7 Ways to Protect your Brand Online
In the busy online world, it can be hard to protect your brand and make it stand out. As online marketing experts, BoxChilli handle these complex issues every day. Contact us for advice tailored to your situation, or read on for general tips and pointers.
Decide on your brand identity
The web is effectively infinite, and you can’t expect to delve into every corner of it. Deciding on your brand identity will help you make quick and effective decisions about how to spend your time. As part of this, you should take appropriate offline protective measures, such as registering your trademarks.
Accept that other brands will be in your territory
Whether you’re a local business or a multinational, online you’ll be rubbing shoulders with companies from around the world. While SEO online marketing helps ensure that the best customers find your site, other brands will be using similar keywords or may even have the same brand name. For example, while BoxChilli is an unusual name, if you add a space you quickly find lots of people selling chillis in boxes.
If it’s free, sign up
All new and exciting websites start out small, so if you hear about a new social networking site or a new industry site, then stake your territory early. Even if you have no intention of using Twitter or ‘the new Facebook’ as part of your online marketing strategy, having the page with your company’s name in your control will make it easy should you change your mind.
Always renew your domain
Your domain name (URL) is a key part of your online marketing strategy. Renewing your ownership of a domain typically costs less than a pub lunch and takes a couple of clicks. However, a surprising number of businesses let active domains lapse. If you do this, your website will go down, you may lose significant amounts of data and you may have to pay over the odds to get back up and running. If your domain lapses and is purchased by someone else, they are under no obligation to sell it back to you.
Use automated tools
Make the most of your time by using automated tools to keep your brand safe. Google offers a free alerts service where it will email you a daily round up of news stories featuring words or phrases you select. This is a good way of keeping tabs on your brand name as well as gathering industry news and data.
Don’t let other people use your brand
A key part of protecting your brand is being careful about who uses your name or logo. Just as you wouldn’t give a competitor permission to display your name on their shop, you should watch out for the equivalent in their online marketing strategy. If someone uses your brand name, logo or a trademark illicitly, it’s important to ask them to stop. If they persist, consult a lawyer and ask their service provider to take the site down.
Facing up to piracy
Intellectual property is particularly vulnerable online as it’s easy to copy a TV show, novel or blueprint and post it on a website. In many cases, a simple email request will be enough to get the offending article removed as many people aren’t aware of copyright. If not, you can consult a lawyer for expert advice or ask the service provider to take the site down. As a flip side of this, it’s important to respect copyright on your own website and in your online marketing efforts. All images and text are copyright unless they specifically say otherwise – so if you didn’t create it, don’t use it without permission.