It doesn’t matter if your product is tangible or not. You’ve got to protect your brand or wave goodbye to your good reputation
One minute you’re loved by consumers, the next… a social pariah. What happened?
- Failing to listen to consumer feedback
- Stolen brand identity
- Business data lost due to poor security
- Counterfeit goods undermining your reputation
- One of your team has a meltdown on social
In this age of social media, you can’t avoid having your brand online; but it opens it up to attack. You need to secure your brand’s future potential as a revenue hero and remember… it’s not just about protecting your brand, it’s about promoting it.
Having worked in several different industries, I’ve collected valuable tips on protecting your brand’s reputation. From trademarks and copyright issues to domain name registration and employee advocacy. Regardless of your industry, whether your product is tangible or not, this guide will help. Below, I’ve summarized the contents of a guide I've written previously - 3 steps to online brand protection.
Protect, measure, promote
Don’t for one moment fall into the trap of thinking that brand protection is the be-all and end-all. It’s not enough to safeguard your brand name, it’s about protecting its future earning potential. My strategy covers:
- Registering multiple domain names to promote your brand globally and protect from fraudsters
- Protecting your brand’s integrity with trademarks, copyright, and IP protection
- Listening to consumer mentions and engaging – to the good and the bad
- Ensuring your share of voice is the loudest in the industry
- Following a social media policy and encouraging employee advocacy
Protect your brand
Trademark your brand name or lose it
Giorgio Armani, big Italian fashion house. You’ve heard of it… But, have you heard of Girgio Armwni?
Trademark your brand, products, logo, tagline, so they remain unique to you. If these brand assets are abused by competitors, fraudsters, etc., your brand value will be diluted and your reputation damaged, maybe irreparably.
Protect against IP violation
How much time was spent creating the content on your website? How would you feel if you saw it on another site? Sign up for Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) Protection and Takedown Services. These are the guys in charge of copyright infringement takedowns.
Need I say more?
Alerts for crisis management
Use social listening to monitor and analyse your social media channels. You’ll get a heads-up on any potential issue and have time to stop it going viral and blowing up into a full-blown crisis.
Use Talkwalker Alerts to create notifications for keywords like – breached, hacked, outage, scam, fraud, etc. To catch counterfeiters and fat-fingered typists, create alerts for misspelling of your brand and products.
Measure your brand
Which social channels?
Your competitors are rocking on Twitter, and you don’t even have an account. You’re missing out on exposure and traffic. This omission from your marketing plan will also damage your SEO strategy, as search engines recognize social signals – shares, comments, visibility – and use them in page ranking.
Listen and learn
Use social listening so you can hear what consumers are saying about you, your competitors, and your industry. Ignoring these voices means you won’t hear feedback on your products, you’ll miss user-generated content that could be used in your marketing campaigns, and you won’t know what the competition is doing.
Promote your brand
Multiple domain names
Your domain name is your online identity. Your virtual business card. It protects and promotes your brand. Lose it, and you’re…
- Register your product names and redirect to your main site
- Register country code domain names to market globally
- Grab misspellings of your brand.
- Register multiple domain extensions - .com, .org, .net, etc.
Authentic brand story
This is what you stand for. Your brand values. Your story. What you believe in. It persuades consumers to stick with you. But, you can’t fake it. You must be credible, or you’ll damage your reputation and lose customer trust.
Your team can be your best brand ambassadors. They can be your biggest critics, if not handled well.
Consumers are numb to marketing messages, ignoring brands shouting about how good they are. But, influencers, peers, family, friends – they’ll listen.
- Motivate your team to talk positively about your brand on their social channels
- Encourage them to post reviews and share your marketing posts
Social media policy
You’ll need some rules. Best practices.
You don’t want to clip their wings, but you have to establish ground rules to protect your brand’s reputation. Don’t go over the top, keep it short and simple. Key points could include:
- Respect confidentiality
- No inappropriate or offensive content
- Always be thoughtful and polite
Protect your brand & and you’ll protect your future
Create a strategy that suits your business needs and grows with your organization. It will protect your reputation, measure your social impact, and promote your brand.