It is now a well-established fact that e-commerce is taking over sales from the traditional brick and mortar store. The changes in the e-commerce sector are exhilarating and scary at the same time. Data show that by 2021 this industry will be worth over $4.9 trillion rising from lows of $1.3 trillion in 2014.
Accompanying the positive developments in e-commerce are many negative challenges. Some of the challenges that brands are facing online include rising cases of brand abuse, counterfeiting, copyright piracy, trademark squatting, social media impersonation, rogue websites, and patent theft.
The internet age has made it much easier for malicious individuals to exploit a business’s desirability and popularity for their gain. Businesses, therefore, have to enact brand protection to secure their hard-earned reputation.
Counterfeiting, for instance, is a huge hurdle plaguing retailers in the online marketplace. It is estimated that 90% of e-commerce businesses have at one time or the other lost at least 10% of their revenue to counterfeit sales.
What is brand protection?
Brand protection is an action taken to protect a business’s intellectual property (IP). The process secures the IP of your firm’s associated brands as well. The security measures taken are supposed to prevent all forms of brand infringement, counterfeiting and other forms of IP infringement.
This may include vices such as the appropriation of design rights, trade and color marks, and patents. Brand protection can secure the reputation of your business, its value, and its image from brand abuse.
How brand protection works
Brand protection services prevent brand abuse by detecting, validating, enforcing, and reporting brand abuse cases.
These service providers will spend web crawlers to harvest data online. The analyzed data from these spiders will pinpoint cases of brand abuse. These providers use proxies to veil their activity and prevent detection from trackers and the website security measures.
The web scrapers and crawlers use a rotating poll of residential proxies, to ensure that their activity resembles that of any other organic user. The rotating proxies are also able to access geo-blocked content, meaning that these brand abuse detectors can access restricted content from websites located in any geographic location in the world.
Proxies also known as proxy servers, act as intermediaries between a computer and the internet. They channel all web traffic to and from a computer through their servers. This action completely hides the IP address of a computer, meaning that any other online user tracking or analyzing your web activity will not access your IP address.
The IP address of a computer can lead to the discovery of personal details such as your geographic location or your internet service provider. When a brand abuse service provider utilizes a residential pool of rotating proxies to scan a suspicious website, their activity will resemble that of a normal website buyer. The detector can consequently go about its activities without the danger of IP banning, blacklisting or flagging.
This second process of the brand protection protocol ensures that all data on infringements is valid. This step is done to ensure that authentic businesses flagged by the web scraper and crawler are not penalized needlessly over IP abuse.
The brand protection service providers can also assist your business in eliminating any valid IP infringement that they find online. If the scraped data shows that rogue websites are infringing on your brand’s IP by performing illegal acts such as cybersquatting or imitation sites, the service provider will take action against them.
Cyber squatters abuse your brand IP by claiming domain names that enable them to take advantage of your trademarks. Creators of imitation sites, on the other hand, will build a website that attempts to pass itself off as authentic. There are typo squatters also who infringe on your IP by creating websites whose domain names closely resemble that of your brand.
The service provider will present actionable and useful data to ensure that your brand maintains the safety of its intellectual property. The provider can also help create channels that improve brand protection awareness for the business.
The high costs of unchecked brand abuse
- A continuous fall in sales since counterfeiters can sell fake products at cheaper rates than genuine goods. Your brand’s sales volume will take a considerable hit from counterfeits.
- A business’s reputation is its lifeline and counterfeiters can significantly jeopardize it. As a result, customers could abandon your brand due to the low quality of counterfeit goods and move on to reliable and trustworthy brands.
- The process of attracting customers to a business is costly. Brand abusers can lead to a quick loss of customer loyalty since customers will feel undermined by your brand.
Brand protection prevents brand abuse. Any online business should enact it. Proxies are central to the brand protection strategy greatly aiding data collection. Use these tools to keep your brand’s IP safe from all forms of brand abuse.