protect your brand name

The best way to protect your brand name in 5 simple steps

8 MINS
Web.com Team

Don’t you find it frustrating to create the perfect brand for your company just to find out that somebody bested you in patenting your idea? Or by the fact that another business entity is abusing your brand names to sell counterfeit products?

If you answered yes, then it’s time for you to apply for a brand protection at your nearest trademark office and legal counsel. After all, your company branding is your intellectual property.

What is Branding?

Branding refers to a business strategy and marketing concept that reflects your brand identity accurately while helping your customers easily identify your goods.

It may have physical characteristics and emotional cues that triggers your brand reputation and brand identity through the use of your brand name, color, logo, tagline—even the feeling that associates with your products, services, or experiences offered. You’ll know it if your brand design is top tier if your target market can easily recognize your brand logo from afar and in crowded places.

People are more likely to patronize brands they trust, so your branding serves is crucial in establishing your credibility within the industry. If they notice any frauds, brand abuse, copyright infringement, or scandals that may relate to your brand online, your customer trust dwindles.


You can consider a brand as the idea or image people have in mind when thinking about specific products, services, and activities of a company, both in a practical (e.g. “the shoe is light-weight”) and emotional way (e.g. “the shoe makes me feel powerful”). – The Branding Journal


Why is Brand Protection Important to Your Business?

You may be one of the many business owners or start-ups who got into online businesses through social media accounts. It’s easy to start an online business and gain a following with the right marketing strategy these days, but at the same time, malicious third parties can also easily to steal, impersonate, and ruin your identity.

How can you protect your business from being infringed, stolen, or used inadvertently? This is where brand protection comes in.

Brand protection allows you to legally protect and ensure exclusive rights to your brand’s security, longevity, and authority in the long run despite being online. Some of the reasons why you should apply for a brand protection include:

Link Manipulation – With more and more people gaining access to the Internet, link manipulation is the mainstream for exploitation efforts. Hackers can alter your website link by creating a misspelled URL to hijack your customers, redirecting them to a spoofed website (a website that looks exactly like yours).

Website Spoofing – Once your unsuspecting customers are redirected to their spoofed website, bad actors and hackers will then trick them into downloading malware or spyware that gives away their personal information.

Email Spoofing – In some cases, attackers may try email spoofing attacks where they send fake emails that looks like a legitimate brand. Once your customer clicks them, they allow their attacker to glimpse on their personal data, which may lead to impersonation and hacking.

Phishing – If you think attackers stop on emails and website spoofing, then you’re wrong. As a matter of fact, phishing is quite common regardless of what country you belong. For years, attackers have been exploiting unsuspecting customers by sending them links with spoofed login pages or by asking them to transfer money through voice messages.

Social Media Impersonation – Social media is a popular platform to share information, communicate and advertise, making it the best place for brand exploitation. How? By impersonating someone into promoting counterfeit goods, posting positive reviews on fake brands, or commenting fake news which may tarnish their reputation.

Impacts of Brand Infringements and Fake Products

Although the issues caused by your attackers won’t directly affect your company name. Its impact will cost you more than you can imagine if they are not prevented or addressed in the long run. Some of these impacts include:

Reduce in Sales – Majority of the people around the world can’t resist a bargain. In most cases buyers will prefer quantity over quality so long as they think they are saving more. And, seeing that fake products are cheaper compared to the original ones, people will be drawn to these kinds of goods. As a result, you lose not only your profit but also your customer’s loyalty in the long run.

Decrease in Customer Trust and Reputation – Some people, especially those who are particular with their purchases, may distrust your brand as soon as they find out that you are linked to any accidents, scandals, and frauds. When that happens, gaining back their trust will be hard. Not to mention, fighting back against infringers is costly, using up a significant amount of your time and resources.

Brand Dilution – When your brand acquires a bad reputation online, the search engine flags your keywords, which results to brand dilution. This is done by making your keyword more generic, displaying unrelated advertisements to your post, which dilutes them later on.

Jeopardized Business Partnerships – Finally, when counterfeit items comes in, you don’t only lose the loyalty of your customers, but also your relationship with your business partners. By selling fake goods, your business partners and suppliers may perceive you as a disloyal member.

5 Ways to Protect Your Brand Name

Now that you have a good grasp of what branding is and why brand protection is important, it’s time for you learn how to protect your brand name through this ultimate guide. Here are five easy ways:

1.     Register your Domain Name

Domain names are important in building your business brand protection. As soon as you come up with a business name, register it even if you don’t plan to build a website right away. According to GrowthBadger, .com domains are over 33% more memorable and trusted than URLs with other top-level domains (TLD).

At the same time be sure to register your domain name with alternate extensions (e.g., .net, .biz, and .org), with their alternative spellings (e.g., saintjames.com, stjames.org, and stj.net). Having domains with multiple spelling alternatives is ideal for your visitors because you’re giving them better chances of accessing your website in case they make a mistake in entering your domain name.

Additional tip: Be sure to set up automatic renewal on your registration so that you don’t lose ownership of your domains when the expiration term is up.

Read more: Alternative Domain Extensions: What to Do When .COM is Taken

Register your domain name today

While you’re not required to trademark your name and logo, doing so gives added protection in case someone uses a name or logo that’s the same or confusingly similar.

Start by searching the Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) database to see if anyone has already trademarked a similar business name and/or logo. You can also apply for a trademark online. But, since this process is complex, consulting an attorney familiar with trademark law can help file documents necessary to registering and maintaining your brand.

There are a ton of benefits to getting a trademark protection for your business. According to Heer Law, applying for a trademark registration prolongs the lifespan of a company by 6.6 years on average and applying for a renewal of a trademark registration further extends that lifespan.

Read more: All About Domain Names: Domain Frequently Asked Questions

3.    Use your Brand

The more you use your brand name, logo, and other identifying elements, the more proof you will have that they belong to you. For example, an eCommerce business can put its logo on shipping boxes, tissue paper, and packing slips. A retailer can have sales clerks wear t shirts with the store’s logo on them to make them more visible to their clients.

For social medias, you may use your brand to help establish your presence online. You can use the ™ symbol with your name and logo before you apply for a trademark; after your official registration, you can use the symbol ® for your brand name.

Have you heard of the power of SWAG? SWAG items, also known as promotional merchandise, are products branded with a logo or slogan and distributed at little or no cost to promote a brand, corporate identity, or event. Apparently, distributing SWAG products have reported a number of benefits for companies. One includes people doing more business with your brand after receiving a promotional item.

4.     Monitor your Brand

Set up Google alerts on your brand name and use social media management tools such as SocialMention to see when your brand name is mentioned. This will alert you when someone else is illegally using your brand name so you can take action quickly. The faster you can act, the better your chances of stopping the infringement before it damages your brand.

Web.com offers a Business Directories with Reviews Management service makes sure your company’s listing is correct in all online directories while also allowing you to see and respond to reviews, social posts, and comments from all the connected accounts.

Read more: Why Business Directories and Online Review Management Matter

5. Deal with Infringement Immediately

Finally, when you encounter any brand infringement, start by sending a cease-and-desist letter to the person or company using your brand name or logo illegally. Feel free to explain your ownership on your trademark, including your decision to take legal actions if the issue is not remedied on time.

You can find templates for cease-and-desist letters online or have your attorney create one for you.

Protect What Matter to You

As a small business owner managing an online store, protecting your brand name is vital. Your brand represents your identity, values, and reputation in the competitive digital marketplace.

By safeguarding your brand name, you establish trust and recognition among customers, fostering loyalty and repeat business. Moreover, brand protection prevents unauthorized use that could dilute your unique offerings, ensuring your hard-earned customer base remains intact. Consistent brand representation reinforces your credibility, setting you apart from competitors.

Ultimately, brand protection fortifies your online store’s foundation, enabling sustainable growth, customer trust, and long-term success in the dynamic world of e-commerce.

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  • Web.com Team

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