Why you need a Digital Brand Protection strategy for your start-up company

By dotNice International Limited -­Experts in Digital Brand Protection, 4th June 2015

Starting your own business can be an exciting and fulfilling experience. However, many will agree that the process can be fraught with complex and difficult challenges. All start-up’s at one point or another will encounter obstacles that they must overcome. Knowing the potential problems you may be confronted with will allow you to prepare for possible pitfalls in the future. Smart and savvy start-­ups need smart strategies in order to survive.

Protecting your online brand presence, company reputation and digital assets are of fundamental importance to your start-up’s success. Your online brand presence is your most valuable asset and requires thorough and continuous protection services. The digital landscape allows start-ups to scale and grow at an unprecedented rate never seen before. As your brand continues to expand its global reach, your digital assets are subject to increased online threats that can ultimately damage your brand equity, reputation and integrity.

Invest a liable, save a lot.

Every day your brand is vulnerable to various online attacks from domain squatting, trademark infringement, brand-­‐jacking, brand abuse, and other fraudulent online activity. Protecting your online presence does not require a large budget. With a little planning, you can protect your brand without breaking the bank.

Protecting your digital assets

Domain names are valuable digital assets and an increasingly important piece of digital real estate. Optimising your portfolio of domain names is an essential part of developing your online business.

New gTLD’s (Generic Top Level Domains)

The domain name market has recently undergone dramatic changes with ICANN’s introduction of new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLD’s). Start-ups need to be aware of both the potential opportunities and risks that such systemic changes present. Scaling start-­‐ups require a reliable and trusted partner to fully manage, advise and consult on their domain name portfolio on a continuous basis. Developing a gTLD strategy will
both maximise your portfolio value and defend your trademarks in this new gTLD namespace.

Defensive registrations

Defensively registering certain domain names is essential when developing an overall digital brand protection strategy and building your online presence. Identifying high risk or high-value domain names is crucial to preserving your digital assets. Take Apple for example. Senior marketing executives at Apple recently registered apple.sucks in a bid to prevent anyone else from registering the web address and using it
as a platform to voice negative sentiment about the global brand. Startups need to adopt this ethos and defensively register their own domain names. As the old adage goes, prevention is better than the cure.

Trademark monitoring & surveillance

Startups need to continuously monitor the domain names related to their trademark. Failing to monitor web addresses related to your trademark can result in a domain­‐squatter or typo­‐squatter registering a web address that could leverage your brand equity, steal your web traffic or even worse, cause reputational damage to your business. Investing a little capital in trademark surveillance services will ultimately save you
potentially huge financial costs in the future.

Domain name Renewals

Purchasing a domain name from a domain squatter costs considerably more than renewing an expired one. Keeping up to date with your existing domain name portfolio will require time, revenue and resources. Continuous monitoring of domain expiration dates on a global level will require intensive account management services. Ultimately, a small investment will have a big pay off for your startup.

Domain names and Digital marketing

When used correctly domain names can be integrated as part of an effective marketing campaign. As startups begin to market their products and services in the digital space, choosing particular new gTLD extensions can greatly assist in the marketing process. Combining marketing with a domain name strategy can yield a positive result if executed smartly. Domain names can be profitable marketing tools if used correctly.

Brand reputation monitoring

Today, there exists an ever-increasing number of social media platforms and online forums where negative opinions or experiences can be voiced. Such negative sentiment can spread virally within seconds in today’s globalised digital world. Startups need to consider brand reputation monitoring software if you want to protect your businesses online identity. Web tracker software can provide valuable insights into the public’s
percep&on of your brand or product. As startups begin to scale, it is crucially important that while you establish your online reputation, you also safeguard it from slander. Maintaining awareness of what is being said in the public space (social media, online platforms and peer to peer networks) will be key to your start-up’s survival.

Although scaling your startup can seem like a daunting task, implementing some of the steps above will ensure your businesses future success in the digital space. Maintaining a solid digital brand protection strategy will assure that your business will not only survive but thrive.

For more information email on Digital Brand Protection please contact brandprotection-­emea@dotnice.com



Disclaimer This article is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal or professional advice. No liability is accepted by Company Bureau for any action taken or not taken in reliance on the information set out in this article. Professional or legal advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of this article. Any and all information is subject to change.