Etail Eye Provides an Eye On Vendor Brand Reputation
The escalation of the Internet as a selling platform has also given rise to an unprecedented number of grey market and counterfeit goods sales, as well as sales of models by dealers who are unauthorized to make those sales. To help vendors regulate and protect their brand as well as their product distribution, two former British Army intelligence officers, Roger Thompson and Simon Hall, joined forces with Steve Langham, a former British Ministry of Defense software developer, to found Etail Eye, a software solution that provides subscribing vendors with instantaneous, actionable intelligence about how their models are being priced, advertised and sold on the Web.
The company defines “brand protection” broadly, including product formulas, shapes and designs of packaging, logos and website addresses—anything that makes a brand singular and distinct in the marketplace. Its goal: to help manufacturers proactively combat infringements upon all aspects of their brand.
The platform has been available in Europe for some time and has now made its way to the U.S. market, Samantha Smith, Etail Eye’s executive vice president, North America, said. “How it differs from competitors is that we’re real-time,” she explained. “Most of them only do price comparisons and then produce reports. But that information becomes stale very quickly.”
One of Etail Eye’s main selling points, Smith said, is its ability to slice and dice that real-time data so it can be viewed with a single click any of a number of ways, through the portal of a “compliance dashboard.”
That portal allows constant tracking of points of sale for specific models across the Web marketplace. The concept is that the rapidity with which data are provided to vendors enables them to take counter-measures without delay to control violations of their brand reputation and identity.
The cost of the service, which is billed on a monthly basis, includes the labor-intensive task of model-data input into the system, and pricing is dependent upon how many models the vendor wishes to track. Also, if the vendor so chooses, competitors’ models may also be tracked, Smith said.
Etail Eye has joined the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), and is beginning to amass client companies in the U.S.—among them, headphone manufacturer Sennheiser. More partnership announcements are due shortly, and the company plans to attend future International CES shows to demonstrate Etail Eye and explain the benefits that are built into the platform.
Etail Eye is also broadening its outreach beyond the consumer electronics realm to include all manner of luxury-predominant vendors in product areas such as premium leather goods, luggage and footwear, among others.
“We want to be of service to any company susceptible to knockoffs and counterfeiting—any company that needs to get tighter control of its distribution,” said Smith. •