25, November 2021
Black Friday – a threat against your brand?
Prior to major commercial holidays, there is a significant increase in brand infringements online and Black Friday is no exception. Not only do purchases generally increase during Black Friday, but our buying behavior also has to a greater extent shifted to e-commerce, especially in connection with the Corona situation. This makes it even more important for companies to protect their brands both legally as well as digitally.
The latest e-commerce report “E-barometer” shows that online purchases in 2021 increased by 11% during the third quarter of this year. This creates additional opportunities for fraudsters to take advantage of the situation and commit crimes online - this without your knowledge if you have not made sure to secure your brand at all levels.
Before Black Friday, there is therefore great reason to be extra vigilant about how the brand is used online. Buyers, for example, are often less likely to feel suspicious when counterfeit goods are sold at cheaper prices (under the pretext that they are a “temporary offer”). Other forms of infringements are so-called ”phishing mails” where customers are asked to click on links to access the “offer” where fraudsters collect sensitive information. Here, it is up to you as a company to ensure that you are communicating from your domain. This can be done by the implementation of DMARC and continuous analysis of the e-mail flow.
6 tips to protect your brand
- The right level of protection
The first, and fundamental step is to have a holistic approach to the brand and to have all the rights, which concern the entire brand, in place. The right level of protection is crucial in order not to have gaps in your brand protection. In addition to covering the geographical markets where your brand is sold, it is also important to protect the brand in the countries where you have your production.
Monitoring your brand is vital in order to act quickly on infringement – both legal and digital. When you register your trademark digitally (domain name), the trademark can be used for fraudulent purposes almost immediately, and without a monitoring service, you as a company often do not notice this until it is too late. Similarly, uploading pirated copies to marketplaces, or registering social media accounts used to deceive buyers, is a quick process. A good surveillance solution allows you to act quickly on infringement before your customers are affected and your brand gets a bad reputation.
- IT-secure the brand
SSL certificates are now considered a hygiene factor on websites, but in addition, companies should review solutions to ensure exclusive rights to send emails from their domains. Ensuring a secure e-mail is as much about incoming e-mail as well as outgoing and as a company, you should be extremely vigilant about external e-mails and do not click on links where you are at least unsure of who the sender is! Read more about Secure email (ECP).
- Clarity towards customers
Be clear and consistent in how you communicate with your customers. This gives them the chance to react to communication methods that do not meet your standard.
In addition to a clear and consistent language in your communication, new technology can also help you. VMC certificate allows you to show your logo in the customer's inbox and thus increases trust in your customers. Your customers clearly see that you are a trusted sender and that the email you sent is legitimate.
- Strategy for reactive efforts
When possible infringements occur, measures can be implemented more quickly if there is a clear strategy/action plan. Questions such as “When do you use takedown?” and “When do you go to dispute?” are examples for which a strategy should be set up from the outset.
- A proactive IT environment
How would your business be affected if your site went black, or went down?
An IT environment is never stronger than its weakest link. Whether it is a web server or more advanced cluster solutions, it is important to have redundancy at all levels. Mirroring all parts of the IT infrastructure ensures uptime and minimizes the risk of data loss should the disaster be a fact.
Through our hosting solutions, you can feel confident that the website will not crash when the number of visitors increases rapidly in a short time.
The risk is not unique to Black Friday
According to the e-barometer, it is not only around Black Friday that the threat to the brand occurs, but most major weekends and not least the Christmas shopping. Christmas gift purchases online are expected to reach a record figure of SEK 11.4 billion in 2021 according to measurements in the e-barometer. An increase of about 8% compared to the same quarter last year.
Black Friday is a great opportunity and event, but it also comes with threats.
- Pay attention! Even if your company does not actively participate in Black Friday, fraudsters can take advantage of the situation and your brand.
- Proactive measures are always the best to avoid problems and costly reactive measures.
Director Portfolio Management & Development
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