Identity theft continues to be an issue across the globe, with 680 reported incidents of global data breaches related to identity theft in the first half of 2017 alone. But identity theft doesn’t just affect individuals. It can impact businesses, too. Thus, it’s vital to safeguard your brand from identity theft. Here’s what you can do.
1. Trademark Registration
A trademark registration helps you legally protect your intellectual property, such as your business logo or name, from being used by others without your permission. You register your trademark via the official trademark registry in the country you’re conducting business in. For example, trademark registration in Australia is done via the IP Australia website, while trademarks registration in the United States is done via the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Consider hiring legal advice to help navigate the trademark registration.
2. Community Management & Verified Social Accounts
Verified social accounts are useful for mitigating brand identity theft, because they help your audience know your official accounts versus fake social accounts. Also, pay attention to what’s being said about your brand online by searching complaint sites or even setting up notifications via Google Alert to be notified once your brand is mentioned.
3. Develop Brand Guidelines
Establish guidelines for your brand to distinguish what you offer apart from competitors and to increase awareness of your brand. Do this by developing your value proposition, mission statement, vision statement, and brand personality and guidelines for the brand overall. For example, you can create a brand style guideline for your brand personality that defines the tone, voice and formatting for all of the content you produce for consistency.
4. Define and Use Your Logo Consistently
It’s key to clearly define and use your logo on a consistent basis to reduce incidents of brand identity theft. Achieve this by creating guidelines on how the logo should be used, the size of your logo and your logo’s placement. By defining and using your logo consistently, you can help your audience tell your brand apart from a fake.
5. React Immediately to Brand Infringement
Respond right away to brand infringement so your customers understand that what is being offered is not legally from your company. Responding to brand infringement can be as quick as sending out a social media post to your audience. Also, be prompt about sending a cease and desist letter to the people or companies using your brand without your permission.
As online transactions continue to grow, brand identity theft continues to be a growing concern. However, if you apply best practices for keeping your brand’s identity protected, you can conduct business with peace of mind.