Prior to major commercial holidays there are a significant increase of brand infringements online and Black Friday is no exception. Not only purchases generally increase during Black Friday, our buying behavior has to a greater extent shifted to e-commerce, especially in connection with the Corona situation.
The latest e-commerce report “E-barometer” shows that online purchases in 2020 increased by 39% during the third quarter of this year, compared with the same period 2019. According to the same report, e-commerce is forecast to grow further within the last weeks of this year, by as much as 26%.
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 emails” 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 is done through the implementation of DMARC and a continuous analysis of the email flow.
So how, as a company, should you protect your brand?
- The right level of protection
The first, and fundamental, is to have a holistic approach 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 watch 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 gives you the opportunity 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. Read more about Email Compromise Protection.
- 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. Verified Mark 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.