By Keren Pakes, VP Brand Marketing, Bright Data
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” When we refer to the digital sphere, this quote is the “necessary evil” that every brand lives with.
Reputation and trust on the Internet are everything. At the forefront, consumers need to be certain that the products they purchase are authentic, reliable and come directly from an authorised manufacturer.
On the backend, brands need to ensure that their name or likeness are not being used inappropriately. They also need to ensure that their products are being presented correctly across the vast entirety of the ever-growing web space and that their MAP policy dictating pricing is being enforced by authorised third-party sellers.
Brands need to safeguard their label against unauthorised third-party sellers who might be unlawfully selling their products or a variation of their products to undercut the manufacturer. And they need to be able to protect themselves against copyright infringement, unlawful product placements, domain name abuse, trademark squatting and multiple other misuses of branded content.
Ensuring brand safety is no easy task, to say the least, and has become even more challenging with the continued emergence of different channels and platforms. In fact, it has become nearly impossible to manually perform these types of checks effectively and fast enough to mitigate any kind of damage. Relying on manual reviews would mean hiring countless employees to specifically focus on searching the internet for misrepresentations of their brand.
Without these necessary protections, brands are at great risk on the Internet, which consequently carries the potential for eventually translating into a huge loss in revenue and even customer loyalty.
For example, revenue might decrease due to the third-party markdowns because many e-commerce platforms will show the lower price, or else because products that don’t meet brand standards are sold to consumers. Overall, within these scenarios, the brand loses, and not just in revenue; brand image is at risk, too.
It is a clear necessity for companies to enlist the use of brand protection solutions that lend them the ability to monitor and achieve full visibility over the digital space and ensure that the reputation of their labels remain untarnished from here on out.
To deal with the ever-evolving assignment, brands are turning to public web data collection tools. Why? These automated tools ensure that a brand can discover unauthorised uses of their name or likeness across all channels and act fast enough to mitigate any misuse. With so much saturation in the market, public web data helps brands streamline and automate this process, which allows them to receive real-time alerts to protect against anything from brand mentions to copyright infringement.
Let’s take for example the relationship between a brand manufacturer and an authorised third-party seller. Brands must ensure that products are sold uniformly to prevent damages to their reputation or the value of products sold.
Brands need to know the following: What is the product title? Price? Description? Who is the seller? Is the seller complying with what the brand has asked for, as well as its MAP policy? Is there any variation from the instructions? Is there a rogue seller here? Are they offering unauthorised variations?
This method needs to be repeated for each and every listing, across each and every platform or website, which could range from tens to thousands of different listings. Assuming you have two products, the task is then doubled. But typically, brands have multiple products, which means this task requires automation.
Overall, a brand is nothing without its good name and reputation. Think about laundry detergent as a simple example.
There is only one reason why Tide and Gain are priced differently, and it has only to do with the name. Both products share many of the same exact active ingredients, and they are both even made by the same company. However, Tide is marketed and labeled as a premium brand which is more recognszable and, more importantly, it is a trusted brand by its consumers.. Therefore, the company can afford to sell Tide at a mark-up price compared to Gain.
Without that trust, without that reputation, Tide is merely Gain: still a reputable product but without the premium name.
So, back to the famous quote. In today’s market reality, while it takes a lifetime to build a brand – years of commitment to excellence in manufacturing, customer service, marketing and brand positioning – nowadays, it takes only a second to destroy it. The question is what business out there can afford such great risks when there are efficient tools to prevent it in the first place.
Speak directly with Keren on LinkedIn and find out how your business can achieve success using web data collection.
For more information on how web data collection can help your business, please visit Bright Data
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