Brand protection: how a denim brand won the counterfeit battle
It is hard to imagine a piece of clothing that is more popular than the traditional denim jean. For decades, jeans have been a wardrobe staple, purchased by workmen and supermodels alike. They’re durable, comfortable, and stylish.
Unfortunately, when goods become as popular as many denim company products have, they become vulnerable to counterfeiting. Counterfeit luxury goods are increasing globally, causing brand sales and integrity to suffer. Here is how OpSec helped a luxury denim company to win against counterfeiters.
First off, the brand did not have one unique branding feature across all products, which made it difficult to determine authenticity. Moreover, the brand knew it needed an Online Brand Protection program that complemented their e-commerce strategies in order to be most effective.
So, the brand chose to partner with OpSec, as it needed a tailored approach and allow room to adjust to changing market conditions. OpSec recommended a 4-month pilot program to focus on high-priority marketplaces and search engines: a program multifaceted on four pillars:
1. GAIN INSIGHT INTO THE VULNERABILITY OF THE BRAND
The brand needed to understand just how big the problem was: OpSec’s proprietary data gathering technology allowed for an in-depth look into the problem. OpSec began its research with a landscape analysis to better understand the scope of the problem and distinguish between real and fake on the Web. OpSec narrowed down the search to relevant items, paving the way to a closer, and more refined approach.
2. REDUCE SALES OF COUNTERFEIT IN KEY MARKET AREAS
Eliminating infringing listings across various sites was key. The program spanned across multiple countries, and focused on major B2B and B2C trading platforms, as well as online marketplaces. The program had the ability to evolve and grow into additional key geographies and problem areas in order to provide the customer with the highest protection possible, while providing measurable ROI and robust enforcement results. The client was given access to the information at any time, through an online portal to track progress.
3. MINIMIZE UNAUTHORIZED SEO TACTICS
Enforcement surrounding traffic diversion included removing copyrighting material, like pictures and logos, from the Web. The brand needed a deeper understanding of the unauthorized sites using SEO tactics to help promote their illegitimate e-commerce channels and products. OpSec also looked at both sponsored links and organic search results to help enforce against those using unethical SEO tactics to gain higher search rankings in Google and other search engines.
4. FIGHT DOMAINS USING BRAND NAME TO SELL ILLEGITIMATE PRODUCT
In addition to the fake product found on various online marketplaces, the brand needed help untangling the vast number of websites selling counterfeit goods. Many sites selling counterfeit goods will use the brand’s name in the domain to help attract customers. OpSec helped the brand gain insight into the domain issue and kick-start a lawsuit to bring counterfeiters to justice.
OpSec’s online strategy enabled the client to find a network of 83 different websites, all using the brand name in their domains without authorization. The network of sites could be traced back to nine infringing “families”, one of whom controlled forty-five of the sites.
In addition to the domain findings, the client also saw a significant reduction of counterfeits online, as well as a decrease in traffic diversion from direct and affiliate sites. During the first six weeks of implementation, OpSec blocked over 1,000 sellers and removed close to 400,000 items from the web, totaling nearly €5 million.
The lesson: fighting counterfeit activities is possible, with a partner that helps the brand gain control of their products in the online space, and safeguard their brand against illicit activity.
powered by OpSec
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