Protecting Your Brand Online

Every company knows how valuable the brand image is to its core business. But a lot of companies forget the importance of protecting that image online, which can make it an ideal target for online scammers, counterfeiters and fraudsters.

Since the Internet is such an important and effective tool, it’s vital to take protective measures and develop an Internet policy to uphold the organization’s image; not doing so could be extremely damaging. Many fraudsters linger on search engines, and social networking and eCommerce sites. Commonly, scammers ‘hijack’ brand terms and redirect traffic to illegitimate or competing sites. They can also misrepresent your brand on social media sites, hijacking your logo unlawfully to gain credibility. Ultimately, this impacts your bottom line and devalues your brand.

These are five steps you can take to protect your brand online:

  1. Make monitoring a daily habit: Keep your eyes and ears open to recognizing if, when, how and by whom your brand is being attacked early on. Google your company regularly to learn if certain keywords are redirecting traffic to competitors or sponsored links. There are also monitoring services available, or your PR firm can advise or manage that for you.
  2. There is a solution to every problem: If you discover that your brand is under attack on social media sites, take action. Seek professional advice on how to resolve the issue before it gets out of control and affects your brand negatively. Good advice at the right time can help you weather a storm.
  3. Take control: Don’t let anyone abuse your brand properties, such as your logo, domain name, content, products, etc. Track your brand online. It’s critical to know precisely where your brand properties are being used—and by whom. Be aggressive about spelling out copyrights and trademarks, and enforcing copyright laws; have a stated social media and corporate policy to discourage undesirable business practices by employees, affiliates or partners. Constantly track your brand on sites such as Google Images, Flickr, YouTube, etc.
  4. It’s a team effort: Brand protection isn’t the responsibility of just one person on the marketing team. Everyone on the team or in the company should be constantly guarding the brand—keeping a close eye on the online space. Inculcate the culture of ‘Brand Protection’ from day one.
  5. Repetition can protect your brand: A brand image is built through repetition, but the integrity of that repetition is key. To effectively safeguard your brand, adhere to the aforementioned steps and work across organizational boundaries to achieve the synergy needed.


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