It would be hard to tell you exactly just how many times we have heard the hesitation from a client or a prospective client, “We just don’t know if now is a good time to invest in brand protection with __________ [fill in the blank].” Often the fogginess is around return on investment (ROI). Sometimes the thinking is that the brand has it under control in-house. Other times that blank is filled with “the uncertainty of our sales channel strategy right now.”
If there is one thing we have learned about launching brands into greater visibility and a comprehensive approach to online brand protection, it is that it is the foundation necessary in solving the ____________.
At Retail Bloom, our marketplace service team members are experts at not only realizing and highlighting symptoms of inadequate brand protection, but they make sure to call these out to our clients and connect them with our brand protection team as issues arise. This allows for problems to be addressed and resolved before they grow into craters.
If grey market sellers continue to multiply but finances are tight, often the inclination is to hold off until… (when?). Typically, profit margin and finances overall for a brand do not trend upward while pricing and reputation trend downward. Another example may be that a brand’s “entire team” isn’t “on the same page.” While it is extremely important to have buy-in across the board when you tackle a brand protection reorientation, there is no time like the present. Allowing internal wrestling and disagreements to remain and fester without quickly aligning on an overall approach is only going to worsen the problem and likely result in greater complexity and cost when the solution is finally agreed upon.
In no way are we trying to push any brand into a rushed decision or advise that you hurry and snatch the first brand protection solution presented to you—it’s actually quite the contrary. We have clients with whom we have worked for years, and as brand protection has become more glaringly necessary for brands over the course of the past couple of years, our client services teams have become excellent at looking for red flags that scream “now an investment in brand protection is needed.”
Often this comes in the form of consistent BuyBox winning percentage dropping. Another red flag is content that increasingly is disrupted and torn apart by a growing number of unauthorized sellers. One of the most common flare guns is Google Shopping, Amazon, Walmart, and major retailer websites engaging in circular price competition on a brand’s top product or product line. When you see “Available from these sellers” instead of an “Add to cart” button on your listing, it’s time to investigate and take action.
Especially with the bump in online sales due to covid-19 this past year, it is more important than ever that your brand has expert eyes on its online performance. If and when red flags appear begging for increased brand protection efforts, don’t throw some duct tape on the problem and revisit it in a year or two—that may be too late.
At Retail Bloom, whether you are a marketplace services client or are simply looking to have a discussion about your current approach to brand protection, our team is always ready and willing to be the eyes in the back of your brand.
About The Author
Andy Buss is the Legal & Corporate Development Specialist at Retail Bloom. As both an attorney and an entrepreneur with a background in marketing, Andy provides a unique and valuable perspective when it comes to sustainable brand growth. When he's not sharpening his ping-pong skills in the break room, he can be found tirelessly pursuing the best way to keep brand clients ahead of looming online threats. Be sure to follow him on LinkedIn.
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