Digital Brand Protection For Start-Ups
Making your start -up a success is no easy feat. Recently Forbes magazine revealed a bleak truth that 9 out of 10 startups fail. It goes without saying that entrepreneurs face many challenges when developing their business into a thriving successful enterprise. One key feature that arises time and time again regarding the failure of a startup is their inability to garner trust from new customers. Without loyal customers, you have no business. One of the greatest challenges facing brands today is building your brand name into something or someone associated as trustworthy. Building this trust with your prospective customers is a true recipe for success. It naturally makes sense that start-ups should protect their online brand identity.
How can a start-up with limited budgets and resources fully safeguard their online identity and brand integrity?
We outlined a list of precautionary steps below on how to safeguard your digital brand presence without breaking the bank!
1. Invest a Little, Save Alot.
Invest a little time and revenue in developing your domain name portfolio. If your business is expanding into new markets, ensure you have trademarks registered in all countries you operate in. Investing a little revenue in trademark monitoring will help you manage your intellectual property assets proficiently. This will allow you to be aware if some third party is trying to harness your brand equity. It also will allow you to identify any case of infringement.
2. Embrace New Opportunities
Optimise your domain name portfolio by registering appropriate new gTLD’s. When used correctly, domain names can be integrated as part of an effective digital marketing campaign for start-ups with limited funds and resources. In this way you can further develop your digital asset portfolio, whilst also generating web traffic to your website. Two birds, one stone!
3. Stay One Step Ahead: Defensive Registrations.
Following on from celebrities like Taylor Swift, Kevin Spacey and Oprah Winfrey, defensively registering ‘controversial’ domain extensions may save your business huge fortunes down the line. Many enterprises are purchasing the domain extension dot-SUCKS in a bid to ensure that opportunistic domain-squatters or brand-hijackers don’t get the chance. Failing to register your brand name with this controversial gTLD could result in your brand falling victim to online slander, brand-jacking and defamatory abuse.
Alternatively, you can turn something bad into something good. Many online brands are choosing to redirect Web traffic from a .SUCKS domain to a ‘customer service forum’ where customer comments can be voiced. This is an excellent example of turning a bad situation into a good one. This would allow you to always stay informed of what your customers think of your product or service and allows you great opportunity to further enhance your customer relationships. Adopting this ethos when your business is still in start-up phase will definitely contribute to your success.
4. Renew, not Regret
Renewing an expired domain name is considerably cheaper than negotiating a domain sale with a third party. In the long run, renewals are cheaper than legal arbitration proceedings. Many start-ups simply would not have the capital to recover a domain name from a domain squatter. Therefore, It is important to make sure you have enough resources to monitor domain expirations, particularly if you have a global presence.
5. Trademark Trolling
All Startups must monitor the domain names related to their trademark. Failing to do so could result in a domain-squatter or typo-squatter registering a web address. Investing a little capital in trademark surveillance services will ultimately save you potentially huge financial costs in the future.
6. Reputation Reporting
It is essential in todays digitised world for startups to monitor their online brand reputation. Web tracker software can provide valuable insights into the public’s perception of your brand or product. Approximately 8 in 10 American consumers read customer reviews prior to purchasing and item or service. In other reports, it was revealed that 73% of prospective customers considered positive consumer reviews as a deciding factor in making them trust a particular brand. 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 ups 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.
dotNice International Limited – Experts in Digital Brand Protection
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