The average American checks their phone every 12 minutes, with 90% of that time spent on mobile apps and online shopping. In fact, mobile app transactions now make up almost $1 of every $3 spent online.

Of course, with so much at stake financially, brands have to make sure that their apps are safe, secure and authentic. Bad actors are just as eager to get in on the app boom as legitimate brands, and that means brands have to be vigilant at all times when it comes to protecting both their intellectual property and their customers. A robust and proactive app protection strategy is critical and an often-overlooked complement to your brand protection strategy is customer education.  

Here are four ideas for keeping your customers and fans informed about authentic mobile apps bearing your brand.  

  1. Work with your marketing or digital team to ensure that your customers are aware of where they can find and safely download your authorized apps. This is especially important if secondary app stores, also known as third-party app stores, are a part of your distribution strategy. Make sure your website points your customers to authorized sales and download channels.
  2. Collaborate with your marketing or digital team to publish a checklist of items to avoid when downloading your app. Often counterfeit apps are made quickly and may include spelling and grammar mistakes. Help your customers be on the lookout for these types of inconsistencies and let them know these errors may be danger signals.
  3. Inform your customers upfront about how your app is going to interact with them, including what permissions the app will need to run. Apps with invasive or questionable permissions are often illegitimate and should be a red flag to consumers.
  4. If a vibrant ecosystem of third-party apps that complement your brand is part of your mobile strategy, help your customers and fans know how to identify these apps and how to avoid infringing apps. This can be as simple as including a list of authorized companion apps on your website and include links to where they can be safely downloaded.

Every second an infringing app is live poses a threat to your customers and to your brand. Mitigating the potential damage that may result from an infringing app requires immediate action on your part and the part of your enforcement team. 

For more information on how to plan an effective mobile app enforcement program to complement your overall mobile strategy, we’ve published an informative guide that you can download here.

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