Brand & Reputation Protection
Your company’s brand and reputation could be among its most valuable intangible assets. If they are being threatened by a competitor or third party, you need to protect them by all means available. Let us help.
In today’s world, a company’s brand and reputation can hold extraordinary value. On the same token, when a company’s brand or reputation becomes threatened, the costs can be substantial. At Corporate Investigation Consulting, we help companies protect their brands and reputations when issues arise, conducting strategic and targeted investigations focused on giving our clients the insights they need to make informed decisions.
Among the various types of crises that can threaten a company’s assets, perhaps no crisis is more wide-ranging in its potential impact than the risk of significant brand or reputational harm. Goodwill built up over years of hard work and investment can disappear in an instant; and, in many cases, it can be replaced by negative public perception that takes just as long (if not longer) to overcome. Restoring trust among customers or the public at large is not easy, and it can cause sizable corporate losses in terms of (i) loss of the value of the company’s intangible assets, (ii) loss of business, and (iii) investment in reputation management and restoration.
So, if the actions of a competitor or other third party are threatening your company’s brand or reputation, what should you do? The answer depends on the specific circumstances at hand.
How We Help Companies Protect Their Brands and Reputations in Times of Crisis
At Corporate Investigation Consulting, we give companies the insights they need to protect their brands and reputations in times of crisis. By conducting strategic and targeted investigations, we give our clients a clear and comprehensive picture of the facts on the ground. Armed with the facts, our clients are then able to make informed decisions about whether (and how) to pursue proactive or defensive legal action, and they are able to take all other measures necessary to prevent further loss while beginning to immediately restore the value of their brands and reputation.
We provide corporate investigation services for corporate crises involving threats to companies’ brands and reputations including:
- Counterfeit Goods and Services – Counterfeit goods and services infiltrating the U.S. market can cause consumer confusion, loss of brand value, and loss of sales. We can investigate the source of counterfeit goods or services, and we can gather the intelligence necessary in order to take legal action, work with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB), or pursue other means of brand protection.
- Third-Party Trademark Infringement – Infringement can cause damaging effects similar to those of counterfeiting; and, while the issues involved may be similar, response protocols will often differ. If a third party is infringing on one (or more) of your company’s brands, our former federal agents can work quickly to gather the information you need in order to determine your next steps.
- Challenges to Exclusive Trademark Rights – Is a competitor (or potential competitor) seeking to challenge one of your company’s trademark registrations? Or, is a company seeking to register a mark that would limit what your company can do with one of its established brands? We can investigate to determine where (and whether) the competing mark is being used in commerce, and we can help your company’s legal counsel build arguments for preserving your company’s exclusive trademark rights.
- Allegations of Corporate Trademark Infringement – If a competitor is claiming to have “prior” rights and accusing your company of trademark infringement, we can investigate the validity of the competitor’s allegations. We can work to establish each company’s respective date of first use, and we can examine the surrounding facts in order to determine what options your company has available.
- Negative Press and Publicity – If negative press or publicity is threatening your company’s reputation, we can get to the bottom of the story and help your company’s public relations team promptly respond to the accusations. If necessary, we can also investigate to help your company determine an appropriate response to compliance deficiencies, employee misconduct, defamatory claims, or other corporate threats.
- Social Media Outcries and Calls for Boycotts – On social media, accusations can spread like wildfire, and it can be extremely difficult for companies to control their own narratives. Relying on centuries of experience as senior agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other agencies, we can get to the bottom of the accusations against your company so that you can determine what to do next.
- Customer Complaints and Allegations – If a customer complaint is causing issues for your company, or if your company is facing allegations from a customer (or former customer) in litigation, we can investigate in order to allow you to determine how best to respond. Whether this means working with the customer to assuage any concerns, preparing for litigation, or issuing a public response, we can provide the insights you need to feel confident in your decision.
- Employee Complaints and Allegations – Employee complaints and allegations call for a prompt response. This is true in all circumstances, but particularly when the company’s public reputation could be in jeopardy. From complaints of discrimination and harassment to allegations of corporate fraud, we can quickly get to the bottom of any issues raised by your company’s employees.
- Cybersecurity Breaches and Other Liability Risks – Cybersecurity breaches can lead to negative publicity and significant loss of goodwill. The same is true of other liability risks that are likely to lead to media coverage. We can investigate so that your company can get out in front of the story, respond to any allegations with reliable facts, and begin building a targeted defense strategy if necessary.
- Other Threats to the Value of Companies’ Brands and Reputations – In addition to all of the above, there are numerous other issues that can threaten the value of companies’ brands and reputations. If you have any concerns about your company’s brands or reputation for any reason, you need to make informed decisions based on reliable intelligence. At Corporate Investigation Consulting, our former high-ranking federal investigative agents can provide you with the intelligence you need to move forward.
FAQs: Investigating a Threat to Your Company’s Brand or Reputation
Q: When should a corporate investigation company be engaged to look into possible counterfeiting or infringement?
If your company is facing possible counterfeiting or infringement of one of its brands, it will be important to investigate immediately. Reacting promptly – whether by sending a cease-and-desist letter, engaging CBP, or initiating litigation – can be crucial to preserving the company’s exclusive rights and mitigating its financial and reputational losses.
Q: What types of information can be used to respond to a threat to a company’s brand or reputation?
Many different types of information can be used to respond to a threat to a company’s brand or reputation. What is necessary will depend on the specific issue (or issues) at hand. For example, if a competitor is infringing on your company’s brand, then your company will need to be able to prove that its claim to exclusivity is valid. If the news media are running with an incomplete story, then you will need concrete facts to adjust the narrative and win back your company’s favorable public perception.
Q: If a third party is alleging infringement, how can your company assess the validity of its claim to trademark exclusivity?
In trademark infringement disputes, the issue often comes down to which company first established its claim to exclusive trademark rights. So, why does the third party believe that it has grounds to allege infringement? What evidence is available to prove that this belief is misguided? These are the types of questions we seek to answer as quickly as possible so that our clients can make informed decisions about responding to infringement allegations.
Q: How can companies quickly and effectively respond to negative press or publicity on social media?
Unfortunately, in many cases, companies that are accused of wrongdoing will be considered guilty until proven innocent in the court of public perception. As a result, responding effectively to negative press or publicity on social media requires the ability to unquestionably demonstrate why the company’s reputation deserves to stand. In order to do this, it is necessary to gain a clear and comprehensive understanding of all relevant facts, and then to make a determination as to how your company should respond taking all pertinent legal, financial, and social considerations into account.
Q: Why is it important to engage a corporate investigation company as opposed to trying to handle an investigation in-house?
If your company is in crisis, you have no choice but to rely on the services of experienced professionals. At Corporate Investigation Consulting, we bring centuries of experience to the table—including prior experience as high-ranking agents with the FBI and other federal investigative agencies. We can use this experience to provide unwavering confidence in the accuracy and comprehensiveness of the information we provide, and you can use this confidence to make the right decisions about protecting your company and its shareholders.
Speak with a Former Senior FBI Agent at Corporate Investigation Consulting
If you would like more information about our brand and reputation protection services, we encourage you to contact us promptly. To speak with a former senior FBI agent at Corporate Investigation Consulting, call 866-352-9324 or inquire online now.