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Why Online Brand Protection Can’t Be Ignored

There is no denying that whilst being a business owner is highly rewarding, it’s also stressful and challenging. Statistics from the Office of National Statistics indicate that 80% of UK companies fail within the first year.  Add a global pandemic and Brexit to the mix and things just got a whole lot tougher. For many business owners, budgets will be tight – particularly after the year we’ve just had. Undoubtedly there will be cuts to be made and every inclusion to budgets closely scrutinised. Unfortunately, brand protection is often one of the first things that brands push aside. However, can you really afford to be facing counterfeits and copycats alone?

At SnapDragon our fearless founder, Rachel Jones, knows only too well why Brand Protection needs to be an essential part of any business’s toolkit, especially if you are selling a product online. Her battle to protect her baby product the Totseat arose in the early days of the business when customs discovered counterfeit products had arrived in the UK from China. It’s easy to believe that this is an issue that may never happen to you or that you’ll face that problem if and when it happens. However, the global pandemic has seen shopping online for all types of products shift to a scale bigger than could ever have been predicted.  By acting now you could save your business a lot of stress and money in the future.

What is Brand Protection?

Brand Protection is the process of guarding your Intellectual Property (IP) from exploitation. This can cover everything from counterfeit products and copyright piracy to someone copying your patent, using your Trademark or creating a fake website. At SnapDragon we work with brands across the world to monitor online platforms, including social media sites, to ensure their IP is not being abused. Buying a counterfeit product may seem a harmless act, however for anyone who has created a product and put in years of blood, sweat and tears, seeing their product copied is distressing. Don’t let this be your brand.

SnapDragon’s brand protection services involve searching e-commerce platforms globally using our Swoop software to find illicit listings. This could involve identifying counterfeits, trademark infringements or listings using your product images. We monitor and detect and then use your IP to report these listings for removal. Our team are persistent when it comes to detecting and enforcing illicit listings – our goal is to ensure your product, brand and reputation are safeguarded.

Why is Brand Protection important?

Imitation is not the highest form of flattery in the world of Brand Protection and is so damaging in many ways. Having measures in place to prevent someone from copying your brand is crucial to any business strategy.

5 ways brand abuse hurts your business:

  • Fake products are unsafe and can kill – dangerous toys, harmful ingredients, untested products, the list is endless.
  • Cost thousands, even millions, in lost revenue as sales are stolen from your business.
  • Harms your brand’s reputation – a customer annoyed by receiving a fake, may not get a refund and will have distrust in the whole process.
  • Creates customer confusion – unknowingly buying a fake and experiencing poor quality brings a loss of confidence. This may force consumers to shop elsewhere in the future.
  • Takes up your valuable time, money and resources to combat.

This of course is just a brief list of how brand abuse can be damaging to a business. Sadly, counterfeits are not just an issue for big-name luxury brands. All brands are potential targets for criminals. They are also rarely one-offs and can indicate a far bigger problem. Counterfeits are big business and often mask a much darker, sinister world of organised crime — drugs, people trafficking and labour abuse.

Is Brand Protection worth it?

Without question … YES! By protecting your brand online and removing rogue listings, you do not just remove them from sale but can help stop the supply chain at the source of the problem. Think of brand protection like caring for an unruly garden. The garden is looked after and pruned to stop it from becoming overgrown, or if it is already unkempt and out of control, it’s tidied up, the mess is removed and then maintained so the weeds don’t return.  It’s much cheaper to defend your brand now, than discover there’s a problem in the future and face expensive legal costs or court battles to solve it.

If your business is new to Brand Protection and you’d like to know more about IP in general, SnapDragon can help. Brand Protection can seem expensive and overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be. For example, the application fee to register a trademark in the UK with the IPO is £200. This is money well spent in our opinion and will help protect your brand from potential infringers for years to come.

Someone is ripping of my brand, what should I do?

There are many companies offering Brand Protection services in the UK, however, we believe the SnapDragon team are without doubt the friendliest out there. We work with clients from across the world and will defend your brand relentlessly, you can see for yourself what our clients have said about our work, it speaks volumes. Check out our blog on Online Brand Protection – The Essentials for more tips.

SnapDragon will help you fight the fakes online, to keep your customers and revenue safe. To get in touch or request a demo click here.

Posted in: Brand Protection Insights
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Kellie has a background in consumer protection working in Australia in marketing, PR and as a copywriter. She joined SnapDragon career as a brand analyst, and is using her passion to fight fakes to help raise awareness of the importance of online brand protection.