By Iida Kambur, Customer Success Manager for Pointer Brand Protection
At Pointer we’re fortunate to work with some of the world’s leading businesses in the defense of their brands against counterfeiting and abuse. What makes them successful at the level of brand protection is not size or profits but the ability to think strategically about what they want to accomplish, which is exactly what we help them to refine. For brands just starting out, or for those who wish to improve how effectively they’re working to reduce their own counterfeiting issues, the following article contains advice on how you can supercharge your brand protection efforts.
As a Customer Success Manager at Pointer, I get a privileged view into the online protection needs of a wide variety of innovators and market leaders. The strategies we develop together with our clients vary based on their industries, priorities, IP portfolios, and goals. While each solution we devise is tailored to the individual client, there are also certain basic principles that the most successful brands all adopt in some form.
Whether you want to improve your return on investment, to crack down on gray trade, or to pursue investigations into particular sellers, these lessons typify the six practices of highly effective brands. If you’re looking to increase your impact then why not learn from the best in the business.
Learning From Success
Cover Relevant Markets and Know Your Intellectual Property Rights
It may seem simple, but it’s paramount that your brand has IP registrations in the markets where you want to protect your business. As intellectual property is a geographically organized system, you need to make sure that your trademarks, patents, and designs are registered in those countries where you not only trade right now, but where you may also want to have a presence in the future.
Global coverage is the best option, but if this is not possible because of financial constraints then prioritizing for those markets that are of key strategic importance is vital. Calculated thinkers also consider the best ways to leverage different types of IP in different regions.
Pick the Right Partner
Selecting and then fully cooperating with the right advisors and enforcers for your brand will give you the greatest chance of success. If you require a global solution, choosing a boutique company who specialize only in certain markets and lack worldwide coverage will fail. Stress test their abilities with robust questions and proof of success, but then, when you’ve selected the right provider, engage with them fully. After all, you’re paying for the advice and assistance of a market leader, so why not relay exactly what you need and then trust in their ability to give you the most effective solutions?
From the service provider’s side, the best brand protection projects should assign an active and responsive contact person for each brand owner. While our teams can drive projects on their own, with a little support from the brand we can go further, faster. If your current provider has left you to your own devices with the assumption that technology will fix everything then you may want to consider how else you can proceed.
Set (and Monitor) Goals, Priorities, and KPIs
If you know where you’re going, you are much more likely to get there. For each of our projects we set measurable KPIs and clear goals which support our clients’ business priorities. For many of our clients, their goals are not about achieving specific takedown numbers because they view impact and intelligence as more important.
Whatever your needs though, make sure that you communicate these so that they can be delivered upon and reported in a way that suits your internal requirements. Also, don’t be afraid to set big targets.
KPIs and goals are never there for their own sake. We review our goals regularly to make sure they are still relevant for the client’s priorities and the current situation.
To set up a data-driven anti-counterfeiting strategy, you will need intelligence on the current market status, the possible threats, and the available solutions. A great technological solution will help you monitor and enforce online infringements efficiently. It will also provide you with an objective view into what has been achieved and where to focus next. The time you will save by automating elements of your monitoring and enforcement is well worth the investment. Without intelligence into what has been achieved, you will not be able to measure your results or evaluate your impact.
Utilize Legal Expertise
As making online enforcements can be tricky, and the consequences of wrongly accusing sellers of offering counterfeit goods can be damaging, a successful online brand protection project should involve legal expertise and the advice of experienced analysts. A skilled expert will advise you on what is legally enforceable, if there are risks involved with a specific case, and then recommend the best course of action. They will also provide insights on the legal specificities of different regions and marketplaces.
Having an expert like this is crucial for the success of your online brand protection, especially if your team does not have this type of knowledge in-house.
Connect Online with Offline
Behind every infringing listing and counterfeit website there is a real seller with access to real stock. In order to maximize the benefits you get from enforcing against online counterfeits, one good strategy is to connect these actions with offline investigations. Our most successful clients leverage intelligence, investigations, and test purchases to:
- remove the infringements from the internet, and
- follow up with offline actions by finding and addressing the source of the products on the ground
These are just some of the cornerstones of a successful brand protection strategy, but each solution requires careful planning and ongoing dialogue. If you want to improve your situation then why not start that conversation with Pointer now?