USA Today reports that counterfeit products cost the global economy up to $250 Billion a year. While organizations do their best to catch these products before they enter stores, only a fraction of these products are seized before they end up in the marketplace. If you think you are immune…you may want to test your assumptions.
Even large, big name brands are battling the influx of counterfeit goods diluting their brands. Officials recently announced charges of 5 individuals accused of bringing up to a half million pairs of sneakers designed to look like Air Jordans. Had they been authentic, CBS News reports that they would have been worth $73 Million.
Online retailers like Amazon, have made it easy for unauthorized businesses to offer your products (or even copycats of your product) and undercut your bottom line. You’ve put a lot of time and effort into your creation, designing a quality product that your marketplace needs, and unauthorized sellers and copycats devalue your product and brand.
How can you protect your brand and reputation?
As the saying goes, having your product or idea copied can be the most sincerest form of flattery. But it certainly doesn’t feel that way when you see potential profits being taken away by knock-offs. Counterfeit, copycat and unauthorized reselling are big business. But you can protect yourself. Entrepreneur lists 5 ways you can protect your brand and we will take a look at those below:
- Legally protect your ideas – copyrights, patents, NDA’s (Non-disclosure agreements) and trademarks are good, basic ways to protect your ideas legally. However, copyright infringement can be a difficult case to prove, as Morrocan Oil found with Aldi’s Miracle Oil.
- Be unique – This very simple advice can definitely be something that can help you succeed against your competition. But there is a fine line between being competitively unique and being overly unique. Inc.com shared a research study by Warwick and Glasgow Caledonian University that having a wide range of differences in a product can actually leave consumers confused and end with fewer purchases. So being unique is important – but you don’t want to end up being so unique that consumers don’t know which features are actually important. Similarities can actually breed confidence, don’t differentiate so much that your consumers avoid purchasing.
- Confront and challenge copycats – In an effort to protect yourself and your brand, you most likely have employed the services of a lawyer or legal entity. And this is a necessary protection. But lawyers have many clients they are working with and may not be able to respond to your request to directly contact any competitors you have found copying or re-selling your products without your approval.
- Offer superior service – Once you get a customer in your door, you need to keep them coming back. This is a basic tenet of business building 101. While customer service isn’t a selling point (every business claims to have superior customer service), poor customer service can damage your business and drive your customers to the copycat competitors.
- Build Brand loyalty – The more you can provide customers a superior experience when working with you and your company, the less likely they are to jump ship and look seriously at the copycat providers.
Take the proactive approach
You can’t stop copycats and counterfeit products if you don’t know where they are operating. Thanks to the explosion of online retailers, it can be easier to find them, but this process takes time. Once one copycat provider is taken down, another starts up and you are left with a constant “whack-a-mole” routine that can leave you drained and low on resources. You need to focus on what you do best, and that is creating a superior product and experience that will bring customers to your door over and over again. This is where outsourcing can be the biggest benefit to your business growth and brand management. How much time, effort and money would you save by contracting with an outsourcing provider to routinely search for online retailers, and once found work to either authorize them to sell your product or demand that they cease and desist.
Protect your business with brand and channel reputation management
Don’t wait. It can take years to fix the damage done by copycats or unauthorized resellers to your reputation. Ensure that your business survives and thrives in a world where copycat retailers work tirelessly to profit from others ideas. Premier BPO has worked hard to build a talented, responsive and effective team of outsourcing professionals who believe that every customer (and their customer’s customer) deserves the highest quality of service. Contact one of our specialist’s today to see how you can get started protecting your brand and reputation.