BrandVerity is in Alpha

Business,Startups by on March 5, 2008 at 2:38 pm

I’m thrilled to announce that BrandVerity is now in closed alpha.

BrandVerity Trademark Monitoring

What is BrandVerity?

BrandVerity provides tools and services to identify and combat online trademark abuse.

The majority of the technology developed in this space has been developed by trademark abusers, while trademark owners typically resort to manual discovery techniques and are typically only engaging reactively.

Our first offering (still to be named) is a pay-per-click monitoring service that identifies trademark poaching by merchant affiliates.

What is Trademark Poaching?

If you’re a merchant with an affiliate program, you are probably already familiar with the practice of trademark poaching if not the name itself.

The most profitable search terms are those of a merchant’s own brand. Searchers that search for terms like ‘Macys’, ‘Amazon books’ and ‘Blue Nile coupons’ have already become familiar with the brand and are typically looking for the online store. The conversion rate of these visitors greatly exceeds that for generic searches.

Most e-commerce companies do not allow their affiliates to bid on these terms. The high conversion rates typically mean high bid prices and significantly higher cost of acquisition.

Grey and Black hat affiliates have found many ways to bid on these terms without the merchant noticing. They will day-part (run ads at night), reverse IP geotarget (run ads that target every city, but the one where merchant is based) and even copy the ads of merchant so that a visual scan of the search results won’t identify the poacher.

How does BrandVerity identify trademark poaching?

To put it simply, we know the tricks that the poachers use and our service uses technology that counters each of them. Some of the techniques are obvious and I’ll be talking about them later, but others aren’t and we’ll keep those private.

We understand that this is an arms race and are already working on the techniques we expect we’ll need when the poachers counter our techniques.

How do I get an alpha key?

I’m sure all of the readers of this blog have a burning need for trademark monitoring.

If by some chance you do have a need to monitor a few search terms on Google, and you’re willing to work with a bit of wet paint, drop me a note. The key bits of functionality are there but there is a lot that is still pretty rough. I’m watching load pretty closely so it may take a little bit before I send you the key.

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