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In 2023, there are on average 97 cybercrime victims every hour. Never before have brands been under so much pressure to protect themselves from scammers and fraudsters.
As consumers rapidly adapt themselves to an increasingly digitized world, brands must also quickly evolve all their ecommerce solutions and tools. If you want to grow your brand efficiently and safely, learning how to choose the right brand protection solution should be top of your list of priorities.
In this article, we discuss:
Brand protection is a way to guard against scammers and protect yourself from brand infringement. Bad actors may try to infringe your brand by illegally using your intellectual property (IP), brand name or assets. You need a way to prevent this and that’s where ecommerce brand protection solutions come in.
Brand protection solutions are usually all-in-one packages to help you protect your brand online. Often they will use a number of strategies such as detection, validation, enforcement and reporting to ensure that your brand and IP is fully protected from threats.
To consumers, seeing a brand’s counterfeits on marketplaces are a warning sign. 40% of consumers think the original brands are responsible for taking counterfeit toys off online channels. It’s now a necessity for any company with a strong brand, individual design, or original product to protect their business from Intellectual property infringements.
There are a number of services that offer a wide range of protection, from multinational protection services to traditional legal firms or smaller tech-based solutions. Whether you are choosing a tech or traditional-based solution for your brand there are some key factors to consider before you select your solution.
The right retail brand protection service will prevent and respond to any cases of unauthorized trademark use and illicit retail, of either genuine or counterfeit products. It, therefore, protects your brand from loss of revenue, declining sales, and crucial damage to brand equity.
You want all of your budgets spent wisely and efficiently, so when you realize that your products are being targeted by infringers and you want to find a solution to protect your brand, the best and first thing to do is always to understand the scale of the infringements – Do you have only one counterfeit incident or you are aware of the piracy over a few sites already, and there might be more? Is the brand protection solution scalable according to the type and size of incidents that you have? A qualified brand protection solution for ecommerce should be capable of auditing and assessing the current risk your brand is facing and offer a corresponding solution.
Depending on whether you are looking to resolve a single case or deal with multiple or you are looking for continued protection after the audit, will affect whether this is a relevant consideration for you. Technology has allowed for an increasing number of platforms and methods of brand infringement – from counterfeit goods sold over social media to search engines leading consumers to fake websites, and counterfeits are even being sold on apps like WhatsApp and Wallapop. Cybersquatting diverts traffic away from your brand’s website, threatening both businesses and consumers whilst surrendering control of trademarks.
If your business is seeking to solve multiple cases of IP infringement and monitor the brand continuously, then the search capacity of the service will be extremely important. Most legal firms do not employ technology-based scans, unless stated, and so they rely on manual searches. However, not all tech solutions are created equal, it’s important to know whether your solution (tech or not) will be searching only top-ranking marketplaces, such as Amazon and eBay, or if it will be able to scan over the entire web.
Whilst a long-term solution should be the absolute priority (see our webinar on how to stop repeating IP offenders), speed in removing infringements is crucial in a brand protection solution, to stop the effects of counterfeiting and regain brand control. A reliable brand protection service will advertise their rates of removal, and you should pay attention to the ratio of detections to eliminations and the average time from detection to the removal of infringements. Efficiency rates can be increased with automated tech but also through industry relationships which ensure that ISPs and marketplaces prioritize requests for rapid takedowns.
A good brand protection solution will prioritize and deal with the most damaging infringers first as well as providing brands with data and insights relating to the most critical infringements.
Armed with this data brands are able to see the scams that are most impactful to both its revenue and reputation. Prioritizing these threats by tackling the most damaging one’s first and leaving the relatively trivial matters to the end can go a long way in making a brand protection strategy more efficient.
How successful has the brand protection solution been for other brands? This is a question to ask before investing fully with any particular solution. In general, you should expect success rates of above 80%, with at maximum a three-day window for the successful removal of infringements.
Success rate is a key metric. All good brand protection solutions should clearly display their success rate somewhere on their product page or in client case studies. Anything below 80% is usually not worth your time or money. Anything above 90% is excellent and will provide you with a clear indication that their brand protection solution is a seriously effective tool.
Can you connect your current brand intelligence tools with the new brand protection software without issues? Tools and solutions are often best utilized alongside other smart tools. While solutions can function fine in isolation, it is usually more convenient for brands if they can have a whole suite of solutions that work well together.
Zero gap migration is a metric you can use to evaluate how well a brand protection software may pair with your already existing brand intelligence tools. If you don’t have any such tools then you have nothing to worry about. However, many of the best brand protection solutions will be configured to function alongside brand intelligence tools so that you can comprehensively and flexibly manage your online brand experience.
Arguably the most important factor, as this is the evidence of the work completed. Most brand protection solutions offer a reporting system based on an app or visual web dashboard. The software which is simple to work with and easy to understand can be a huge time saver and reduce additional training costs. A good brand protection system should do more than simply detect infringements – it should be able to report in detail and highlight websites and geographical areas of particular risk. It is important to consider whether you can access IP infringement data instantly through a portal or whether you have to wait for monthly reports. Real-time data is clearly the desired form of reporting, as this allows you to see infringements as they are detected.
Technology is ever-evolving, and so are counterfeiters as they attempt to avoid detection. Does the solution you are checking learn from its search results? Innovation is a must in the digital global counterfeit industry, staying up-to-date with keywords that identify future threats to your brand, and using given data to customize the service delivered keeps you winning ahead of cyber criminals. Brands that do anti-counterfeiting right constantly work to adapt and integrate new technologies to remain one step ahead of counterfeiters.
Some degree of human analysis is a good idea, as no matter how many tasks technology can automate, it can’t (yet) replicate years of industry experience. Expert analysts can direct the technology and predict new trends, whilst an in-house legal team can assist with any extrajudicial actions required, such as those involved in taking down a fake website. Besides, anyone who’s ever gone through the pain of automated customer service will agree that it’s nice to have a knowledgeable human to speak to in a time of need.
The best brand protection solutions will allow brands to see the return on investment they receive for using a brand protection solution. Here you can calculate whether using a brand protection solution is worth your time and money. It is a key metric that may be difficult to find when using average brand protection companies. Whereas the best brand protection providers will proudly display their ROI metrics and use them as a vital selling point for their solution.
Red Points succeeds on all 10 key metrics and can help you guard against large scale brand infringements. Red Points has the reach, experience and expertise necessary to monitor and takedown infringements across the web in marketplaces, search engines, apps and social media platforms. We also offer a high degree of customization when it comes to reporting so that you can access the relevant and insightful information you need to keep your brand safe.
Brands that allow counterfeits to go unchallenged are endangering their current brand equity, partners, and product reputation. All companies and ecommerce brands are restricted by time, budget and resources. In finding the right brand protection solution you will also have to consider what staff time and resources you can commit to brand protection, and the costs involved in the services of brand protection software.
We have outlined 10 of the key metrics so you can evaluate for yourself which brand protection solution is right for you. To assist your search for a solution to your counterfeit problem, we offer a 15 minute assessment meeting to analyze your level of risk.
Ultimately, there are many brand protection solutions out there, but having one like Red Points, that scores highly on all the key metrics, will be vital if you want to successfully defend and grow your brand. For more details on the technology of ecommerce brand protection solution and what are the key performance factors to look for, download our product guide.