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  • Writer's pictureArt Fletcher

What Risks Do Brands Face Without Brand Protection Software?

In today’s digitally driven world, building a strong brand is essential for any business looking to succeed. However, establishing a powerful brand also means opening yourself up to significant risks if you don’t invest in effective online brand protection. The fact of the matter is, marketplaces are growing and there are a lot of listings to sift through, without the right brand protection software, brands face an uphill battle to maintain brand health and product values. Let’s explore what online brand protection entails, its benefits, associated risks, and best practices.



Protect your profits and brand health.
Guarding your brand - protecting against threats.

What is Online Brand Protection?

Online brand protection refers to proactively monitoring, analyzing, and enforcing actions against unauthorized uses or misuse of your company’s intellectual properties (IP), and the distribution of your company's products within the online ecosystem. Such IP may include logos, slogans, product designs, images, videos, or even specific colors and packaging styles. Online brand protection aims to maintain control over your brand assets while preserving brand consistency and combating counterfeiting, grey market distribution, piracy, and cybersquatting.


Many articles found discussing brand protection software are written by brand protection software companies, and I guess we are guilty of the same. However, Joe Weller wrote an interesting article for the smartsheet blog. In the article Weller outlines brand compliance structure through the lens of branding and style guides, and the importance of identifying brand guidelines to create a roadmap of what is needed for the brand to protect its' health. These same principles are true for creating distribution compliance that I covered in a blog post in May 2024. The point here is any policy or guideline that is created is created for a purpose. If it is not monitored or enforced the purpose of the policy or guideline will not be realized.


Benefits of Utilizing Brand Protection Software, and the Risks for Brands if they do not.


Interestingly enough, in the smartsheet article, Weller interviews Creo Collective CEO, Gayle Kalvert on why brand compliance is important. Kalvert outlines several of the same brand benefits for controlling brand messaging that also apply to the importance of controlling brand distribution. Consistency and quality, brand recognition and loyalty, improved marketing effectiveness and ROI, legal protection, etc. It is all summarized in the last sentence of the opening paragraph, "your goal should be the same: to turn your messaging into a consistent reason for customers to choose you."


brand protection benefits and risks table.
Risks to ignoring brand health threats.

How to Create the Right Plan.

The retail landscape is always shifting, and it can be hard to keep up with. The shifting can require policies to shift, but when creating a brand protection plan, use your policies to define what you are trying to accomplish.


We specialize in the analysis, data mining, and source of product identification of unauthorized listings. Due to this specialty, we are able to work with several amazing partners and can help you put together or evolve a plan based on your policies.


What to Solve with Brand Protection Software.

There is a lot to consider when designing a complete brand protection solution. There are several conditions in the digital marketplace that impact brand health. Listings in today's world range from outright criminal to misunderstandings of brand policies. Being able to sort through these listings is the key to long term brand health and profitability.


Understand how to implement brand health software.
Brand protection plan. How to implement brand protection software.

The entire scenario is a high stakes game of trying to drive demand to approved and authorized sales, which drives a better consumer experience and promotes a more sustainable business model, versus unauthorized and disruptive listings. There is another post from 2023 titled, "The Grey Market Game," that illustrates more benefits for creating a brand protection plan. The article likens the brand protection challenge to playing thousands of Chess matches against sellers and websites. The fact that there are so many sellers in today's marketplace can make it difficult for a brand to know where to start. If we break out the two sides of this equation as entities and resources that are protecting a brand against entities and resources that are damaging a brand, we can illustrate how the solution works.


In all competition, participants are more successful when they know what their adversaries are doing. NFL teams watch film on their opponents, studying tactics and tendencies, looking for any advantage to exploit. MLB teams chart pitches and study spray charts to shift defensive players into better positions. Motorsports and Sailing races have a collection of resources studying weather and track/course conditions to know how their race may be impacted. The same type of thinking needs to be done to navigate the modern marketplace. A brand's sales goal, product line, distribution strategy, and sales policies are all a part of the game plan. In our analogy, a tracking service provider films the game, or reports the weather conditions. Once you have the film, or weather report, what are you doing with it? How are you taking that information to help you win the game?


One thing you can be certain of is the people that are profiting from unauthorized sales of your products are studying how to exploit your brand.


Brand Protection Steps to Success.

  1. Define what the ideal digital marketplace picture is for the brand.

  2. Understand what the risks are to the ideal picture.

  3. Do the brands current sales policies enable or reinforce the ideal marketplace picture? If they do not, adjust sales policies to communicate the brands desired goals.

  4. Define what internal resources will be dedicated to achieving the desired marketplace goals.

  5. Track the marketplace. Visibility to the marketplace is crucial, not understanding your marketplace listings is like driving blindfolded.

  6. Have a plan on how to ingest and action the tracked data. There are a lot of possibilities and business intelligence biproducts that can be created from the collection of this data. Internal brand protection professionals will be asked several questions. It is important to have structure to the process.

  7. Process and categorize the data to enforce the correct sales policies for every disruptive listing.


Conclusion

In summary, choosing the right brand protection software is pivotal. It shields your brand from threats, preserves reputation, protects profitability, and ensures consistent identity across channels. By investing wisely, you safeguard revenue, inspire trust, and support growth. Remember, your brand deserves the best defense!


Counter Diversion is a boutique SaaS company - we don't have marketing and we don't use high-pressure sales tactics. Our goal is to have solid, honest conversations about the issues at hand and then either recommend our service or another one that is a better fit for your needs. If you'd like to engage in that type of discussion, please schedule a free consultation.


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