Burger King protects its website
A website can build loyalty but, when it comes under fire from dissatisfied customers or cranks, it can damage loyalty.
There are both positive and negative sides to loyalty marketing on the internet. In many ways, the tools available make it easier to foster and nourish the loyalty of customers. But the dangers of dissatisfied customers or even cranks indulging in guerrilla marketing are also much greater and can have a devastating affect on the loyalty of others. And the more well known the company name is, the more vulnerable it is to cyber-mischief.
High cost of abuse According to Barbara Rogers, marketing director of Net Searchers, a domain name management and online brand protection services firm, "As brand equity is one of a company's most valuable assets, online abuses - such as cyber smearing, domain name piracy and parody sites - cost businesses billions of dollars every year." And the explosive growth of the internet makes it increasingly difficult for companies to monitor and protect their trademarks and brands online. There have been cases in which cyber-squatters - or professional domain name resellers - have bought domain names and resold them to the brand owners for six figure sums.
Online brand management With this in mind, Burger King has retained Net Searchers to assist in managing its domain name portfolio and provide online brand management services. Net Searchers will use its technology to identify any third party sites using Burger King's brands or trademarks; identify references to Burger King and to uncover sites that are diverting traffic from Burger King's site.
According to Burger King's chief information officer, Rafael Sanchez, "We had a critical project that had a clear deliverable and extremely short timeframe. Net Searchers developed a strategic plan, executed it, met the deadline, and saved Burger King Corporation money in the process. Based on this result, we feel very comfortable moving forward with them."