Your brand is your most valuable asset. Just think of all the time and money you’ve invested to take your brand where it is today and where you plan on taking it tomorrow.
From attractive product images and packaging to evocative descriptions and robust marketing campaigns, building a successful brand is far from easy.
To make a positive ROI on their investment, most businesses look towards eCommerce marketplaces to expand their reach and attract more customers. As they should because multichannel eCommerce is not just a nice to have but a necessity these days.
However, it’s not all good news. One of the biggest challenges for businesses today is the difficulty of protecting their brand on eCommerce marketplaces. For instance, counterfeit products that can ruin brand reputation are more common than we think.
To help you protect your brand against the challenges posed by eCommerce marketplaces, we’re going to look into some of the most effective ways to do so below.
1. Start by Securing Your Legal Rights
If your products are proprietary, consider registering a patent to have the law on your side. But even if that’s not possible for your specific products, you should at least get a federal trademark registration for your brand.
Securing your legal rights is one of the first steps towards protecting your brand. That’s because if you don’t have the legal rights to a product, there isn’t much you can do to protect your ownership of it.
There are many ways you could go about getting a trademark for your brand. Read this post for a quick overview and pick the best option for yourself.
2. Leverage Protection Tools Offered by Marketplaces
Online marketplaces like Amazon and Walmart are fully aware of the challenges their platforms pose to brands. As a result, all respectable platforms have rolled out tools to help you protect your brand.
For instance, you can enroll in Amazon’s Brand Registry program to defend against any intellectual property rights (IPR) violations. Not only will this suite of tools help you protect your brand, but it will also let you publish enhanced brand content and stories.
One of the major requirements of the Brand Registry program is to have an active trademark registered for your brand. That’s why we recommend starting your brand protection plan by securing your legal rights.
Similarly, you can use Walmart Supplier Center to register your products and become a registered supplier. As a result, Walmart will prioritize any content you submit for your products over unregistered suppliers. Thus giving your customers a realistic and consistent description for your products.
You can find similar tools on other marketplaces as well.
3. Customize Your Packaging
You should already be customizing your packaging as it’s the bridge between your online branding collateral and the final product. By creating a consistent experience, you can give your customers the confidence of dealing with a memorable and professional brand.
Beyond branding opportunities, your product packaging is an excellent resource to protect your brand against counterfeits. The more unique your packaging is, the more likely customers are to spot and report counterfeits — instead of losing their trust in your brand.
The key here is to make your packaging as hard to replicate as reasonably possible. This will help customers easily spot the differences between your official product images and the packaging on counterfeit products.
4. Take a Proactive Approach
Your plan to protect your brand shouldn’t be a one-off effort. To truly protect your brand, you need to take a proactive approach and actively monitor your brand across multiple channels to ensure there are no violations.
This is especially true if you work with sellers and distributors. Any violations on their part will damage your brand too. So make sure to define your rights in distributor and seller agreements, and then enforce those rights as rigorously as possible.
5. Maintain a MultiChannel Presence
Multichannel eCommerce is the key to maximizing exposure for your brand online. But did you know it’s also one of the best ways of protecting your brand online?
By presenting your customers with an official store on their favorite online marketplace, you can significantly lower the risk of counterfeit products and dishonest sellers damaging your brand.
If you’d like to take a multichannel approach for your brand, make sure you don’t make these 4 common mistakes.
While eCommerce marketplaces present unique branding challenges, there’s a lot you can do to protect your brand.
Securing and then exercising your legal rights, leveraging the brand protection tools offered by marketplaces, creating unique packages, actively monitoring the web, and giving your customers a reliable source on their favorite marketplace — these 5 steps alone will secure your brand online.
Andrew Michaud, Chief Marketing Officer, Valet Seller