It can take years to build the brand and proprietary knowledge of your business – and with the prevalence of social media – one single moment to destroy it. Many new entrepreneurs are so focused on building up their business that they forget one crucial point: taking measures to also protect it.
There are many ways that hackers, counterfeiters, and criminals will target your product, website, and your customers. Years of building a product or service can be stolen in an instant if you are not taking precautions. This brand protection guide offers some tips to protect your brand and hard-earned intellectual property.
Since the first commodity and product was created, counterfeiting has followed right behind. Fake goods have a global income of $590 billion, accounting for 3.3% of all global trade. Counterfeiting often involves selling poor copies of your product, both damaging your reputation and hurting your sales.
To prevent counterfeiting, companies are aggressively using legal means to register and patent their trademarks, as well as pursue counterfeiters. Companies also are focusing on educating consumers, investing in technology such as QR and RFID schemes prevent fraud and counterfeiting, and updating product models quickly.
Ways To Prevent Brand Abuse
Firstly, ensure that you register any patents immediately, as well as trademarks, and copyright everything that you create.
You should be aware that when you register your trademark, it is only applicable in the country of registration. Make sure you seek protection abroad too.
Have non-disclosure agreements in place with any trading partners or staff members. Particularly if you are working on an innovative product and are allowing others access to sensitive information.
Make sure your brand has the best online and social media presence it can get. You need to rank above any counterfeiters on any searches. There should be no confusion over which of you is the genuine article.
Use a brand protection service, such as software that uses keyword analysis to hunt down fakes. Smart image searches can be used to find out if your product is listed elsewhere, under different names. Once you have found potential frauds, you will need to check that they are not genuine before enforcement. This might include having the fake website taken down or closing their social media accounts.
Employing a brand protection strategy is vital to any company, particularly if you are focused on designing and innovating. Don’t allow others to trade off your hard work and good name.
Counterfeiting is impossible to suppress altogether, but you can take pragmatic steps to protect your products and intellectual property.