3 Steps to Protect Brand in the Digital Age
Technology opens more opportunities for counterfeiters. Often, we see famous brands file lawsuits because the brand properties were used without permission. It’s a little fraction of struggle that brands or businesses put efforts on in order to protect their business and consumers.
According to MarkMonitor’s, 90% businesses report more than 10% due to online merchandise sales. According to the Special 301 Report, the United States Trade Representative Office, the volume of piracy in the digital world will soon surpass the volume of offline hijacking and similar physical markets. The Internet offers many positive opportunities, but also presents new challenges, including in brand protection efforts.
1. Educate consumers and sellers
Consumers and sellers are important allies for brands against counterfeiting. Thus, it is essential that businesses provide them with pertinent information related to their products, the risks of buying from ambiguous sources, and the risks of selling counterfeit goods.
Fighting against counterfeiting is not a single entity’s battle. It takes two to tango. Businesses should collaborate vertically and horizontally with supply chain. Not only should they educate, but they must also encourage consumers and sellers to participate in reporting any suspicious seller selling counterfeit goods. Thus, companies need to provide reporting channels. Chinese e-Commerce giant, Alibaba, set a good example of horizontal collaboration by establishing Alibaba Group Anti-Counterfeiting Alliance (AACA) with more than 20 international brands, including Louis Vuitton. The result? Decrease in the percentage of refunds caused by buyers suspected to sell counterfeit goods.
3. The power of data
It is not enough to merely overcome the sellers who sell counterfeit goods or use brand attributes without permission. Conducting law enforcement to the root to eradicate counterfeiting is necessary. Physical investigation, raids of factory of counterfeit goods and similar activities are required and can be done efficiently in terms of cost, effort and time by utilizing online data. Through these online data, businesses and authorities are able to track digital trace of counterfeiters and design effective physical investigations.