What makes brand protection a business priority

Global Head of Marketing, MarkMonitor

As the threat landscape expands, online protection is no longer left solely to a single department. Implementing a strategy now calls for buy-in from top management along with involvement from multiple areas of business. 

Advances in the internet and the proliferation of social media pose many dangers to your organisation - from counterfeiting and impersonation, to fraud and piracy - impacting consumer trust, your market reputation and your bottom line. Having a plan in place is more important than ever given the rapidly-changing threat landscape and the next generation of online criminals seeking new ways to take advantage of your brand. Protecting your name and your consumers has become paramount.

What the numbers show

New research commissioned by MarkMonitor, which surveyed 600 marketing decision makers, discovered that 72% of respondents thought that brand protection has gained attention following a general increase in cybersecurity focus.

Forty-six percent said they expected more involvement from the board, and another 46% also felt that IT and security teams have more of an influential role in developing a brand protection strategy. The majority also believe that the responsibility for brand protection will change in the next year.

Consumer centricity

The primary objective of your brand protection strategy, then, should be keeping consumers safe. Indeed, 84% of the respondents highlighted that consumer behaviour plays a major role in how their brand protection programme is prioritised.

By prioritising infringements based on where consumers are likely to encounter threats — you can be more effective and save time and resources by not having to remove every single infringement. It also helps better protect your consumers.

To do this effectively, you’ll need to understand where your threats originate. Given a better understanding of this, you can identify which technologies can help address them. The same respondents were asked how most of today’s threats were targeted. Phishing (37%), social media (36%) and unauthorised websites (34%) were among the top reported.

The technology

Counterfeiters, pirates and cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated in their methods, but technology is also advancing; you can take advantage of this to stay up-to- date with the shifts in risks and threats. Time and budget should be allocated to evaluating which technology best meets your needs.

The likes of AI, machine learning and big data analytics can be used to monitor the threat landscape in a more efficient and effective way. The dark web has also recently been highlighted as not just an illicit market place for physical goods and services, but also confidential data and intellectual property that can seriously damage your brand. Proactively monitoring this area of the web ensures you are better able to mitigate risk and can quickly neutralise any threats.

The consequences of getting a brand protection strategy wrong can be dire: loss of trust, damage to reputation and, of course, negative impact on revenue. Whether you are working with in-house experts and departments, with an external brand protection specialist, or both, ensuring your business and customers are safe is becoming more difficult as the threats (and their sophistication) increase. This means earning buy-in and involvement from your entire organisation.

To read the full MarkMonitor report, click here

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Alison Simpson
With more than 14 years’ experience in the domain industry, Alison has managed all aspects of Corporate Domain Managem... More