When it comes to a brand protection strategy, companies need to be innovative to secure the budget they need. We spoke with Mark Leonard, General Counsel, Sunsweet Growers, to hear how he creatively cross-collaborated on budget allocation to secure the funds necessary to effectively safeguard the brand. From sharing costs with Marketing to turning gray market sellers into authorized resellers; thinking about the positive impacts this data can provide outside Legal is essential when looking for ways to fund brand protection.
By investing in these measures, companies can look forward to a significant return on investment (ROI) in the long run, as their brand is safeguarded and their reputation is strengthened. In this blog post, we’ll explore creative ways to secure budget for a brand protection program through cross-departmental efficiencies and value.
Partner with Marketing and Sales to Split Costs
A proven way to get budget for your brand protection program is to partner with other brand owners and Marketing. Marketing teams often have healthy budgets allocated to them for advertising and social reputation campaigns, by collaborating with them, you can split the costs of implementing your brand protection program. The data you already have access to today can be leverage to help track delivery and accuracy in advertising spend; tracking look-a-like ad scams and measuring adherence to brand guidelines by franchise partners.
Joint Campaigns and Events
One example of a successful partnership is an advertising campaign promoting the importance of buying genuine products. Lululemon’s dupe event in May 2023 did just that. The company combatted the TikTok trend of “dupe culture” by hosting an event for customers to trade a pair of dupe Lululemon leggings for the authentic product. Campaigns and events like these increase awareness to the dangers of counterfeit products and help generate sales for your company.
Additionally, you could partner with Marketing to create joint promotions or incentives for customers who buy genuine products. Promotions could be as simple as offering discounts on their next purchase or even providing access to exclusive content or events.
Build awareness around product authenticity by incorporating chatbots into your website or social media channels.
Chatbots can provide customers with real-time information about the authenticity of your products and help direct them to authorized resellers.
By working with Marketing to share costs, you can create a win-win situation for both departments and the company overall. You get the funding you need to implement your brand protection program, Marketing benefits from increased brand visibility and customer loyalty and the company gains efficiency, reduces procurement needs and increases its bottom line.
In the end, collaborating with your Marketing partners is just one of many creative solutions you can explore to get a budget for your brand protection program. By thinking exploring new avenues, you can find unique solutions to protect your brand and keep counterfeiters at bay.
Pass Costs Down through Distribution Channels
Another way to get creative about funding your brand protection program is to pass the costs down through distribution channels. This strategy involves working with authorized resellers or distributors to share the costs of a comprehensive, effective brand protection plan.
First, identify which resellers or distributors are committed to protecting your brand and have a good reputation. Then, you can approach them with a proposal to split brand protection costs, which may include partnering with a brand protection provider, counterfeit detection, monitoring unauthorized sales, and enforcing trademark violations.
Explain to your partners how implementing a brand protection program will benefit their business by strengthening customer loyalty and increasing sales. Working together can protect your brand and improve your channel partners’ bottom line.
Tip: Providing incentives to encourage your channel partners to participate in this cost-sharing model. For example, you could offer discounts on products or additional Marketing support.
Passing the costs down through the channel can be a win-win situation for both your brand and authorized resellers. By working together to protect your brand, you can maintain customer trust, safeguard your reputation, and boost sales.
Turn Gray Market Sellers into Valid Resellers
One source of revenue for a brand protection program often overlooked is utilizing gray market sellers. These sellers typically acquire products through unauthorized channels and sell them at a lower price, undercutting the brand’s authorized sellers and damaging their reputation. However, the right approach can transform gray market sellers into valuable partners.
The first step is to identify these sellers and engage with them directly. A friendly email or phone call can start the conversation and establish a relationship. Once communication is established, offer these sellers the opportunity to become authorized resellers of your brand. Sellers can accomplish authorization through a certification program, allowing them to sell your products at a fair price while adhering to your quality and customer service standards.
There are several benefits to this approach. First, it gives gray market sellers a legitimate source of revenue. Rather than selling through unauthorized channels, they can now sell products through an established network, earning commissions and establishing themselves as honest business partners. This program not only benefits them but also helps to improve the overall brand image.
By bringing gray market sellers into the fold, you reduce the risk of counterfeit products flooding the market. When you have a trusted network of resellers, you can more easily track the distribution of your products and take action against any unauthorized sellers.
Finally, by establishing a certification program, you can generate additional revenue from fees charged to the gray market sellers who wish to become authorized resellers. This revenue can then be used to fund your brand protection program.
Turning gray market sellers into valid resellers is one way to get creative about funding a brand protection program. By thinking outside the box and working with unlikely partners, you can establish a program that protects your brand and generates additional revenue.
Protect your Brand, Safeguard your Reputation
Brand protection programs are critical as counterfeit goods and unauthorized sellers infiltrate the digital market. Finding creative ways to get the necessary budget is essential. By partnering with Marketing, passing costs down through distribution channels, and turning gray market sellers into valid resellers; you can find cost-effective ways to protect your brand and achieve a positive ROI.
Using AI-powered analytics and automation, brand protection programs identify counterfeit products being sold online and track down the source of the issue. It helps protect your strong brand image and sends a strong message to bad actors that you are serious about stopping their illegal activities.
Remember, brand protection isn’t just about protecting your products, but also safeguarding your reputation. It’s time to think outside the box and proactively protect your brand from harm.
“What sets Tracer apart from their competitors is great technology that is extremely customizable and amazing customer service – some of the best I have ever encountered from any vendor.”
– Mark Leonard, General Counsel, Sunsweet Growers