Brand Protection: 10 Tips

These 10 Brand Protection tips will help keep your business and you ideas safe. In the age of online business, brand protection has become increasingly important and it is harder than ever to prevent malicious attacks on your brand.  Trying to fight off online brand attackers can often seem like an uphill battle, but keeping a few good practices in mind can help stop trouble before it starts.  Here are ten tips to keep your brand protection efforts successful. 

  1. Take care of all copyrights and trademarks as soon as possible.  Whether you’re dealing online or not, it should go without saying that the first step toward brand protection is making sure your intellectual property is legally secure.  Before customers (or more importantly, competitors) ever hear about your brand, make sure it is officially reserved for you. 
  2. Perform thorough patent searches.  While you’re spending time making sure someone doesn’t copy your great idea, you also want to make sure you are not the one doing the copying.  Patent searches used to be time consuming and expensive, but a number of online sources can now make the process much easier.
  3. Create a unique and recognizable company and brand name.  You will have problems protecting your brand from the start if you choose a generic or confusing name.  Entering the computer industry with a new like InformaTech will leave customers finding thousands of similar (if not identical) names of competitors.  Make sure your brand stands out from the beginning.
  4. Keep control of your domain name from the start.  Your domain name is one of the most prominent symbols of your company in an online age, so protect it.  Many small businesses think buying a single domain is all they need, but effective brand protection goes much further.  By purchasing domains with additions to your name or phrases containing your products, you will help ensure that competitors can’t steal business with confusing domains.
  5. Don’t forget about typos.  In addition to additional domains, also purchase domains with misspellings of your company or product’s name.  While it may seem like an unneeded expense, a few dollars a year could prevent malicious sites from popping up just a few mistyped letters away.
  6. Monitor search results.  When your company thrives online, search engine results are your top priority for reaching new customers.  If a competitor or complainer can get to the top of searches for your company, there isn’t much you can do except be more effective.  Noticing suspicious sites creeping up the listings will help you stay keen on search engine optimization and keep your brand protected from search pirates.
  7. Address customer concerns.  If you notice blog posts or independent websites complaining about your brand, deal with the source directly.  See if relations can be repaired with the customer and at least try to learn from their perspective and not make the same mistakes in the future.
  8. Be wary of affiliates and third-party sellers.  Having your product sold on a reputable site like Amazon can provide a worthwhile boost in sales, but using small and unreliable third-party sellers can often do more harm than good.  The last thing you want is from your brand to be associated with a disreputable or untrustworthy seller.
  9. Prevent unauthorized reselling.  Put restrictions in place to prevent employees, sales representatives, or other partners from selling your products independently online on sites like eBay.  Yes, this can be more than a bit tricky to monitor, but by making the policy clear from the start, you will have a legal backing if issues do arise.
  10. Take the high road when it comes to brand protection.  It may seem tempting to engage in the same malicious practices that your competitors use to degrade your brand, but customers will notice if you join their deceitful ways.  Always worry more about promoting your brand than tearing down others.
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