Whether a business is promoting a new item, offering a discount on products, or even sending an invoice, email is still a primary way to reach customers. But with spoofing and phishing more prevalent than ever, some customers may be leery to interact through email. Fortunately, email hosts like Gmail are finding ways to reduce fraudulent emails through brand authentication. Before you can authenticate your brand, though, you need to register your trademarks. Here’s everything you need to know.
Benefits of Authenticated Brand Logos
Brand verification has been a valuable tool for businesses across social platforms like Facebook and Twitter in recent years, and the need for email verification is just as great. In 2019, the Brand Indicators for Message Identification group (or BIMI) was formed to find ways to authenticate brands and reduce spoofing on email and messaging platforms. Similar brand authentications can be found on other BIMI partner platforms like Yahoo, AOL, and MailChimp, with more expected in the near future.
Email is a primary source of communication between many businesses and their customers, but that vital communication can easily be spoofed by individuals or groups phishing for customer information. When Gmail authenticates a brand logo, the logo will appear as the business’s avatar in the customer’s inbox, providing confidence that the email has been sent from has an actual business, and is not a fraudulent sender. Customers may be more likely to interact with the business through email, clicking embedded links, or providing personal information, trusting that the sender is indeed a reputable brand. It will also provide an additional layer of professional validity to the business and serve as a quick visual representation in the customer’s inbox, as well.
Register your Logo with the USPTO
If you haven’t yet registered your logo with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO, now is the time to do so. The first required step to obtaining an authenticated brand logo through Gmail is to get a trademark registration via the USPTO for the logo. Once your trademark is registered, you’ll have the presumption of validity nationwide, and Gmail or any other online platform looking to verify your logo will know that due diligence has been performed.
It’s important to note, however, that the process to register a trademark can take a year from start to finish, or potentially longer if the application has been filed incorrectly or is lacking crucial information. Therfeore, In order to obtain this valuable authentication tool you should begin the trademark registration process as soon as possible. Engage an experienced trademark attorney that can ensure the process is done correctly and efficiently, so that you can have your registration approved in a timely manner.
Process to Authenticate your Logo with Gmail
Once your trademark has been registered by the USPTO, you can begin the process to authenticate your logo with Gmail. However, you must already be using the DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) protocol to authenticate emails. SPF (Sender Policy Framework) or DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail) must also be utilized by the business in order to initiate a Gmail authentication. Brands can submit their logo to Google using the third party verification authority Verified Mark Certificate, or VMC. Once Gmail has approved the request, your logo will appear in your brand’s avatar.
Obtaining a Gmail Authenticated Brand Logo
Email verification is critical to customer communication, and BIMI has plans to reduce spoofing through authentication on various email hosts, including Gmail. When your logo has been authenticated with Gmail, it will become your brand’s avatar, allowing customers to know that an email has been sent directly from your business, not a fraudulent sender. This not only protects your valuable customers, but it gives them confidence to interact with your brand through email. The first step to authentication, however, is trademark registration. Work with an experienced trademark attorney to help the process move along in a timely manner. Then, ensure that you are using the DMARC protocol, as well as other necessary email authenticators. Finally, submit your registered logo to Gmail through VMC and gain the protection and validity of brand authentication in your email communications.