Surviving in the digital space can pose difficult challenges to business owners. In order for businesses to survive today in the digital world they must have an online presence. It goes with out saying that traditional models of business have dramatically changed with the advent of the internet. The digital age has brought enormous opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs and established businesses alike. The global market is within arms reach with merely a laptop and a solid wifi connection. Unknown performers can suddenly become an internet sensation over night, businesses can increase their global reach into new markets with minimal cost and consumers have greater choice and say in the product they choose, or don’t choose to purchase.

Indeed, the digital space has created unprecedented opportunities for businesses to grow and evolve. However, it also presents brands with novel challenges. Global IP management is complicated and digital technology is constantly changing at an ever increasing pace. Many brand or marketing managers naturally are intimidated by this new, innovative digital landscape.

Savvy, intelligent brands invest time and money into promoting, protecting and growing their brand identity and reputation online. They understand that a brand’s online presence is intrinsically connected to a brands bottom line and survival. However, many organisations have no concrete or focused strategy for managing their most important intangible asset – their online presence.

So, what constitutes a brands digital or online presence?

All brand portfolios today are digital or at least should be.

Smart digital brands view their digital assets (domain names, social media platforms etc…) from a holistic perspective. This all- encompassing approach to brand management as a single entity is at the core of thorough digital brand protection strategies. In order to fully manage your online presence, brands need to monitor and manage their domain name portfolio (gTLD’s , ccRLD’s and IDN’s) track their registered trademarks, supervise social media sites and of course protect all their digital assets from external abuse or internal misuse. The only way to succeed in the digital space is to manage your digital asset portfolio centrally.

All organisations want to protect their brand online at minimal cost. They seek to increase their global reach and break into new markets whilst securing their digital assets against fraudulent online behaviour and cybercrime. This can be a daunting task for brand managers managing established international brands due to the size and complexity of their digital asset or IP portfolio. Scaling smb’s who wish to expand into international markets also find it difficult to implement a digital brand protection strategy. Many can be confused as to where to start. Needless to say, whether you’re a long established global brand or a developing SMB, your enterprises success in any case relies on the effectiveness of your digital brand protection strategy. Ultimately, spending a little will save a lot!

How can intangible assets like digital assets be protected and managed?

Managing your digital asset portfolio involves three key essential steps: monitoring, managing and enforcing.


Are you monitoring all domain names related to your trademark internationally? Trademark surveillance and monitoring are essential in preventing IP infringement or online abuse in protecting your domain names. This ongoing supervision and investigation is crucial when safeguarding your digital assets as it ensures you are aware when third parties attempt to harness your brand equity.

Similarly, who is monitoring your online reputation? Have you implemented tools to gauge online sentiment on social media and peer to peer networks regarding your digital brand? Have you identified any cases of defamation against your brand reputation? Successful supervision of your brand reputation involves monitoring of the whole web. Integrating online monitoring toolkits will allow you to keep your finger on the pulse of public perception pertaining to your brand. Maintaining monthly brand sentiment reports will help you stay on top. A proactive approach is required.

2 Managing:

Enterprises often fail to competently manage their digital asset portfolios as many of the departments responsible for such supervision often work in isolation from one another. Managing digital assets often is the responsibilIty of three key departments within an organisation – a. Marketing/ Brand management, b. Legal or c. IT. In most instances, these three departments generally work in silo’s and fail to communicate with each other. Employing an effective digital brand protection strategy engenders that all three departments work collectively.

When managing a domain name portfolio, communication between all three departments is essential. Using a centralised platform that aggregates all important information about your portfolio will greatly improve management processes. In many cases, outsourcing the management of your portfolio to an experienced and specialist third party often yields better results than internal management.

3. Enforcement

All organisations with an online presence know of the threats that face their digital brand each day. Cybercrime is increasing every year and the expense it can incur for digital brands is enormous. Enforcing a thorough digital brand protection strategy ensures enterprises’ have safeguards in place to defend against instances of cybercrime. It allows them to act efficiently and cost effectively when required. Applying a proactive approach to enforcing your brands online IP rights will safeguard your brands most important intangible assets. Recovering domain names from third parties can be a complex process for those unfamiliar with UDRP. Consulting with legal experts who have extensive experience in this field will save you time and money and ultimately benefit your digital brand.

dotNice International Limited Experts in digital brand protection

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There has been much speculation over the last few years on the growing importance of domain name portfolio management in relation to an enterprises success. When you cut through all the noise, what is the actual value of new gTLD’s for businesses?

The Benefits: 

1. SEO 

Domain names are an essential competent to a business’s online visibility or in other words, it’s SEO. Everyday vast amounts of data and information are added to the great information reservoir that is the worldwide web. In order to optimise search results, Google and other search engines need to consistently develop innovative parameters to qualify web content. Increasingly, search engines are using the duration or longevity of a domain name registration to identify best suited content as generally, invalid websites have short, temporary domain registrations. Therefore, proactive monitoring and renewal of your existing domain name portfolio is crucial to your brand’s SEO.

Enhance your Market Share

In contrast to large marketing budgets, the low cost of branding using gTLD’s will ultimately benefit your brand’s bottom line. The new gTLD program should be embraced by marketing professionals as it allows for the segmentation of your customer base. The new gTLD program allows for marketeers to create targeted, personalised campaigns. Optimising your domain name portfolio therefore is a winning recipe in terms of ROI.

Community Hubs

Expanding your domain name portfolio also allows brand’s to further enhance their relationship with their target markets through creating community TLD’s, for example .eco, .sport, .kids. Community hubs or online communities are increasingly trending in the digital space and present great potential value to scaling businesses. Customer loyalty and trust is fostered when brand’s synchronise with their customers’ beliefs and perspectives. Developing your domain name portfolio to facilitate new community TLD’s will further enhance this dynamic and ultimately benefit your brand identity.

Web Traffic

Every day, thousands of prospective customers or clients may be redirected away from your website. Typo-squatters deliberately purchase domain names that are similar to your brand’s domain name with the hope that a certain number of Internet users will mis-spell or incorrectly type the name of a website (or actually it’s URL) when surfing the web.

The online antidote to removing the threat of web traffic diversions, is simply to register as many variations of your domain name and link it back to your website. By registering such misspellings, you stop third parties leveraging your brands identity and also potentially gain new customers.

Grow Your Market Share with IDN’s

With ICANN’S release of new domain names over the past few years, the potential for opportunistic domain squatters to harness your brands identity for their benefit is increased. Defensive registrations of new domains will combat this threat. Consider registering a multitude of domain name extensions in the global marketplace. This includes IDN’s or internationalised domain names (Domain names presented in the native alphabet/script)

This will guarantee that your domain names and digital assets are safeguarded. It also will serve to maximise your brands visibility. Ensure you register all your marks with the Trademark ClearingHouse to avoid potential trademark infringement.

Acquiring professional assistance in managing your domain name portfolio should be viewed as an investment in the success of your brand. Consulting with domain name portfolio specialists’ is strongly recommended in light of increases in ‘predatory pricing’ in sunrise registration periods.

In some case pricing in sunrise periods has escalated to extreme highly inflated prices (for instance, over 50 times what the general availability price is). Brand owners would be advised to consult with experts in the field of domain name registration and brokerage who will liaise directly with the registries in question.

dotNice –  Experts in Digital Brand Protection.