Everything and everyone is vulnerable in the world of the internet. People are being more vigilant about privacy and cybercrimes. But what about brands? Today, the e-commerce market has penetrated rural as well as urban India. With access to data and smartphones, people rely on online shopping. Even the local shops are attempting to promote their business online. Email campaigns, social media promotions, and websites are a part of marketing. But as brands build their online presence, they become vulnerable to online threats. From ransomware, and identity thefts to trolls, brands need protection online. After all, customer data, privacy, and the brand’s intellectual property are invaluable assets. A brand is a significant intangible asset. But one can’t keep it locked up in a safety vault. Yet, one cannot let it remain an unlocked treasure. Once tarnished, online brand abuse impacts revenue, reputation, and customer trust. So, brand protection against abuse has become an integral part of business strategy.
The trends and threats for brands online:
Counterfeit, replicas, and dangerous products: Can brands and customers identify fakes online?
Surveys and research show an alarming growth in counterfeit products sold online. A survey estimated that one in five products sold on e-commerce platforms are fake. Even reputed e-commerce platforms had counterfeit N95 masks at the peak of the COVID pandemic. A survey of Indian consumers showed that 35% of the buyers were victims of fake online luxury products. But what brands also need to consider is that 70% of those surveyed said it is difficult to identify a counterfeit product. The inability to track and trace counterfeit products and fake listings is a pressing issue. Fake listings hide the identity or location of the seller. Additionally, such notorious listings may use the picture of the original product and packaging.
But can brands take down every fake listing? Tackling counterfeits manually in the vast e-commerce space is next to impossible. So automated brand protection tools can help identify and take-down fake listings across the web. In addition, with Artificial Intelligence and advanced anti-counterfeit tools, brands can protect themselves from online abuse.
Social media: more of a bane than a boon?
Social media platforms have evolved. These platforms are no longer meant only for entertainment. Today social media marketplaces and business pages on popular social media platforms are a tool for advertising. Anybody can create a page on social media. So, brands can fall prey to identity theft. Creating business pages on social media is easy. The requirements for user verification are ineffective. So, one can keep creating fake profiles and pages online by impersonating a brand. Lookalike domains and business pages are only a part of the problem.
Hidden links and spam on social media:
Online marketplaces enjoy hosting a database of billions of people. In the era of market segmentation, social media is a power-packed marketing tool. Spamming the comment section and hidden links are covert techniques to dupe customers. The spams and hidden links on authentic business pages lead customers to fake websites. For example, a study found that a fifth to a third of the comments for specific cosmetic brand hashtags on Instagram were from fake sellers.
Counterfeit sellers are moving to social media with the enforcement of IPR on e-commerce platforms. In addition, social media marketplaces offer reachability, anonymity, and targeted marketing opportunities. So, brands need to stay vigilant and protect themselves on social media.
Along with stringent IPR protection and trademark, brand protection needs automated tools. Automated brand protection tools can identify infringements on a real-time basis.
Data privacy, phishing, and ransomware attacks: can brands be victims of a ransom?
Malware attacks are becoming more sophisticated. At the same time, many brands and sectors are going digital overnight. Protecting the data of the customers, payment information, and stakeholders across the supply chain is a sacred duty. Along with strengthening cyber security, brands need to secure the supply chain. Data theft exposes the gaps in the supply chain. Counterfeit players can exploit this information. So, brand protection needs to be integrated with cyber security against data theft.
Even if brands pay the ransom, there can be a data privacy breach. Banks, finance, and retail sectors are vulnerable to ransomware and phishing scams. Fake emails using lookalike brand names can be difficult to identify for the user. Phishers exploit the domain names of brands to create lookalike websites. Such websites capture the information of the users by fraud.
What entails a robust online brand protection strategy?
Online threats have evolved. So, brand protection strategy must also evolve. Brand abuse can lead to a dent in the reputation of the organization. Customers will blame the brand and not the counterfeit sellers. Brands need to be proactive in protecting themselves and their customers. Sophisticated anti-counterfeit tools and brand protection strategy is the only way forward. As brands scale their business, they cannot afford to spend time detecting fakes. The internet is too vast for manual brand protection. In the age of digital transformation, it is time to transform online brand protection.
In the digital age, brand protection needs to be automatic, holistic, and real-time.
Explore TRUVISS for your brand’s protection:
ACVISS brings its all-encompassing brand protection tool: TRUVISS. A combination of all the anti-counterfeit tools you will find online, TRUVISS is a holistic approach to online brand protection.
· TRUVISS offers protection across all online marketplaces
· The tool works across applications, social media, e-commerce, and websites or domains
· TRUVISS is an automated tool that works on a real-time basis.
· It can detect fake sellers, scams, impersonation, and duplication before it is too late
· TRUVISS helps brands as well as customers
Are you looking for an intelligent, impactful, cost-effective online brand protection tool? Then TRUVISS is the best choice!
To know more about social media impersonation read our blog.