Totally thrilled and delighted that last night saw one of our wonderful analysts, Cecilia Lai, recognised as a finalist in the Rising Star category at the Computing Women in IT Excellence Awards.

Girls at awards

Cecilia has been with SnapDragon for a couple of years and it has been a pleasure to see her grow and develop as a Dragon extraordinaire in terms of online Brand Protection. Diligent, creative and passionate about protecting brands online, Cecilia has taught and nurtured the next generation of analysts coming into the business, something of which to be truly proud. With her degrees in Psychology and Cognitive Neuropsychology, she like the others in our hugely experienced, varied and multinational team, bring their academic, and life, experiences to the business with a clear purpose and vision. Being a finalist in an incredibly competitive, UK-wide category, is a real feat … many congratulations to Cecilia.

Somewhat astonishingly, last night also saw business success at the Growing Business Awards … Deep in the moat (well a tent in the moat) at the Tower of London where, without doubt, I was the only guest whom arrived by bus and was subsequently deeply confused about how to get in …. Amidst an array of hugely impressive businesses recognised for innovation and growth, SnapDragon Monitoring was the recipient of the not-often-given Triumph Over Adversity Award. This was an extremely humbling moment for me, and the business.

I am not unique in having had a problem and decided to tackle it head on. Neither am I unique in my dogged determination to do what is right … to find and remove fakes of my own product from online platforms so that customers could be kept safe and the business’ reputation in tact.

I am, perhaps, more unusual in having thrown myself into the world of technology – about which I knew nothing – and when middle-aged – to develop algorithms to help others protect their products online. This is, however, only possible when you surround yourself with brilliant people and, most importantly, have an amazing family in the background whom keep you sane (and solvent).

Team SnapDragon

Picture Copyright: Chris Watt

My wonderful team, such as Cecilia above, and everyone else, subscribe entirely to the ethos of ‘brands must thrive’ and the vision of keeping businesses and customers safe. They are a team whom will go above and beyond, and use their own experiences to ask the right questions to help clients fully understand their own supply and distribution chains. Working daily with the online platforms, as developers, enforcers, engagers (and of course shoppers!!) all exhibit the passion and tenacity with such [friendly] fire, it’s no wonder we are all true Dragons.

Identifying and removing fakes from the online platforms is but one piece of the brand protection jigsaw but, with limited resources, it’s the single, most cost-effective thing a brand can do to protect customers and revenues. In removing the option to buy online (the visible evidence), sales are prevented – and in turn, export, import and subsequent distribution. Additionally, as monies generated by sales of fake goods contribute significantly to funding illicit activities, online Brand Protection should not be seen as merely a self-indulgent activity for any brand.

Triumph Over Adversity isn’t just about me and why I set up SnapDragon. It’s what every brand, and its founder, goes through when finding copies or fakes and doing something about it. What matters is that it IS possible to make an impact without costing the earth, or your business, as our much loved clients will tell you. Identifying and removing infringing products, and sellers, from the marketplaces, protects your business and your customers – and once again your business will thrive.

As it’s Thanksgiving Day for all our friends across the pond, being thankful for the ability to thrive over adversity is today’s real message. For us all.

With renewed congratulations to Cecilia, and heartfelt thanks to the SnapDragon Team for being one amazing bunch of Dragons, to our clients for believing in us and to my family for always being there. And to the Growing Business Awards for a fabulous evening.

Happy Thanksgiving Day.