Monitoring the web for third party retailer activity will help you maintain your brand’s value
In this article we will discuss:
The challenges of third-party digital retailer proliferation
Large brands sell their wares through thousands of online vendors, third-party marketplaces, and affiliate partner sites. It is ‘at scale’, where many companies lose control over ‘consistency’ in terms of:
- Brand assets on retailer websites
- Social media content
- Advertising promoting proprietary products
- Item/company listings on marketplaces or vendor sites. This includes inaccuracies in terms of brand-supplied product images, company/item descriptions etc
When this happens it can harm, and dilute your brand both as far as your loyal consumer base is concerned, as well as how your products are perceived within the business community. For example, if the price of one of your flagship items varies on different vendor sites, this may foster mistrust, and lead people to buy from competitors.
Utilizing data-enabled web monitoring to enforce brand uniformity
Here is a sampling of the datasets used by enterprise companies that want to maintain, and improve their standing, and reputation within their respective industries:
A Stock Keeping Unit or SKU is a widely used way for manufacturers, and vendors to actively keep track of merchandise movement. The most common attributes which can typically be tracked using an SKU include:
Companies who have thousands of small to medium-sized vendors selling their items on marketplaces, social media, and other owned channels, will want to keep track of product SKUs.
Firstly, this can provide manufacturers, and corporate teams with real-time insights as to which products are resonating most with shoppers. This can also help inform production levels, new collection ideas, as well as indicate buyer geolocation for warehouse, and distribution planning purposes.
This can also be useful to find knockoffs, or unapproved item modifications. For example, if an item only comes in pink, and green yet your team detects an SKU indicating it being offered in a blue variety, you can act swiftly to have this taken off the market.
Monitoring retailer marketing
Third party retailers engage in both paid, and organic marketing efforts in order to get the word out about your products, and drive traffic/conversions.
The question is do they always remain loyal to your brand messaging and is everything they are telling potential consumers accurate?
To answer these questions, companies are monitoring:
- Social media posts
- Search engines
In order to analyze promotional content pertaining to their products, and services. This is typically fed into algorithms that raise a red flag when something is off, so that a team member can reach out, and ask for changes on the ‘offending’ party’s end.
Maintaining brand uniformity
Additional issues may pertain to inaccuracies which appear outside the context of an SKU or marketing campaign. This may include:
- A directory where your brand appears as a vendor with a description of your company, as well as services offered that are outdated, mismatch your rebranding, or are downright inaccurate
- A marketplace where images, and item descriptions are misaligned with the facts
In these case scenarios, you can continuously monitor the web for these types of occurrences, and then have the appropriate party (e.g. Head of Partnerships) contact the mistaken party in order to make desired edits or take legal action where deemed necessary.
The bottom line
Whatever industry, service, or product your business dabbles in, your success is dependent on your brand’s integrity, and reputation. By monitoring the open-source web for inaccuracies, from messaging to pricing, you can avoid having your brand’s value diluted by disinterested third parties.