The "Yellow Wellies" campaign was created to raise awareness of the potential dangers as for farmers in the UK. The successful campaign got me thinking about safety in our businesses...and as a business owner, how many of us stop and think and or invest time to make our brand safe? How do you protect the investment poured into creating a successful brand? Not many I am sure would be aware. Your brand could literally dispapear or be harmed overnight. With the exponential increase of the illegal use of companies’ brands, trademarks and services, businesses have to stay alert all the time and ensure utmost brand protection.
Digital brand protection means taking whatever steps are necessary to defend yourself against illegal or malicious brand usage, intellectual property violations or infringements, or other attacks that harm your company name,brand and image. While many companies can define the value of firewalls, IT training, and anti-virus software, they often don’t realise their most valuable asset—their brand—can just as easily come under attack and be irreparably damaged because they don’t have the tools or skills in place to monitor their digital reputation. Digital brand attacks often come in the form of fraud or abuse of digital property, such as rogue mobile apps masquerading as legitimate offerings from your company while harming your customer base.
We've listed just a few things to consider ...
Keep a lookout for similar domains. This will be for the usual phishing* attacks and fraudulent activities but also to make sure the image of you company is maintained. A potential customer or client could mistype your website and end up on a badly designed or damaging website. Ultimately getting in the way of sales and conversion.
Now a necessity for every business, it is important to make sure that your brand is represented properly. Watch out for unauthorised accounts related to your brand. Regularly check on your main channels. You can help your customers r clients oby verifying your social media accounts. Check our some of the privacy settings in most of your social media channels. If you dig deep enough your will find by a simple swipe or click onto a button you may be exposing yourself more than you had anticipated.
Mobile Apps Today 30% of App users start their search via branded app, giving many companies a reason to start using apps to help promote and sell their products and services. If you are someone who remembers to search and check if there are apps out there infringing on your brand and policies. Search Engine Paid search is a huge business and should certainly be part of your company’s marketing mix. Closely monitor adverts and keywords, not only on Google but all the big search engines across different jurisdictions …e.g. Baidu or Bing. Always think about your brand and how you want to be recognised and remembered. This should help you with learning what you want for your company and help you to establish your business online. Invest in Trademark Registration You can register your trademark so you can be assured that your brand identity / logo is protected. This means also undertaking legal services if you have a brand that is represented used across multiple jurisdictions. Some companies even go to great lengths to protect their strapline/ by-line. Trademarking one region does not automatically mean it’s protected in another jurisdiction. This could be your company name, a certain service or product that you wish to secure. You may have seen this symbol before: ®. This is basically a warning to others that if they replicate this then you are within your rights to take legal action. Start Domain Acquisition As mentioned before If someone is using your domain, they are a conflict of interest and could potentially heighten the risk of revenue loss and decrease traffic to your website. Now that domain extensions no longer have restrictions, it won’t be a surprise to find that someone may be using your company name. Domain Acquisition means that you can own and secure all the domains that are associated with your company, preventing anyone from using them. You can even contact the owners if you discover someone is using it and negotiate a deal. Have you thought about getting an SSL certificate? Ensure that your website is extra secure by using an SSL certificate. This is a group of small data files which binds a Cryptographic key*. You may have seen the lock icon before when browsing the internet. Giving your customer that extra bit of reassurance when purchasing online. Copyright piracy Brands need to be protective of their copyright, even if they’re not creating art, books or scientific reports. Counterfeiters will copy a product’s authentic photographs and use them to promote and legitimize their own illegal product listings online.