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Crimson Crab is all about reputation, identifying risks to it, managing them and if possible reducing them.
Reputations take a long time to build, with major investment of time and money. Get it right and the returns can be tremendous. Get it wrong and the business may never recover.
There are many examples in the news at the moment especially around the banking industry. With their reputations in tatters, bankers are widely disliked. They can be seen to represent an ethically dubious elite who overtly act above the law or negotiate it at best.
Along with reputational damage and massive fines imposed by regulators, the banks also face huge rectification costs. For example HSBC spends up to £525m annually on its compliance and risk programme and employs 10% of its workforce, (24,300 people), on this work.
We know that there is a better way of doing business, where profit goes hand in glove with peace of mind and a brand is grown based on an ethical approach. We also know that smaller businesses do not have the capacity that the bigger concerns do.
That's where we can help. Please get in touch if you want to find out how we can help you with your compliance and ethical trading by following this link.
We do hope you enjoy this edition of Crab Insight.
Consumer Rights Act 2015
From 1st October 2015 this will replace much of the existing UK law relating to consumer sales and unfair contract terms. If you have consumer customers it is vital that you take steps now to ensure your compliance with the changes in the law.
The Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations 2015
From 9th July 2015 if you have consumer clients (ie an individual acting for purposes which are wholly or mainly outside their trade, business, craft or profession), this legislation requires two things of you.
Firstly if you are required to use alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services by legislation or via the rules of a trade association which you belong to, you need to provide certain information on your website (if you have one) and in the general terms and conditions of contracts.
Secondly if you and a consumer fail to resolve a complaint, you will need to tell them, give them the details of the relevant approved body and indicate whether you intend to use it. Nothing requires you to actually use the approved body or indeed any other body.
What we are being asked about
I'm thinking of registering my brand as a trade mark. I've been on to the IPO website and it looks a fairly straightforward process to register. I've done a search and there is no match. I’m just wondering if you might have some additional information as to the pros and cons?
Registering a trade mark is a strategic business decision and should be considered carefully before proceeding. You can register your trade mark to protect your brand, eg the name of your product or service. When you register you will be able to:
- take legal action against anyone who uses your brand without your permission
- put the ® symbol next to your brand - to show that it’s yours and warn others against using it (you can use (TM) on an unregistered trade mark)
- sell and license your brand
You may be able to stop someone using a similar trade mark to yours on their goods and services (known as ‘passing off’), even if you have not registered it. It is harder to prove passing off than it is to defend a registered trade mark and you will need to show that:
- the mark is yours
- you've built up a reputation in the mark
- you've been harmed in some way by the other person’s use of the mark
This is a very difficult question to answer for an individual set of circumstances. The main issue is that the responsibility for compliance with the law is yours.
In relation to personal data you are a data controller as defined by the Data Protection Act. You can outsource data processing to a third party but you will need a written contract in place to safeguard your client confidentiality (and it is also a legal requirement).
(If you would like your terms and conditions reviewed please get in touch for a no obligation quote.)
Nothing can affect a business's reputation more dramatically than losing clients personal data especially if it relates to finances, just ask the US store Target.
In 2013 as many as 40 million customers credit and debit cards were exposed to potential fraud due to security lapses.
The implications? A new Chief Executive and $148 million losses due to customers voting with their feet. "If they can't even look after our credit card details........"
Could such a breach occur in the UK? Well, 31% of European organisations complied with more than 80% of DSS 2.0 controls, lagging North America (56%) and Asia Pacific (75%).
A Privacy Impact Assessment, could be just the thing to identify potential issues and plug the gaps before things go wrong.
If you need any help remember All You Have To Do Is Ask
Crimson Crabs 10 Principles For Building Trust & Credibility
- Never, ever, sell a solution that isn't in the clients best interests
- Don't misrepresent the features, advantages and benefits of a product or service, not even a little bit
- Don't promise anything you can't deliver
- Accepting or offering off-the-books inducements i.e. bribes, is always unethical whatever the circumstances
- When issues develop after the sale, don't offer excuses or apportion blame; fix the issue quickly
- Don't withhold bad news
- If you must talk about your competitors always be respectful
- Make promises and keep them
- Have respect for customs, etiquette and the rules of the game
- Have fun
We are delighted to introduce our Reputation Advocates if you need expert help for your business.
Reputation Advocates, have been audited by Crimson Crab. They have also signed a contractual undertaking to comply with our Code of Conduct and meet the standards in our Ethical Trading Policy. This means that we know they have a great approach to business which reflects the core principles that Crimson Crab stands for. In addition we are confident that they put their clients at the heart of everything they do to provide the best possible service, and will rectify things quickly if they do go wrong.
If you think that your business would benefit from becoming a Reputation Advocate please get in touch.
Crimson Crab's mission is to provide friendly and confidential support to businesses and help develop sensible strategies, tactics and processes to minimise and manage the risks to reputation, time and profitability from trading law.
To find out more please follow this link.
Special Event - How to Tender I (An Introduction)
Are you wondering if tendering is an option for your business but are unsure about what is involved. Find out more more about the event by following this link
Special Event - How to Tender II (Advanced)
This workshop is amied at businesses that already have some experience of tendering and have completed our 'How to Tender - An Introduction'. Find out more about the event by following this link
Special Event - E-commerce and On-Line Sales
E-Commerce is a great way of getting products and services to market. However the key to doing this successfully is to make sure you know the rules so making sure you don't fall into the legal pitfalls and avoid customer issues. Find out more about the event by following this link
To book a place on the above events please follow this link
or call Wendy on 02392 637190.
To be kept up to date with our forthcoming events please join our events list by following this link
If there are any issues raised in this issue that you would like to talk to us about in more detail, please don't hesitate to get in touch by following this link.
As always we would love to receive your feedback:
You can complete an on-line form, drop us an email or give us a call directly on 023 9263 7190
- What would you like to see more of or less of?
- Are there any reputational risks that you would like to see covered?
- Would you like a Special Event on any particular issue?
Please could we ask you to forward this Crab Insight on to anyone you think would benefit from the information.
If you have been forwarded this email by a colleague, you can subscribe to our VIP list and receive it every month for free.
Lastly, it would really help if you could take a moment to update your preferences so that we can tailor our Crab Alerts to areas you are interested in.
Until next month
Don't worry, be Crabby savvy!!
and take care of your reputation.
Wendy and Rob