(Image Source: https://www.canva.com/photos/MADerg1HiYg-brand/)
A business’s long-term survival can sometimes depend on a successful brand audit—it enables a brand to pinpoint strengths and weaknesses, along with any emerging issues. For example, a brand’s value may diminish over time as new entrants shave off their share of the market. Brands that do make money, though, fully understand the need to maintain their positioning and keep consumer sentiment generally positive.
What inexperienced marketing professionals often get wrong about brand audits, unfortunately, is that they go beyond awareness and social mentions. This oversight effectively undermines their brand management efforts. External threats, especially those riding on your brand’s popularity and success, abound. Fraudsters, for instance, could be infringing on your marks and digital assets without your knowledge. And the consequences of such violations are undoubtedly more severe than a bad review or downvote.
One tool that can help with this specific need is Brand Monitor, a component of WhoisXML API’s Domain Research Suite (DRS). Brand Monitor is a useful trademark monitoring tool that enables marketers and brand protection officers to secure their online assets. With the tool, users can track keywords associated with their brands and trademarks. Let’s take a closer look at how the application works.
How to Use a Domain Brand Monitor to Keep an Eye Out on Your Brand
To access Brand Monitor, users need to create an account on the DRS homepage and log into their dashboard. Brand Monitor is the last tool on the left pane. Users can enter a domain name or brand keyword as input into the search field. They can then streamline results by excluding or including typos or specific terms. Terms added for monitoring will stay in a queue for 24 hours, after which results will come trickling in.
Let’s suppose you own an established news outfit like Fox News. With 381.69 million page views over the past six months and a spot in the top 111 websites worldwide, your website is no doubt a prime target for threat actors. To learn more about potential risks against your brand, let’s add your domain name to the tool.
With the typos feature switched on, the tool reveals that your domain has 301 detected potential misspelled variants. These may still be available to buy so it’s up to you if you’d like to register at least some of these domains, as most big-name brands practice often do.
The tool will alert you if domains similar to yours are registered moving forward. You will also see a status next to your entry on the dashboard. Just click “View Changes” to see the results.
As you can see in the screenshot below, the domain newshawkfoxnews[.]com, which includes your search term, was added to your tracker on February 16. More domain results for other dates are also available for your inspection.
If you feel that any of the websites are infringing on your trademark rights, you can take action against them.
Brand audits are daunting, no doubt, but tools like Brand Monitor can lessen the burden. With a domain brand monitoring tool, brand protection agents like yourself can track potential adversaries that plan to scrape away at your revenues and harm your company’s reputation.
An additional tool that can enrich the picture of domain registrations and affect popular domains is Typosquatting Data Feed. The feed detects groups of domain names similar to each other and registered on the same day. In line with the above-cited case, it recently identified three domains containing “fox” and “news” together that may be worth further investigating.
About the Author
Jonathan Zhang is the founder and CEO of Threat Intelligence Platform (TIP)—a data, tool, and API provider that specializes in automated threat detection, security analysis, and threat intelligence solutions for Fortune 1000 and cybersecurity companies. TIP is part of the WhoisXML API family, a trusted intelligence vendor by over 50,000 clients.