Tobias Kuhlmann, Director of Social Media Marketing & PR, explains how technology is saving PAUL HEWITT's successful branding
PAUL HEWITT’s success story is all about the passion their young, enthusiastic team puts into producing and promoting their watches and jewellery. So when they found the first fakes being publicized through social media, they took it personally. Hundreds of counterfeits started being sold in 2015 after their brand boomed in the global market and they knew they had to take actions.
Having one person detecting and trying to remove infringements online seemed enough at first. But as counterfeiting grew exponentially, they resorted to IP lawyers, who would take long to detect and solve the problem at an expensive hourly rate. That’s when they sought for a technology solution against online brand abuse. They had no doubt the best one was Red Points.
Thanks to Red Points self-learning technology, which crawls the web to automatically detect, report, and remove counterfeits, PAUL HEWITT was able to eliminate more than 1,500 counterfeit listings from about 80 online platforms. They are convinced they wouldn’t be able to achieve the same results using traditional, IP enforcement methods.
Tobias Kuhlmann and the rest of PAUL HEWITT’s team never really anticipated one of the results of their passionate, hard work would be brand abuse. Their young, enthusiastic team had created and grown their brand from scratch in 2009, and slowly worked their products and brand out with a special focus on the internet and social media. As the company’s Director of Social Media Marketing & PR, Mr. Kuhlmann was among the first to realize the growing presence of counterfeits on channels like Facebook and Twitter.
“My main concern was the impact these cheap, low-quality knock-offs would have on our brand. We’re really concerned about the design and the material quality of our products.”
When the number of counterfeits started growing exponentially in platforms such as Amazon and eBay, they knew they had to take more serious actions. Trying to detect and remove brand abuse manually one by one wasn’t effective, so they decided to hire IP lawyers to address the issue.
“But lawyer’s hourly rates were unsustainable for our business, and results were being achieved in a very slow pace”, Mr. Kuhlmann explains. That’s when they first considered a technology solution to combat online infringements.
When searching for technological solutions against counterfeiting, Mr. Kuhlmann considered other platforms. At first, they were inclined to hiring a service based in Germany, where their office is based — a comparative advantage in terms of the company’s location and language.
It took PAUL HEWITT’s team no time, though, to realize Red Points’ superiority. “We found other solutions limiting in terms of service and cope, something we confirmed after hiring Red Points. The first reports already registered fakes in platforms and countries we have never considered looking at.”, Mr. Kuhlmann told us.
“We’re absolutely sure our brand couldn’t be as protected as it currently is if it wasn’t for Red Points.”