies need to protect their assets by putting the right barriers and protective measures in place.

With anyone being able to easily create a website or Google Shopping profile and start selling online, the number of counterfeit products in circulation has grown tremendously. And due to the almost infinite size of the web, it can be incredibly difficult for a company to trace down potential counterfeits or other brand infringements.

That’s where brand protection strategies come in. By using automated tools and processes, counterfeiters and other malicious brand infringements can be easily tracked and traced. In the short article below, we’ll run through the most important anti-piracy strategies available to businesses today.

Common Brand Infringements

From the actual product to the unique design of a logo: The brand defines the business. Unfortunately, there are people out there trying to bank on another person’s hard labor by stealing (parts of) a brand and using it for personal gain. Below are a few of the most common examples.

Rogue websites

Some internet pirates will copy a brand’s entire website to try and trick customers into believing it’s the real website. They often use a domain name that’s very similar to the original, such as “amazone.com” instead of “amazon.com”, or using a domain extension (such as .com, .nl, .co.uk) that the real company doesn’t own.

Copyright infringement

In this case, the malicious party will try to profit from certain copyrighted assets of a business. This might be using a company’s designs or copying a blog post and posting it under their name.

Counterfeiting

Counterfeiting is probably the most common malicious practice, and, in most cases, it’s the main focus of anti-piracy strategies. Counterfeiting is the unlawful creation of duplicate or very similar products and selling them as if they are made by the original company.

Why You Should Protect Your Brand

Having someone else take credit for work they didn’t do is annoying, but it’s more than just that. Brand infringement can seriously harm a brand and the company.

The main issue is how it hurts a brand’s reputation. Customers will buy from the malicious brand, thinking it’s the real company. Once they place an order, there’s a good chance they’ll receive a faulty product, a fake product, or, worst of all, no product at all. The customer will hold the real brand responsible, resulting in a damaged brand reputation.

On top of that, the malicious brand will hurt the sales of the original brand. Not only by funneling potential customers to their site instead of the real one but also by ruining the brand’s reputation to negatively impact customer retention.

Top Brand Protection Strategies

Now we’ve highlighted the main issues at stake, it’s time to go through the main protection strategies.

Legally protect all assets

The first step is to provide legal protection for all company assets. Once a counterfeiter is caught, this legal protection means the company can rightfully sue them for all the harm caused.

Although some assets are automatically protected by copyright law, others need registration to fully protect them by law. When creating a brand, one should always apply for the right trademarks and patents (at the United States Patent & Trademark Office) and, where applicable, register for additional copyright protection as well.

Educate both colleagues and customers

If customers and colleagues are aware of what makes a brand unique, they will automatically become brand ambassadors and flag any malicious content.

By educating them on what identifying factors set a brand apart from others, they will be more prone to spot a fake from the real deal.

Search the web for potential violations

Time to start tracking down malicious online activity! The easiest place to start is in search engines. Just type the brand name into Google or search through marketplaces like eBay and see if any counterfeit product comes up.

A handy tool is Google’s reverse image search, where one can simply upload an image to find identical or similar images on the web.

Scraping Google data to detect pirated content

The next step is to use a more automated approach. Although manually searching Google can already help spot counterfeiters, this can be a time-consuming process.

Instead, one can use a web scraping tool for anti-piracy purposes to do all the work within seconds. Such a tool can go through search engines, marketplaces, or even social media sites to track down duplicate, pirated content.

Using a scraper to automatically gather data from Google and similar online places can save a company a lot of time and labor. One of such tools is SERPMaster – it delivers Google SERP data, helping to detect where pirated content is distributed. 

Take action

The final step is to take action against the malicious pirates. Due to the trademarks, patents, and copyright in place as described earlier, the company will have a strong legal position to force the malicious party to take down their pirated content. In many cases, threatening legal action will already do the trick. If not, it’s time to lawyer up!

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