Made In Cookware is a privately held, VC-backed company based out of Austin, Texas that manufactures and distributes high-quality, professional grade kitchen cookware. Made In Cookware sells both direct-to-consumer with restaurant quality products to everyday consumers and business-to-business to offer products to restaurants, culinary schools, corporate gifting and more. Recently, Made In Cookware expanded to a physical retail space near their headquarters in Austin, Texas.
Their main direct-to-consumer business relies on multiple digital channels to reach their target audience: from google ads to social media pages to TV commercials. However, their success in establishing a reputable brand with consumers has also spawned the rise of lookalike domains spoofing the Made In Cookware brand. Duped customers who bought what they thought were legitimate products would complain to Made In Cookware customer support about the status of their order. Not only were the lookalike sites taking away from Made In Cookware’s revenue, but it was also damaging the company’s meticulously crafted brand and hard-earned customer trust.
“We started seeing these copycat sites that were being launched in 2020. That’s a huge pain point not only from a sales perspective but also a brand reputation perspective and a customer experience perspective.”
The customer service team was the first line of defense when it came to rectifying the damage caused by the fraudulent sites. When investigating the fraudulent sites, Made In Cookware discovered that the lookalike sites were very savvy in how they conducted their scams. To evade being caught, the scammers would change the display products and vary it every day depending on the state so that when Made In Cookware would visit the site while investigating a customer complaint, the content would be different than described. Because the content of the site changed, Made In Cookware could not gather and submit relevant evidence to the hosting provider that the site was actively malicious and scamming potential consumers. Made In Cookware needed a vendor that not only detected scams quickly by capturing the historical data but also able to take down the sites quickly with the hosting providers.
“[The scammers were] really savvy where they flip information very quickly. So the site can appear a certain way to you one day, but then the next day it’s a completely different site.”
Made In Cookware was not prepared to handle the increase in fraudulent sites targeting their brand at the beginning of COVID and with the sophistication of the attack, they had trouble tracking and logging evidence for takedown. When evaluating vendors, Bolster was chosen for their ability to not only quickly capture the evidence of malicious intent but also the ease of the takedown of fraudulent sites. Made In Cookware could see all the threats to their brand on the Bolster dashboard and easily request a takedown with a click of a button. All the historical data was collected by Bolster and packaged as evidence in the takedown request to the hosting provider.
Fast Return on Investment
After the initial phishing campaign during COVID, Made In Cookware has kept Bolster on to monitor and prevent any further online fraud. The Bolster platform yielded high return on investment as Made In Cookware was able to recoup the lost revenue from the fraudulent sites. In a very short amount of time, Bolster paid for itself in terms of total costs and yielded higher margins for Made In Cookware’s products.
“This product pays for itself. It was honestly the easiest and quickest renewal that I had this year because when you put pen to paper [on Bolster’s ROI], it’s just a no brainer.”
Beyond the recouped revenue from eliminating scam websites online, Made In Cookware was also able to benefit from the increase in customer trust and brand reputation. Customers were no longer calling or emailing into the customer support team with frustrations on the status of the scam orders. As Made In Cookware continues to grow in multiple digital channels where they do business, Bolster will be aligned to their strategic growth and protect them along the way. The support from Bolster whenever an issue arises allows Made In Cookware to not only do business securely and but benefit from capturing all their online revenue. Most importantly, Bolster’s easy-to-use dashboard minimizes the amount of time spent on brand protection so Made in Cookware can focus on more key business objectives.
“It was really easy to just send over a couple of sites and on your end, you all took care of everything. I didn’t have to do any heavy lifting there which is always really nice.”