API Journal Authors: Elizabeth White, Dana Gardner, Christopher Harrold, Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz

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Cambridge Satchel Company Ramps up Brand Protection Efforts

The Cambridge Satchel Company engaged MarkMonitor®, the leader in online brand protection, to address the myriad risks of counterfeits, copyright infringement and cybersquatting that have plagued the brand since its rapid success as one of the latest global fashion obsessions.

The Cambridge Satchel Company has grown from an initial 600 pound investment in 2008 to over eight million in turnaround in 2012. The business was built by Julie Deane, a British mum of two, to earn school fees to send her daughter to a new school after having been bullied. The story of the brand’s growth is featured in the latest Google Chrome advertisement series “The Web is What You Make of It”.

“The web’s tremendous reach and economies of scale have revolutionised the way brands engage customers and drive their business. But the very qualities that make the web so attractive for business growth, can make it easy and lucrative for online brand abusers to hijack powerful brands like the Cambridge Satchel Company,” said Frederick Felman, chief marketing officer of MarkMonitor. “Fast-growing and forward-thinking brands like Cambridge Satchel understand that their brand protection strategy deserves the highest level of attention in order to protect their customers and their revenues.”

Julie Deane has put these additional brand protection efforts in place to protect the consumer. “It is a real shame that these counterfeits and fraudulent sites are preying on the innocent consumer. We have had letters and emails from customers, wanting to return a poor quality satchel, or to find out why their orders were not filled. When we check the order numbers, we find that they were not ordered from the official Cambridge Satchel Company, but from one of the fraudulent sites. We have worked with our lawyers to take these sites down, but they come back with new names and new approaches,” said Deane. “Using our photographs and copyrighted materials, the sites look like they are carrying the real thing. We needed a new approach that reflected a deep understanding of the web and digital channels and turned to MarkMonitor for help.

“These sites are trading on our name, our brand and our promotion and are not only taking sales away from us, but also forcing us to incur additional costs for increased customer service programmes and legal fees. These sites are hurting the consumer and diverting our attentions from positive marketing programmes to support our customers.”

Since MarkMonitor began working with Cambridge Satchel, in just a few months, the company has detected and carried out enforcement for over 1,000 counterfeit product listings on exchange sites, with some listings advertising the availability of thousands of units. The brand protection programme has detected 29 e-commerce sites selling counterfeits and 76 sites cybersquatting on the Cambridge Satchels brand by using the brand in the domain name.

Cambridge Satchel Company diligently works to protect its assets and this past year won a settlement for infringement of intellectual property rights against former manufacturer Leicester Remedials and Sewing (Now trading as Zatchels). The legal proceedings have been settled on terms that include Zatchels paying an undisclosed sum to the Cambridge Satchel Company.

“The best brand protection,” says Julie Deane, “is a strong and healthy brand that is delivering a great product and experience to the consumer. Our focus is to continually innovate with fresh styles and designs, delight our customers and work with top partners globally. This year we have had successful design collaborations with top names including Comme des Garcons, Basso and Brooke, Christopher Shannon and Chris Benz, as well as programmes with Pantone, Disney, Google and more to come. We are proud of what we have built and will continue to invest in building and protecting the Cambridge Satchel Company brand, designs and trademarks.”


Notes to Editors

About Cambridge Satchel

The Cambridge Satchel Company was founded in 2008 by Julie Deane and her mother Freda Thomas at Julie’s kitchen table just outside Cambridge. Having invested just £600 to get the idea off the ground, the company is now a pioneering enterprise employing more than 50 people and experiencing phenomenally fast growth around the world. Their colourful bags and inspiring business story recently resulted in them starring in an advert for Google Chrome: www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0qDrRJT4zE&feature=youtu.be

The company is committed to preserving British manufacturing and is proud to be employing many locally skilled craftsmen and women in her own Leicester based workshop whilst also supporting independent UK craftsmen.

The Cambridge Satchel Co’s success has been recognized through a number of awards including:

  • Red Hot Women Awards: Start-Up 2011 award winner 2011
  • WGSN: Footwear & Accessories Design Team, winner 2012
  • Drapers: Fashion & Retail Personnel Smaller Etaielr of the Year, winner 2012
  • Natwest everywoman Woman Awards: The Athena Award for female business owners aged 36, winner 2012
  • European Business Awards: Ruban d’Honneur status, awaiting next step of the process.

The brand continues to collaborate with prestigious designers and retailers including Comme des Garcons and Christopher Shannon, further securing its role and international acclaim as the ‘Brit It Bag’.

The bags can be bought online at www.cambridgesatchel.co.uk and in the company’s store at 15 Shorts Gardens, Seven Dials, WC2H 9AT.

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