There is and has always been, too much dependence on vendors (not all are useless) to direct your corporate domain name branding strategy when that task should be yours. The vendor’s role is to add value to your online strategy with information that could potentially impact your online brand identity. The notion of “defensive” is soon getting old and overrated – I think it should be replaced with terms like; strategic, current and ROI. Selling “fear in a box” type solutions isn’t about looking out for the client, in my opinion, it is about keeping the client as ignorant as possible to find business continuity.
Many have applied for .brand TLD’s for defensive reasons and yet I wonder how many are given direction on potentially what they can do with these investments. Fortunately or unfortunately many of these vendors/consultants have been complacent in exploring creative ways to utilize these assets in a powerful and constructive way without risking brand dilution. Example, microsites for a global company where country manages can create their own content for the region and audience to strengthen the brand globally; authorized resellers or dealers could potentially use the TLD indicating their status with the brand and as a result increasing confidence in consumers as they identify the TLD as a legitimate website of an authorized brand partner.
We know this is a relationship-based industry where the typical sales approach is to socially engage with the client in the hope to win the business of transferring portfolios of domain names. Are brands understanding why they would consider transferring – is it all about price sensitivity? I genuinely don’t know the answer to these questions these days but I do ask that brands think about why they would consider transferring names or not potentially thinking of managing portfolios in-house. How many of these sales folks actually understand the world of domains in every aspect of the domain’s lifecycle? Is the answer always built on inflicting fear to the client by directing “defensive” measures?
Thankfully, we did not build Dataprovider.com to service the Brand Protection industry at all. Our roots come from the world of SEO and as companies we worked with became increasingly curious around competitive intelligence, we thought, why not index and structure the global web content and allow businesses to search efficiently and gain actionable intelligence to support growth strategies.
Since we index public data from the global web, we knew there also a way for brands to identify infringing websites. We decided to make the search easier with only relevant features needed for a brand owner and/or IP professional to identify, prioritize, track and enforce their rights online.
Dataprovider.com, we offer features that simplify the enforcement process/. For example. we have the “investigate” feature that identifies counterfeit websites using pre-defined filters via a keyword search, trust score, and online stores. You can also further filter down the results to a quality dataset. This tool is powerful and as an IP professional, you should at least be intrigued enough to explore the value and how much time is saved in tracking these infringing websites with less reliance externally.
Another outstanding feature we offer is our “Ownership” feature, whereby we can identify the owner of a website not only through the whois information derived from the registrant input (not always accurate on purpose) but from the 150+ data attributes we index from a website that shares unique characteristics with other websites, thus indicating common ownership. This has become increasingly important when whois information is masked, so these unique characteristics that our advanced technology identifies serve as alternative identifiers.
The websites are re-indexed monthly, so we track and save the public data indexed every month, which can serve as powerful evidential support for any DRP complaint as well.
I cannot advocate for a service/product/tool if I would not use it myself. If I had this tool back when I was Domain Name Attorney for Philips Electronics in NL, life would have been simpler, in a way – because of the transparency this provides.
I have approached vendors to consider offering the service to brands and although the reaction has been positive, the movement to gain internal interest and approval has taken far too long which frustrates me to think, how much of thought leadership goes into supporting a client’s online brand protection or management strategy? Yet, it’s the brands, when I do a walk-through of the solutions, who get excited about it and so they should.
We are looking for brands who are genuinely interested in exploring the value, and to provide feedback on the new product. You will be rewarded for your time and effort.