Abion / Blog / Black Friday and the Christmas Sale – threats against your brand?
E-commerce Black Friday & Christmas

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Prior to major commercial holidays, there is a significant increase in brand infringements online and Black Friday and Christmas are no exceptions. This makes it even more important for companies to protect their brands both legally as well as digitally.

Black Friday, and the sale following Christmas, typically means lower prices on a large range of products. Therefore, it is important to be extra vigilant about how the brand is used online. Consumers are often less likely to feel suspicious when counterfeit goods are sold at cheaper prices (under the pretext that they are a “temporary offer”).

How to safeguard your brand this Holiday Season

Other forms of infringements are so-called phishing e-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.

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Modern brand protection approaches use keyword matching, image recognition, machine learning, paid search monitoring, platform risk assessment and other automated data analysis technology to map abuse networks, allowing brand owners to better assess the nature and severity of the abuse, and establish how best strategically tackle it.

6 tips to protect your brand

1. 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.

2. Monitoring

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.

3. The crucial role of Secure Email (ECP)

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).

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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. Our hosting solution prevent website crashes when there's a sudden surge in visitor numbers, ensuring uninterrupted performance.

Key takeaways:

  • Holiday season challenges: Major commercial holidays like Black Friday and Christmas lead to a surge in online brand infringements. Lower prices during these sales can lure consumers into purchasing counterfeit goods, posing risks for brands. Protecting your brand legally and digitally becomes crucial during these periods to prevent reputation damage.
  • Diverse threats and solutions: Various threats, such as phishing emails and counterfeit product sales, endanger brand reputation. Implementing DMARC for secure email communication and employing modern brand protection approaches involving technology like machine learning and image recognition help combat these threats.
  • Comprehensive brand protection strategy: A 360-degree approach to brand protection involves multiple facets: obtaining the right level of protection, vigilant monitoring for quick response to infringements, securing email communication, clear and consistent customer communication, a well-defined reactive strategy for infringements, and maintaining a proactive IT environment to ensure website stability during surges in visitor traffic.
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Author

Viktor Berglund

Global Chief Product Officer

Curious about how we can help you protect your brand? Contact Us!

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