If you’ve ever come across a counterfeit product, you aren’t the only one. Between 2010 and 2014, the EU, U.S., and Japanese custom authorities seized millions in counterfeit products from China alone. Brand abuse can negatively impact every stage of the product life cycle, from its concept phase down to commercialisation. Its financial pitfalls are devastating and occasionally impossible to recover from. So—how do you track it?
How Brand Abuse Can Hurt Your Business
Customers expect a high-quality and seamless brand experience across all channels. One negative encounter can drastically impact your online efforts, allowing fraudsters to monetise. Four critical ways in which brand abuse can hurt your business are through:
- Financial losses
- Reputation damage
- Aggravated customers
- Plummeting traffic
What are the Different Forms of Brand Abuse?
Brand abuse takes on many faces. Among its most recognisable forms are through:
Perpetrators assume your brand’s identity, deceiving trusting customers online.
Perpetrators manufacture and sell fake or pirated products on auction sites, eCommerce shops, and spam emails. These items are made to appear authentic.
Perpetrators abuse trademarks, domains, and names to lure buyers and sell illicit goods.
4. False Association
Perpetrators use misleading citations to deceptively imply a relationship with your brand.
5. Grey Market Selling
Perpetrators sell stolen goods through unauthorised channels at a premium. These items are listed as discounted or refurbished.
Perpetrators use email to deliver viruses, keyloggers, and other hijacking software.
7. PPC Abuse
Perpetrators host paid search ads using famous brand names.
Perpetrators sell contraband movies, music, and software.
9. SEO Manipulation
Perpetrators use brand materials in text, meta tags, and titles to rank higher on search engines.
Perpetrators use misspelled keywords in domain names to lead to illicit websites.
How to Protect Against Brand Abuse
If you feel your business could be the victim of brand abuse, incorporate available detection tools to take note of activity occurring on neighboring websites or social media. Focus on negative keywords and misspellings of your brand name and products. Your efforts should encompass monitoring affiliates and other distribution outlets to ensure honesty and transparency.
Scrutinise your ROI metrics to ensure they align with your actual production and sales numbers. Make a company-wide effort to tighten the screws on compliance standards, enforcing substantial disciplinary consequences for rogue behaviors.
Lastly, seek counsel ahead of time. With a cybersecurity intelligence analyst, you can prepare to take the appropriate steps as soon as you detect brand security alerts. A dedicated point person can help monitor illicit activity and remove content that damages your reputation.
Investing in online brand protection services is always money well spent. Monitoring alerts and crafting suitable response strategies can help avoid meticulously tracking rogue operators and damage control with disappointed customers.
At FraudWatch International, we stand by the idea that your brand represents your value and integrity. It is your company’s responsibility to ensure a culture of honesty. It’s our responsibility to ensure you get to do so. Safeguard your content through our cyber monitoring services today.