On 11th November, the annual Chinese Singles Day event saw a muted event compared to previous years iterations, but it still dwarfed any other global ecommerce with estimated online spend predicted to top $139 billion.
For many organizations, Chinese Singles Day, Black Friday, and the traditional holiday season presents huge opportunities to increase sales, acquire new customers and build their global brand. On the flip side, there are nefarious risks from cyber criminals who can harm revenues and reputation. Preparation is key to mitigate these threats whilst still taking advantage of the increase in consumer demand.
Whilst there will always be a focus on putting in place defensive plans to protect revenue and reputations at peak times of the year, it is more important to have a more holistic and comprehensive strategy which can often take time to implement effectively.
The ultimate goal for any brand protection strategy is to eliminate all infringing material from online and offline markets. This ensures that there would be no revenue diversion or customers impacted. Whilst that would be utopia, more often than not the level of success of any brand protection program is dependent on many factors. Key factors include budgets, resources, likelihood of success of enforcement action, and of course, ability to find infringements.
The success of any brand protection program is underpinned by actionable intelligence. Organizations need to employ powerful data-mining technologies to ensure that they are able to understand the greatest risks to their revenues and reputations. This allows them to take the most impactful actions accordingly. Cyber criminals and IP infringers continue to adapt their own business models which is why it is essential that any brand protection strategies.
But technology itself is not enough. Brands need to work with organizations who have the human intelligence that can provide the expertise to ensure that resources, both financial and operational, are utilized effectively. Effective brand protection solutions require a comprehensive approach from both the customer and the service provider side. This tactic ensures the relevant resources are put in place to maximize any enforcement actions that are needed.
It is also important for both parties to agree on the measurable objectives of any brand protection strategy. Due to the pervasive nature of IP infringement, it is inconceivable that every infringement will be detected and enforced against. Defining the cases that have the biggest impact on infringers’ revenues and on the brand itself is crucial.
All of these factors need to be considered when pulling together a comprehensive strategy. Although there are short-term measures that can be taken by any brand holder to identify and remove infringing online material, it is the medium to long-term strategy that will produce the real benefit for organizations. Especially if clustering technology is implemented to understand and enforce against the most prevalent IP abusers and criminal gangs. OpSec’s Network Intelligence solution – which uses proprietary technology to uncover the hidden links between brand abusers across multiple networks and geographies – was built to address these concerns.
The post-pandemic global economy is showing signs of recovery, with the eye-watering sums spent in China on Singles Day proving online activity is alive and kicking. Whilst that is good news for organizations looking to grow their revenues, the dark clouds of brand abuse are never far away. Creating a comprehensive strategy for brand protection solutions with experts such as OpSec should be high on the agenda to be in place for the start of 2022.
Author: Stuart Fuller, Sr. Director of Global Commercial Operations – OpSec Security