How to Use MAP Enforcement Software to Protect Your Brand
Why MAP Enforcement Software Should Be Part of Your Brand Protection Strategy
A primary focus of brand protection is dealing with counterfeit merchandise and intellectual property. But combating these issues alone is not enough to preserve brand integrity. Having a strong MAP policy and taking advantage of MAP enforcement software is another important facet.
Enforcing your MAP policy is an integral part of brand protection because it takes price out of the equation for both consumers and retailers when choosing or promoting your brand. Without a strong MAP policy, the competition can quickly become all about the lowest price, leaving brick and mortar stores unable to keep up with online retailers and leaving customers with little to no support.
MAP Violation Software Features and Capabilities
MAP enforcement companies make it easier for you to find and act on MAP violations. They crawl marketplaces and ecommerce sites to identify violations and alert you to them.
MAP enforcement services may allow you to send communications through their platform and track violators’ actions, such as whether they opened or clicked through an email. Having records of your communications in one place makes tracking violators’ offenses easier, especially if you use a three-strike MAP policy.
Many services also capture screen shots of violations to use as proof for sellers, as well as storing historical data so you can determine who repeat offenders are.
What about Using an Amazon MAP Enforcement Service?
There are plenty of marketplace-only platforms out there, and while this can be a starting place if you’ve done no MAP monitoring in the past, it’s ultimately only a stopgap measure that won’t take care of the root of your problem.
An Amazon MAP enforcement company will show you violations on Amazon and allow you to communicate with those sellers. But Amazon itself is rarely the first to drop prices below MAP (they’re monitoring the entire Web so they can price match), and third-party sellers can ignore your enforcement letters if they’re seeing retailers elsewhere violating without consequences.
For MAP policies to work legally, you must enforce unilaterally. And if you’re only enforcing on Amazon, that means others out there are getting away with violations – which isn’t healthy for your brand, nor is it fair to Amazon sellers who comply with your policy. And if those who do comply tattle on others, you could run into accusations of price fixing or other illegal activity.
A comprehensive MAP enforcement service that will scan Amazon as well as the rest of the Web is your best bet for success.
How to Choose a MAP Enforcement Company
When you’re evaluating your options for MAP enforcement services, there are a lot of factors to consider. Think about features like:
- Frequency of monitoring
- Data quality
- Customer support
For an in-depth look at how to choose the best option for your brand, use this guide.
A Sample Workflow Using MAP Enforcement Software
Wondering what it’s like to use a software platform to enforce your MAP policy? Once you’ve gotten through the onboarding process and violations are showing for your brands, you’ll need a strategy to handle them all.
Cleaning up your online channels can take anywhere from weeks to months to years, depending on how many products you’re monitoring, who is selling them, and how high your violation percentage. But from any starting point, here’s an example of a successful workflow.
Start with authorized dealers. These are the ones who have agreed to your MAP policy. If you have relationships with any of them, don’t allow that to influence your enforcement. Everyone has to comply equally with the policy.
Next move to known unauthorized sellers – those with easily identifiable contact information. You might offer to take them into your dealer network if they’ll comply with MAP, or you can determine where their supply is coming from and cut them off immediately.
Finally, tackle the unknowns. This will take some detective work. Take advantage of any databases your MAP enforcement software provides. You’ll also want to do some digging into your distribution channels: for example, you might make a purchase from an unknown seller, after which you’ll have their shipping address and can begin to narrow down who their supplier might be. Figure out as many as you can using the tools in your platform, and for the really tough cases, consider contacting an antitrust attorney for help.
Reaching Success with MAP Enforcement Software
Once you get your violation percentage down and pricing is regulated across your online channels, aside from an increase in sustainable, predictable revenue, results will include happier authorized retailers who are able to put forth more effort to promote your products and continue to add to their inventory.
You may also even find that the market will support an increase in your MAP, leading to more margin for both you and your trusted dealers. You’ll need to stay vigilant for MAP violators of course, so continue using your enforcement software for dealing with any pricing games that still crop up. But as your channels become more stable, this will require less time on your part.
If you’re ready to take the next step with MAP enforcement software, schedule a free demo with ORIS Intelligence today.