As a business, you know how important it is for you to be able to stand out from your competitors. There are plenty of things that can help with this. One of those is your brand identity. Your brand identity includes things like your logo, the name of your business, and the colors and design you choose to include in those visual elements. There’s more to it than just the visual elements though. Along with your brand messaging, there’s also the reputation and image you’ve cultivated too. All of these matter when it comes to making your business stand out. So what can you do to protect your brand identity?
Register Your Copyrights
Your logo and brand name are significant representations of your business. They are key identifiers that can differentiate your products and business, signifying them as being separate from something belonging to another business.
Because of the crucial role they play in your brand’s identity, it’s equally crucial that they remain something unique to your business. You don’t want someone else to take your logo or company name for themselves. Trademarking or copyrighting your logo and name can prevent other entities from being legally allowed to take them and use them for themselves.
Secure Your Domain Names
Given the increasingly digital nature of business today, another crucial move to make is to secure your domain names as soon as possible. Having a website is a requirement for any business. If you want a simple, effective, and cost-effective way to protect your brand identity, getting a domain name for your website is an absolute must.
Picking a domain name requires thought and care. It’s not something you should choose on a whim if you want it to work for you. You’ll need to make sure that the one you want is available before going any further. Once you’ve chosen one, though, it’s a good idea to purchase different top-level domains (.com, .net, .org, etc) – what some people think of as the ‘extension’ on the end of your URL. That helps you further protect your brand identity by ensuring that others can’t use your same domain name with a different top-level domain.
Monitor What Others Are Saying
The reputation of your business and its brand is a more nebulous concept than something like a logo or domain name, but it still has an impact on your brand identity. What people have to say about your brand influences the perception of others. If that perception becomes negative, your brand will suffer.
There are things you can do to prevent that from happening. One of them is to monitor what people are saying about your brand. Regularly look over your reviews and ratings. Pay attention to customer feedback. Make note of any trends and consistencies in the feedback you get. From there, you can make an action plan to address any perceived problems so that you can preserve and protect the reputation of your brand.
While you’re at it, keep an eye out for copyright infringements. Less scrupulous businesses may try to use your logo, name, or other intellectual property for themselves, despite you owning the copyright to it. One simple way to do this is to set up a Google Alert with your company name. If you discover any of this, don’t brush it off. At a minimum, you should have your attorney send a cease and desist letter. If that isn’t enough, you may need to pursue more aggressive legal action.
Protect Your Data
There have been a few very newsworthy data breaches in 2021 alone, to say nothing of the data breaches that have taken place before this year. Data breaches can cost any business dearly, and not just in terms of money. It can tank the reputation of your brand, turning your brand identity from one that consumers feel they can trust to one that no consumer in their right mind would trust their data with.
If your business is to avoid that fate, you must take action to protect your data from leaks and cybersecurity threats. Unless you yourself are a cybersecurity expert, however, this probably isn’t a task you should be tackling on your own. Outsourcing IT services can help you focus on what you know how to do best at your business – like we always say, work in your area of genius and outsources to others for theirs. It gives your business its best chance at being protected since it will be done by experts who already know what they’re doing.
Keep Track of Links to Your Site
Backlinks have the potential to really benefit your business. A solid backlink strategy can build your brand’s authority and boost your online visibility. That requires links to be high quality backlinks, however, and there’s no guarantee that any links not placed by you will be. Poor quality backlinks can harm your brand and can actually damage your SEO efforts.
Not sure how to see who’s linking to your site? Our SEO clients receive access to our reporting platform to easily check their backlinks at any time (along with automatically generated weekly reports emailed to them.) There are also a bunch of different resources out there that you can use if you want to do your own. SEMRush.com, Moz.com, Google Search Console, Majestic.com, and Backlinkwatch.com are just a few examples of resources that you can use to see who’s linking to your website.
If you find links to your site that you believe are harmful to your business, especially in regards to its SEO efforts, ask the site administrator to remove the link or use the Disavow Links tool from Google.
Consistency is one of the most basic rules of branding. You can do everything in your power to protect your brand identity from outside forces, but if your business is inconsistent in its branding, it won’t make any difference. This is why it’s important to standardize everything when it comes to your brand. Put together a brand style guide for your business. When everything is clearly laid out and defined, it’s a lot easier to make sure that all of your branding will be consistent and to make adjustments and corrections as needed. We also recommend that you add an entire section for brand messaging, so that your words align with your designs and goals.
Protecting your brand identity is crucial to ensuring that your business is able to stand out. If you don’t take steps to protect it, you could find yourself facing an even tougher struggle as there will be little to nothing standing in the way of another business or entity encroaching on it. Make sure you have a clear and thorough understanding of what exactly your brand identity is as a business and then do everything you can to protect it.
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