Brand Protection in the Digital Space
The Loreto Crest is a symbol recognised in 19 countries and by over one million current and past students worldwide. We have heard stories of the Crest on a ring, a sports shirt or even a pack of playing cards uniting complete strangers in all corners of the globe. It is a key component of our Loreto ‘brand’. Now, the contemporary media landscape has opened up the possibility for brands to expand reach and awareness online exponentially. With advances in digital technology and user attention primarily focused online, brands have had to adapt accordingly – websites, social media, blogs, email and mobile are now essential to brand engagement and business operations. However, how can we monitor such a vast landscape for trade mark breaches and brand abuse?
Brand abuse is an overarching term that refers to an external party infringing on the intellectual property of a brand, generally with the intent to take advantage of its reputation. Brand abuse can take shape in many forms, including counterfeiting, fake websites, social media impersonation, copywrite piracy, trademark squatting and more.
In today’s environment, where digital technology is constantly developing, brand protection online has never been more important. Key areas of focus are impersonation on social media, imitation websites, and trademark infringement. Brand impersonation can result in data breaches, misinformation being distributed online and the misuse of brand guidelines, presenting an inaccurate image. Should our Loreto brand be recreated or degraded in Australia, it can potentially cause reputational damage. Therefore, it is essential to monitor our reputation online regularly.
Simple, quick solutions include setting up Google alerts and performing name searches across all social media channels on a regular basis. However, while trying to manually keep track of a brand across the vastness of the internet is not impossible, it is not a viable long-term solution given the number of channels and messages moving at such significant speed. Developing a monitoring strategy and adopting an automated brand protection solution is useful in this area.
Domain management is another area in which we can actively manage our brand. A domain is one of the most important elements of our online presence – it represents the identity of our website(s). It is essential to track our existing domains and know when their expiration/renewal dates are. Failing to renew on time leaves the door open for the domain name to fall into the wrong hands. Domain management also encompasses building a domain portfolio. Registering other general domains such as .net, .org, and .au, assist in minimising the risk of unauthorised registration and use of internet domain names that are identical or similar to our registered trademarks.
The Loreto Crest and the word LORETO are the Intellectual Property (IP) of the Loreto Province of Australia and South East Asia. Our role as stewards of these assets is to preserve, protect and ensure that the integrity of the Province’s brand assets is upheld at all times.
For information on the Intellectual Property (IP) of the Province or for enquiries relating to brand reputation online, please contact email@example.com.
Author: Anna Turkington, Manager, Communications & Marketing, Loreto Ministries