Trademark monitoring, have an eye on your values

360° iprotect trademark monitoring

Trade mark monitoring – how is my trade mark doing?

If you think that most of the trade marks registered at the German Patent and Trade Mark Office fall into the obvious area of shoes and textiles, you are mistaken. In fact, most registered trade marks are found in the field of mundane business organisation and administration. The usual suspect, clothing, is only in 5th place in the ranking of trade mark applications. Incidentally, there are over 880,000 registered trade marks in Germany alone, as of the end of 2022. No one can say how many there are worldwide.

After all, there is a regularly recorded ranking of the most valuable trade marks worldwide. For the year 2022, the first-placed brands are, not surprisingly:

Apple 1st place with a brand value of 947.1 billion US dollars
Google 2nd place with a brand value of 819.6 billion US dollars
Amazon 3rd place with a brand value of 705.6 billion US dollars

Among the top 10, there are only 3 that do not belong to the tech scene, McDonalds at 6th, VISA at 7th and Luis Vuitton at 10th. Just to understand, a brand equity only refers to the brand itself, not to buildings, land, factories or the like that belong to the brand owner.

Protecting brand value through brand monitoring

The giants of the brand world have long since commissioned a whole series of other companies that are only concerned with maintaining or, at best, increasing the brand value. Because the fate of the entire company often hangs on the brand value. The Tesla brand, for example, could sing a song about this, as its main shareholder Elon Musk repeatedly causes the brand value of Tesla to drop by several billion through careless statements. However, if the boss himself is the cause, even the best brand monitoring is of no help, especially since all of Musk’s public statements go viral at the speed of light.

But what is brand monitoring?

Brand monitoring is the observation or monitoring of different media channels in which the brand could be mentioned. But not only the brand name is relevant for brand monitoring. Every brand is directly or indirectly linked to actions that can have an impact on the brand value. For example, if the manufacturer of a skin cream advertises a certain ingredient and this ingredient suddenly turns out to be hazardous to health, this has a negative impact on the brand value.

The task of brand monitoring in such a case is to inform the brand owner as early as possible about this danger so that countermeasures can be initiated. On the other hand, deeper brand monitoring can also lead to a competitive advantage. Let’s take skin cream as an example again. Scientists discovered a yet unknown function in one of the ingredients that significantly improves the skin’s appearance. This news can now be incorporated into the advertising for the product and, if possible, before the competitors.

Brand monitoring in the age of the internet

Newspapers, magazines, radio and television were the media of the pre-internet age. Every report, every news item reached people with a certain delay, especially since even during live TV broadcasts only a small part of the population happened to be glued to the boob tube. Today, smartphone density in industrialised countries is over 90 %. Over 70 % of smartphone owners are constantly online. There are millions of private and public forms of digital information. Of course, these have different priority. Their relevance depends on the number of people who inform themselves via these channels. In general, however, the following areas should be considered as key channels in terms of brand monitoring:
– Print media
– Radio / TV and radio
– Internet forums
– social media
– Rating portals
– Test portals

Here, each area must be differentiated according to brand relevance.

What is prioritised in tracking for brand monitoring?

Certainly, the brand name is at the top of the list. Where and how is it mentioned and how large is the audience reached? Then there is the quality or value of the information. The target group reached is also important. In order for the mention of a brand or brand name in media channels to have any positive or negative effect at all, the framework conditions must be right. How large is the target group reached? What is its composition? Smaller groups can also be relevant if, for example, they act as multipliers in their professional function.

In many areas of marketing, the principle still applies today: “even negative advertising is ultimately advertising”. This principle has lost some of its significance in the Internet age, because the presence time of messages has changed. Everything, really everything, is preserved on the internet and possibly multiplied millions of times. Brand monitoring, which identifies possible sources of negative or positive reports at an early stage, allows brand owners to counteract or promote the report. For example, an untrue allegation can be removed from the net by the timely threat of a warning letter before it reaches a larger circle of people.

Discovering trends through brand monitoring and exploiting them before competitors do

Every brand is associated with different actions that take place around the product or service. The brand itself does not necessarily have to be mentioned, but it is nevertheless part of a promotion because its design is suitable for it. Such actions include so-called trends. As a rule, trends have an expiry date, but in their time they can both push the turnover of a brand and increase the brand value considerably and far beyond the time frame of the trend.

Brand monitoring recognises how emerging trends can affect brands through the use of appropriate keywords and certain parameters.

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