Brand protection: Defining return on investment


Jan Maarten Laurijssen

Brand protection: Defining return on investment

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Brand protection is now so sophisticated that trademark owners can measure its value to the business, says Jan Maarten Laurijssen of Pointer Brand Protection.

When deciding on sound business investments, a key factor in the decision-making process, typically, is the return on investment (ROI). At its most primitive, an ROI is a system of measurement that gauges whether the revenue gain of the investment makes up the cost of the investment itself.

The standard equation to calculate an ROI is taking the profit of the investment and subtracting the cost of the investment, and then dividing that difference by the cost of the investment. In plain speak, an ROI is about determining whether you will be getting back what you put in or—preferably—more.

When your business encounters fakes

If your brand is affected by counterfeits in any way—whether they’re being sold through online marketplaces, or advertised on social media channels, or your distribution chain has been compromised—it may be in your best interests to seek out the help of a brand protection service.

"It’s possible to then apply different tactics to the measurements and, in turn, provide clients with a more accurate representation of their personal ROI."

How do you go about choosing the right one? Any smart business decision requires thorough research, market analysis, and an ROI. But when considering the scope of the brand protection industry, an ROI is not such a simple calculation. The nature of brand protection’s overwhelming reach across multiple industries means that uncovering the ROI for a brand protection service provider can become quite complex.

In this article, we explain how it’s possible to measure ROI for a brand protection provider by focusing on the brand’s industry and individual requirements. 

The possibilities

By segmenting the brand protection industry into different categories, it’s possible to then apply different tactics to the measurements and, in turn, provide clients with a more accurate representation of their personal ROI.

Take, for instance, the fashion industry. ROI is a fairly straightforward measurement because when searching for the types of sellers—whether they’re genuine, copyright infringements, or other kinds of infringements—and basing the findings on the different keywords and products, it’s possible to gather data on all of the infringing listings.

You can then determine a monetary value of all the counterfeit products that are listed online, both the average price per item and the total combined value and the stock value, for a single client. These figures then represent a fairly accurate potential ROI.

In contrast, putting a monetary value on a domain is difficult. Each domain has a different number of products available and a range of prices attached to those products. So, rather than determining a value-based ROI, it’s possible to base the ROI on the number of counterfeit domains removed, allowing online shoppers to buy from flagship stores.

Business benefits

Ultimately, infringements mean lost profits. Protecting your brand online is always going to be a sound investment; the proof is in the reclaimed profits. However, as with any major business decision, determining an ROI is a necessity. The following statistics are some examples of current clients across different industries, and how Pointer Brand Protection measured their ROIs.


For one of our fashion brands, we have scrapers that indicate either how many products a seller has available or how many products a seller has sold in the past. These values are then multiplied by the listing price, which in turn gives us an ROI. An example ROI value for this brand in the month of December 2018 comes out to €52,161 ($58,938).


For one sport-related client, the total value of reported listings in 2018 came out to €7,117,532.74. This was calculated by taking the average price of a product and multiplying it by the number of listings we reported on their behalf throughout 2018. 


For one particular industrial client, we monitor the adverts on the most popular online marketplaces, and their flagship store, as well as their authorised retailers, to assess if their flagship sales increase as the number of counterfeit listings decreases. The total value of reported listings in a single month in 2018 was €7,232.40, with an average takedown rate of 65%.

The universal truth across all industries and markets is that removing mass amounts of counterfeit and infringing products translates into an increase in revenue for the flagship stores of the hard-working, authentic brands.

Protecting your brand from counterfeits could make a world of difference. If you’re interested in learning more about how Pointer can help your business fight back, visit the website at

Jan Maarten Laurijssen is the acting chief operating officer and co-founder of Pointer Brand Protection. With a background in business and a long career in fighting counterfeits, he has a wealth of experience and knowledge in how to best protect hard-working brands from online crime. He can be contacted at:

Pointer Brand Protection, brands, trademark owners, ROI, online marketplaces, social media, fashion, copyright infringement, counterfeit, domain