Ensure compliance with branding guidelines throughout the value chain

Many brand owners struggle in enforcing brand policy compliance with their partners

Ensuring that an ever growing network of partners, distributors, resellers, influencers and "brandvocates" comply with your branding policy and guidelines can be a daunting task:

  • there are too many platforms, channels, infrastructures, etc. to keep an eye on to make sure brands are used in compliance with the owner’s guidelines;
  • risks are compounded by the number of subsidiaries and/or authorised resellers and/or licensees that may have specific limited rights to use the brand;
  • changes decided by the brand owner may take time to be implemented by all subsidiaries/resellers/licensees;
  • in most cases, brand compliance must compose with multi-jurisdictional and multi-language issues.  

In brief: brand owners are increasingly unable to ensure brand compliance guidelines are met at all times, increasing the risk of misuse detrimental to the company and the brand’s goodwill.

Devise branding guidelines that work

An essential first step is the development of a branding policy. Key elements to be considered are:

  • how brands are to be used;
  • where goods and services can be offered;
  • alignment with contracts already in place;
  • inclusion of processes and procedures in new agreements;
  • etc.

Efficient monitoring of online brand use

Together with IP Metro, we have developed a cost-efficient, effective, multi-lingual system that allows brand owners to closely monitor thousands of marketplaces, social media channels, app stores, NFT marketplaces, commercial and news websites and analyse the results to confirm that a given brand’s use is in compliance with the company’s up to date brand policy and guidelines.  

By using our proprietary platform alongside those guidelines, we are able to take the right steps towards informing the author of a particular listing, post, or even website that they are not compliant with the brand owner’s guidelines. Based on clear rules of engagement defined with your marketing department, our experts can take actions autonomously and in a cost-effective way, without requiring any intervention from you, escalating from a reminder to a warning, culminating with the take down of the content.

This does not only save time and costs, but also provides for almost immediate positive results on many fronts: preserving the company’s brand recognition and reputation, ensuring your marketing investment and the brand’s goodwill are preserved and – over time – less burden and stress upon the legal or IP department. 

Effective actions against non-compliance with branding guidelines

Many of our experts have been assisting brand owners in devising their branding policies, setting up distribution and partnership networks, etc. for decades. This expertise gave us a unique perspective on the importance of brand compliance: given the contractual relationship with the brand owner, issues are often more about lack of preparation and misunderstanding than actual nefarious purposes.  

Our team’s strong mediation skills will be useful in explaining the company’s brand guidelines and ensuring the partner – subsidiary, franchisee, licensee… – understands them, and our technical team may help implement them. This education component is essential but may not suffice.

Should compliance still prove lacking after a predetermined length of time, we will determine together with our client what the best approach would be towards partners that are not acting in compliance. 

This makes us the to-go-to party for to preserve online brand compliance: a white glove service that removes the burden for legal counsels, in-house IP experts and paralegals, whilst reducing stress on budgets in an ever increasing uphill battle to maintain compliance. 

Bart Lieben


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