This blog looks at the issue of Universities and brand protection.
The university sector is a significant part of the Australian economy. The market size of the University and Other Higher Education sector in Australia in 2021, measured by revenue is $33.7bn, declining about 6.1% from the previous year due to Covid and other challenges.
Universities pump significant resources and funds into the building and promoting of their brands at home and also abroad. Pre-covid, In October 2019 almost 51,000 new and returning international students arrived in Australia that made up a significant component of university revenues. It is hoped when Australia opens up again, that new and existing international students will eventually return.
Ensuring that the integrity of Australian universities brands are not damaged in critical overseas markets is necessary for the rebuild of our overseas university markets. Understanding the threats, the threat actors, and online scams that hurt a university and steal valuable revenues is the first step to protecting a university brand.
What are the brand threats to Australia’s Universities?
Online brand threats to universities range from very serious to nuisance brand threats and in some cases are very specific to the sector. Figure 1 below lists the common brands threats that universities deal with on a day-to-day basis.
There are some concerning threats such as fake international student agents that can sometimes create complex online webs to attract and snare prospective students using omni channel marketing and digital properties to add credibility to their scam. Students who are caught up in these scams either lose their money or end up matriculating into an education program unrelated to the university they were promised. See our article on fake international students here.
What is Brand Protection?
Brand protection is a set of actions, including monitoring and enforcement, that a brand owner undertakes to prevent third parties from using their IP, brand, logo and content without permission, as this may cause loss of revenue and, usually, more importantly, destroys brand equity, reputation and trust.
Universities can implement a brand protection program to monitor for threats against their brand, identify and enforce against concerns. Monitoring should occur across all channels of concern, namely websites, forums, review sites, social media, domain names and even app stores. Applying risk scores enables a university to focus on the issues that have the potential to cause the most harm and having the ability to connect infringing digital properties to the one bad actor or group allows the university key infringers.
Enforcement can range from getting the digital property taken offline, content removed, infringing domain names suspended. The net result of a good brand protection program is that the university is not significantly behind brand damaging issues and can quickly react to ensure that the impacts, financial or reputation, is minimized.
bandsec is a corporate domain name management and brand protection company that looks after many of Australia, New Zealand and Asia’s top publicly listed brands. We provide monitoring and enforcement services, DNS, SSL Management, domain name brokerage and dispute management and brand security consultation services.