Online Brand Equity and Strategic Distribution
A company’s most valuable strategic asset is its brand. As a guarantee of quality, origin, and performance, a company’s brand reputation is often the only basis for consumer decision. The ability to establish, maintain, and enhance a brand is the key to maintaining competitive advantage and long-term profitability in an increasingly crowded and complex global marketplace.
Although the brand is its most valuable asset, it is also the most vulnerable. The Internet is quickly becoming the world’s largest sales channel, creating unforeseen challenges for companies in the form of black and grey market activity. Unauthorized sales pose a real and growing threat for companies—since 1990, revenues from counterfeiting and piracy have increased more than 400% while revenues from legitimate sales have only increased by 50%.
Unmonitored online grey and black market activity can destroy a brand’s image, the loyalty of its authorized reseller, and consumer trust.
The evolving complexities of an increasingly global and virtual marketplace demand proactive and comprehensive strategies to maintain brand integrity and Nelson Mullins’ Online Brand Equity and Strategic Distribution Group is one of the few practices in the country with the experience to help clients navigate these challenges. By combining proactive and specifically-tailored plans with rapid responsive action to grey and black market activity, Nelson Mullins has created a comprehensive system to effectively tackle the increasingly complex challenges facing companies today.
Our group of attorneys and professionals combine experience from intellectual property, antitrust, distribution, litigation, government relations, sales and marketing, and computer programming departments to provide clients with a one-stop solution to implement strategic plans that:
- Evaluate current distribution strategies and tailor a strategy geared toward minimizing online price erosion;
- Develop customized strategic plans that support authorized Internet sales and minimize unauthorized Internet sales;
- Monitor the worldwide online marketplace for distribution anomalies, infringements, and counterfeit products; and
- Enforce clients’ distribution and intellectual property rights through efficient and effective litigation.
Where once a manufacturer could limit retailer competition by spreading the geographic distance between brick-and-mortar retailers, the online sales channel has created fierce competition, forcing retailers to cut prices and destroy margin. The online retailer is dictating the “race to the bottom”, but rapid online price erosion of a product does not harm the online retailer but has long term negative impact on the manufacturer.
Nelson Mullins’ Online Brand Equity and Strategic Distribution Group has extensive experience in designing and implementing Resale and Advertised Price Maintenance programs to protect brand erosion and reseller margin. Our team routinely designs distribution strategies for manufacturers from start-up to fortune 100 corporations which incorporate price erosion mitigation strategies.
Too often manufacturers fail to recognize unauthorized distribution and counterfeit problems until it is too late. Unmonitored online grey and black market activity can destroy a brand’s image, but the breadth and complexity of the online marketplace makes detection an almost impossible task. By using proprietary software developed in-house, Nelson Mullins’ Online Brand Equity and Strategic Distribution Group can systematically monitor a growing list of one hundred fifty websites globally in over a dozen languages to effectively identify, tailor plans, and respond rapidly to grey and black market activity as it occurs in real time.
Our software excels at identifying grey and black market activity, but identification is only half of the battle. After identifying the problem, the Nelson Mullins team has created a comprehensive system to tackle and eliminate problems unique to the online marketplace. Nelson Mullins attorneys regularly provide cost-effective and efficient solutions for domestic and international problems that are tailored for our clients’ individual needs.