In the digital space, brands face an array of opportunities for growth, but they also face challenges to keep their online premises protected. This year will see the introduction of yet another string of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) that will give brands the chance to future-proof their online business. These launches, however, will also pose certain risks, as frauds and criminals will no doubt make use of the rapidly growing digital phenomena. Given the devastating effect that brand abuse could have on a company’s reputation, customers, and revenues, preparing to cope with these risks is a must.
As the number of new gTLDs coming to the market keeps growing, brands are highly recommended to develop a strategy that could help them decide how to address them. If they eventually decide to enter their brand into new registries, they must ensure that their teams navigate the new expanded online environment. When developing a strategy, they must consider legal and risk management, budget constraints, and how to take advantage of opportunities.
With hundreds of new gTLDs to police, organizations will also need to revisit their way of protecting their trademarks and other intellectual property. This will mean moving from a strategy focused on the typical defensive domain registrations to a broader and more thoughtful one that focuses on heightened risk of brand abuse and the detection of domains that impinge on trademarks and hamper traffic.
An adequate brand protection strategy will also help organizations retain the trust they have built with consumers, who are nowadays increasingly looking for a consistent brand experience across all channels and in search of the best deals. Brandjackers are making use of this trend, coming up with fake sites and apps that look unique at first sight to attract traffic and sell counterfeit goods. Companies will only maintain consumer trust if they devise wise protection strategies that shield clients from brand impersonators.