It's time to defend your brands !



The number of threats brand owners are facing are exponentially increasing and becoming more severe. It is not just the growth of the internet and Web 2.0 but it is the realm of shady practice, people wanting to make a fast buck, the lack for control, and the internationalization of the web, the lack of borders, the lack of pan-web laws and contracts, practices and policing, and the increasing penetration of professional crime into the web…..

In fact viewed in this context, Google is probably the only policing authority worldwide and now it no longer polices in China – the most important world economy.

Consider this diagram on the right. Below we show an everyday brand infringement, which has quite a few of these infringements…

Brand bidding – cheaper and reliable?
From being the most reliable and cheapest traffic available to you, brand-based bidding has and will continue to be dramatically opened up to the same market forces as the rest of your paid search activity. Whilst Google believes that this will provide the consumer with greater choice, this move has introduced critical challenges to marketers and brand owners as many marketers plan to bid on rival brand terms.

In practice in the US and UK the extent of the problem was thought to be high. In fact, the problem is not so great. The price comparison shopping sites are a nuisance but incredibly difficult to great rid of even if you want to. In addition,Amazon and eBay are selling your stuff without permission are also almost impossible to eliminate.

However the number of people emulating your name is limited. But when they do it is very difficult. For example take this niche clothes manufacturing primarily using hand-stitched Peruvian materials (Alpaca, Pima cotton and Peruvian silk). This is their German site.



Shopzilla is present (comparison shopping site) plus eBay in positions No 2 and No 6.

However, there are a number of sites masquerading as Peruvian Connection with that brandname somewhere in their display URL and also offering massive percentage discounts on non-genuine Peruvian Connection goods - mostly nothing to do with Peru or the Peruvian Connection designs.

So in terms of the diagram above this has an element of:

Given that your competitors or copycat sites can now appear in search results for your brand terms, and that they very much intend to, you will need to ensure that brand-based paid search continues to be the cheapest and most readily-converting traffic you receive – and this is not so easy to achieve. Why? See brand protection.



Some infringement is allowable or even desirable.
Diesel Jeans obviously allow ASOS, Newman Marcus, Nordstrom’s to advertise their products by agreement even though they are in competition with
Yoox, Shopstyle, etc. are shopping comparison sites.
Nevertheless there are a few that Diesel would prefer were not there. That raises a new question. Some sites are friends, some sites are foes, and some sites (e.g. Yoox) one just has to put up with –we call these Neutral.