A licensed product is only as valuable as the brand identity that backs it up.The laws of supply and demand mean that unlicensed use of a brand can severely damage sales. Counterfeits take sales away from legitimate licensed partners and increase supply, reducing the value of a product. Poorly made or dangerous knock offs also diminish a company’s image, lowering demand and further hurting sales and pricing.
We’ve put together a list of the top six ways that companies can protect their brand identity.
1) Monitor your brand and trademarks online
The first step is to monitor the Internet for unlicensed users of your brand. E-commerce sites selling counterfeit or unlicensed versions of your product should be monitored, contacted and pursued legally if necessary.
2) Securely mark and tag your merchandise
Marking and tagging your merchandise is a great way for you to increase the difficulty of counterfeiting your product and keep tabs on your supply chain. Strong supply chain management keeps fakes out of your distribution channels.
3) Scrutinize your licensees’ distribution
Look closely at the selling habits, prices and distribution methods of your partners. This will help you to identify areas where they can improve.
4) Clearly communicate and police brand standards
By creating and communicating your brand standards to your partners early on and policing these standards strictly, you can maintain a high level of control over the quality of products being sold under your name. This also makes it much easier to find out if resellers and counterfeiters are abusing your license.
5) Reward your customer for authentic purchases
By creating opportunities for legitimate customers to engage with your brand in a way that creates genuine value, you can help to direct traffic toward your products and away from counterfeits. Recommended products, warranties and promotions all help to encourage customers to make legitimate purchases.
6) Take action against infringers
It is important not to allow counterfeiters to get away with infringement. Much like the “broken windows” theory of policing, taking actions against low-level infringements will reduce the chances of high-level infringements ever happening.
Want to learn more about the benefits of protecting your brand and the ROI it can deliver? Make sure to check our our e-Guide How Brand Protection Delivers ROI for Licensors or visit our booth K181 at Licensing Expo.
Branddy Spence is OpSec's Director of Corporate Communications. Prior to her current role, she spent several years implementing successful brand protection programs for many well-known licensing and entertainment brands.