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What is online brand protection

Discover how online brand protection can save your brand from staggering losses. Threats to brands on the internet are multiplying at an alarming rate. A comprehensive online brand protection program is the only way to ensure your brand’s safety from copyright infringement. Find out how globaleyez can help you.

Think of online brand protection as a vaccine (what better analogy to use during the coronavirus pandemic). It’s the best way to protect your brand and its intellectual property against various threats it faces in the online world, like grey marketers, counterfeiters, and many other actors who distort your brand’s flawless online and marketplace presentation.

Just like a vaccine, online brand protection doesn’t mean these actors won’t emerge again and again and try to cause harm to your brand. However, with a comprehensive brand protection program in place, they’re quickly detected and eliminated.

How does it work? Let’s back up a bit and start at the beginning.

Intellectual property 101

According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), “intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce.”

Intellectual property includes copyright (the rights of creators over artistic works, including software, advertisements and technical drawings), patents (rights over an invention), and trademarks (rights of enterprises over their products and services).

Visualisation of copyright, patents and trademarks
Visualisation of copyright, patents and trademarks

Depending on your brand, you may own IP that belongs to one or all of these categories. Their protection is vital not only for the success, but the mere survival of your brand.

Intellectual property is governed by a set of laws to protect the person who it belongs to. Although the laws are different in each country, the basis of them is the same. No one should be able to copy and use anyone else’s intellectual property.

IP laws are designed to ensure the creator gets recognition or financial benefit from what they create. However, IPs are hard to keep track of and protect, especially in the digital age. One simple “copy-and-paste” and fraudsters are ready to use your logo, images, text, product designs and much more. One simple action which can cause massive losses for you. How come?

Lose your IP, lose everything

Although the title sounds overly dramatic and the loss certainly doesn’t happen overnight, we’re not exaggerating. The loss of control over its IP may bring devastating consequences for any brand.

Loss of revenue

The first one is obvious. If somebody else is selling products in your name (whether counterfeited or grey marketed), the resulting revenue lands in their account and not yours. Or, in some grey market cases the revenue may actually end up in the right place, however, your careful planning of territories is disrupted on a global scale. Depending on the size and success of the fraudsters’ venture, you may lose anything from a few dollars to millions.

Loss of reputation

Quite often people are not able to recognize the difference between a counterfeit and a genuine product. So what if they bought a cheap knockoff and believe they have the real deal? Or what if they actually bought an authentic product from an unauthorized seller (this is called a grey market) who doesn’t really bother with customer service?

Although none of this is your fault, it can very quickly come back to haunt you.

Loss of trust

When hearing a brand’s name, people expect something. Quality products, excellent customer service, environmentally friendly operations, and many other criteria may pop into customers’ heads.

Visualisation of customers’ trust
Visualisation of customers’ trust

But these things don’t just happen automatically. Brands have spent a long time (and a lot of money) building their image and reputation; they have to live up to it if they want to keep their customers’ trust.

Well, newsflash: copyright infringers don’t care about this. They just want to make a quick buck and if they ruin you in the process, that’s not their problem.

While loss of trust and reputation are harder to monetize than the loss of revenue, it’s easy to see how they would lead people to stop buying a brand’s products. And in the age of social media, one disgruntled customer can lead to a global frenzy of outrage and even the rejection of a whole brand.

Again, this all happens through no fault of your own. But do you have to sit there and take it? Not at all. This is where online brand protection comes in.

Protect your assets, protect your brand

Simply put, brand protection covers all steps brands need to take to protect their IP assets from harmful actors, including copyright infringers, counterfeiters and grey marketers. As harm can come from many sources and take various forms, an effective brand protection strategy must be comprehensive, flexible, and provide ongoing, dynamic protection.

Our era is defined by emerging new technologies and new trends in commerce that naturally bring along new threats. With the internet taking over many aspects of our lives, not to mention commerce itself, brand protection has largely moved to the online space as well. Brand protection experts have to adapt and be on their toes to quickly react to ever shifting trends.

globaleyez, a leading online brand protection expert is definitely up to the challenge. Let us show you the main elements of our comprehensive and highly scalable online brand protection services that are geared towards protecting any brand’s IP.

Marketplace monitoring

We monitor over 150 marketplaces to find products and actors that disturb the smooth marketplace presentation, and thus the entire image of your brand. Combined together, our software tools and our brand protection expertise provide for a continuous, flexible monitoring service that can be scaled to any brand’s needs.

Domain monitoring

During the time it takes you to read this article, someone can register a domain in your brand’s name. Yes, at some registries it’s that easy. Luckily, finding fraudulent domains is just as easy with our domain monitoring service. Our software tools quickly pick up registrations that resemble your brand’s name (yes, we include typos and similar names as well) and with the help of extensive filters and analytics, create a list of domains to take action against.

Test purchase

Do you want to know if a seller is offering counterfeits or grey marketed original products of your brand? Are you interested to learn how your authorized partners deal with customers? Our test purchase service can do that for you, and so much more. We conduct regular or one-off test purchases, mystery shopping, and a lot more in over 50 countries. Our test purchases are always accompanied by court-admissible documentation, extensive analytics, expert advice, and so much more.

Social media monitoring

Whether on brand pages, social media marketplaces or even ads, brands are vulnerable on social media platforms as well. This is why we created our social media monitoring service that provides constant monitoring of a brand’s social media presence. Just like on marketplaces, our tools and expertise ensure we quickly detect and take action against copyright infringers on social media as well.

Image monitoring

A perfect accompanying feature to marketplace and social media monitoring, our image monitoring service conducts ongoing reverse image searches to find infringers who stole your brand imagery or product design. We find your copyrighted images as well as similar pictures that were taken by copyright infringers of your products, or even counterfeits of it. Extensive filters and analytics ensure we pinpoint the big fish to take further action against.

App monitoring

Apps are another important source of copyright infringement. With our app monitoring service, you’ll learn who is using your copyrighted material in over 30 app stores. We provide detailed analysis of the developer, content, publisher and behaviour of apps, including updated and earlier versions. As with our other services, you can request takedowns if an app is found guilty of copyright infringement.

Partner compliance

Are your business partners living up to their contracts? The larger your distribution network, the harder this is to keep track of. However, since your partners are representing your brand to customers, it’s important they act according to your requirements. With our partner compliance service, you can rest assured that deviations from your business contracts will get noticed and reported to you.

Marketplace sales tracking

Keeping track of which sellers and which marketplaces perform best for your products can be a difficult task for brands. Our marketplace sales tracking service takes care of that for you. Whether authorized or grey marketed, counterfeit or genuine, we provide in-depth insights of how your products are doing on various marketplaces.

Enforcement

Information is power, but only if you know what to do with it. Battling a marketplace’s copyright protection department (if there is one) is often too much to ask from brands. Don’t worry, we’re here for you. Our enforcement service ensures that infringing marketplace listings, images, apps and domains are removed from circulation as quickly as possible.

Conclusion

Some vaccines are single dose. One shot can protect you from a lifetime of disease. We wish online brand protection was like that too, but unfortunately, that’s not the case.

Threats form and reform. New trends emerge, and fraudsters find new ways to hurt brands every day. Therefore your online brand protection program, if you want it to succeed, needs to be continuous and effective.

globaleyez has a proven track record of doing exactly that. With tailored and scalable services we’re able to meet any brand’s needs and offer efficient, flexible, and highly client-oriented online brand protection.

Reach out to us and find out how we can help your brand.

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