Online brand protection is the process of safeguarding your brand’s reputation, value and revenue from various forms of infringement. This includes brand value degradation and revenue churn from noncompliant acts by both unauthorized and authorized resellers, competitors, partners, dealers and affiliates.
You must protect your brand from violations of Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) policies, trademark violations, bidding on your brand term by affiliates, URL hijacks, rank violations and channel policies. We’ll take a deep dive to help you understand how these actions impact your brand, and how to protect against malicious competitors, dealers and resellers.
Police MAP Violations
You must monitor and enforce MAP policies to protect your brand’s reputation and revenue while growing loyalty, safeguarding your reputation and margins in the process. Monitoring tools can help you identify retailers and marketplaces selling your products (Google Shopping, Amazon, Walmart, Target, etc.) and their prices multiple times a day at a ZIP code, city, and country level. Overall, MAP monitoring allows you to track how effective retailers are at maintaining your brand guidelines.
Stop Trademark Violations and Infringements
To protect your brand value, it is important to identify and catch infringements and trademark violations that may be happening. These occur when a rival or affiliate uses your brand’s name on their ads to steal your clicks and impressions. However, detecting these infringements can be a daunting task.
Ensure Affiliate Compliance
Ensuring affiliates comply with your policies is another important aspect of online brand protection. This entails monitoring their activities to make sure they’re not using your brand’s name or logos without authorization, or making any false or misleading claims about your products. This also includes not having them appear above your ads or on brand terms where they’re not supposed to be.
Track Unauthorized Keyword Bidding
Diligently tracking unauthorized keyword bidding by affiliates and competitors helps you identify brand and other trademarked terms competitors are using in their ads, against your policy guidelines. There are tools can help you track across channels to spot instances of competitors or affiliates showing up on your brand terms. Catching this lets you prevent unauthorized sales due to others bidding on your key brand terms. You also reduce the rise in CPC from this unwarranted competition.
Here are three ways to protect your brand from affiliates and partners:
Stop Unauthorized Affiliates From Stealing Clicks
This will prevent affiliates from using the brand’s name or other trademarked terms in their advertising without permission. Some affiliates use your brand name and websites in their ad display and link those with affiliate’s URLs to get clicks and subsequently, earn commission from you. This will lead to lost sales and diminishing return on ad spend (ROAS). Not clamping down leads to more bad actors stealing your clicks and significantly impacting your margins.
Monitor Rank Violations by Partners and Affiliates
This helps identify when an affiliate is using the brand’s name or other trademarked terms in their website URL, product title, and descriptions to outrank you.
We very well know that the higher-ranking listings generally win the click. With that in mind, it is important for brands to make sure they are not outranked by their affiliates and partners on their target keywords.
Identify Ad Copy Violations
You must detect unauthorized texts, images, promotions and landing pages that violate your brand partnership and affiliates guidelines. You have worked extremely hard to create winning ad copy. But your competitors, partners or other resellers can undercut and misuse your ad copy and win the sale, potentially making false claims about your brand. Thus, identifying violations in ad copy is a crucial aspect of online brand protection.
Why Does All This Matter?
Protecting your brand online helps maintain the integrity and reputation of your business. Consumers are constantly researching products and services online. Compromising your brand by trademark violation or other forms of infringement leads to a sub-par experience, confuses shoppers and leaves a poor impression. Additionally, you lose revenue if infringers profit from your brand reputation.
Online brand protection requires monitoring and addressing various forms of infringement such as trademark and rank violations. Failure to vigilantly monitor your brand can lead to myriad negative consequences. Safeguarding ensures that consumers can quickly recognize and rely on your brand, enhancing sales and client loyalty.
Prasanna Dhungel is Managing Partner of GrowByData