Brand protection and consistent branding on marketplaces
Brands invest an enormous amount in their brand identity and presence. It is therefore of paramount importance how the image, products and content are presented and protected in marketplaces. But what are the tools and how can efficient coordination with the sales partners be achieved?
Every brand lives on its brand presence. Therefore, two things are fundamental for brands: They only want to present themselves in environments that match their brand DNA and positioning. And they want to keep control of how they’re presented in these environments. This is easy to manage on your own websites. In contrast, the third-party platforms are still being scavenged by brands because they fear loss of control. But there are now a number of solutions – both methodical and tool-based.
One of the most important homework tasks of manufacturers who prioritize brand-conforming visibility in online retail is to provide their trading partners with current and high-performance content. Platforms such as authorized.by facilitate asset and process management for brands. Via the platform, manufacturers have a simple way to provide all their retailers with up-to-date content automatically. The participating retailers and marktplaces are informed via a push function that new content is available for them to download. The brand, in turn, receives feedback as to whether its partners have actually retrieved the content. The control takes place centrally via the platform and allows the brand full control.
Authorizing trading partners for distribution
However, control over the distribution channels is even more difficult than control over the content on the web. In the past, various manufacturers have made an effort to ensure that their products are no longer sold on online marketplaces – this being good publicity. Few have succeeded in having these listings removed completely. This is why authorized.by has developed a proactive solution with authorized.by. Instead of looking for the black sheep, manufacturers can mark the white sheep with our solution.
The first cooperation partner was the online marketplace eBay. The authorized.by platform enables manufacturers to authorize sellers to sell via the online marketplace. In the product listings and on the detail pages of eBay the notice “eBay authorized Reseller” appears to the corresponding entries. Consumers can buy from these suppliers with the certainty that they will receive goods from a distributor authorized by the manufacturer. We are currently also discussing similar authorization processes with other large online marketplaces. The fitness equipment manufacturer Gorilla Sports is one of 2,000 brands that use the services of authorized.by. “The rapid development of marketplaces presents brands with great challenges,” says Tobias Keller, CFO. “The perception of our brands in online retail is important to us. This is why we support our authorized dealers with the help of authorized.by solutions – including on marketplaces.”
Every brand needs an Amazon strategy – one way or another
Even if manufacturers decide for themselves not to want to be present in marketplaces or to sell there, they must take measures to protect their brand.
For example, Amazon has the program “Amazon Brand Registry.” Registered trademark rights holders can not only control their brand presence on Amazon, but also report potential violations. In addition, Amazon uses information about the trademarks to actively remove potentially infringing or incorrect
content via automated protective measures. The more information brands provide to Amazon, the better the brand registration can help protect the brand. “And with success. More than 500,000 brands have now registered in Amazon’s Brand Registry,” says Ann Ziemann, Amazon’s Head of DE Transparency, EU Brand Protection.
Another way to prevent unwanted presence in digital channels is to use solutions such as those of our shareholder EBRAND. EBRAND enables brands to manage their domain portfolio in order to reduce brand abuse from the outset.
At the same time, trademark protection experts detect IP violations on the Internet and specifically tackle counterfeit goods and grey imports. In the so-called platform age, it is advisable to have a brand protection program for almost every brand that not only has clear rules but also is based on automated processes, because the multitude of platforms – especially in the international context – no longer tolerates manual or Excel handling.
A big thank you to Felix Nottensteiner for the interesting insights.
You can find this case study and many more insights in our Market Place Study 2022.
About the author:
Felix Nottensteiner is CEO and founder of the authorization platform authorized.by, via which brand manufacturers award trustworthy online shops the quality seal “Authorized Partner” and thus increase trust and security in digital retail for the consumer.