Are they Real or Fake? Learning about the importance of Marketing in Brand Protection through a summer internship: Courtney Cardillo

Courtney Cardillo, ’22 (ENG major PWR minor)

Can you tell the difference between a counterfeit product versus a real one? Well, this summer while interning with SnapDragon, an intellectual property (IP) company, I learned about the importance of IP infringement and assisted their marketing team and Brand protection team in spreading awareness and stopping the sale of fake products. Intellectual property is a rising issue that many consumers face. IP is a set of laws that protect creative and innovative products through legal rights called patents, copyrights, and trademarks. The photographs below are a perfect example of what I looked for while working with the SnapDragon Brand Protection team. When searching for fake popsockets, you look for any circular popsocket shaped item that does not have the “Popsocket” name or logo on it. If the popsocket looks like the first image, then it is assumed to be a real product and not reported, however, if it reflects the second image then it is reported to swoop, SnapDragons IP site. While interning with SnapDragon, I learned about the importance of IP and how much marketing education is needed in this field. Being an English literature major with a minor in Professional Writing and Rhetoric, writing is a major part of my education. This summer has provided me with an abundance of new skills in the marketing industry. On top of writing in a professional tone and publishing my blogs, I also learned how to use more platforms and understand how to market to a specific audience are great new assets. Interacting with others in the workplace and learning how to use my college education on a professional level has given me great insight into my future career in marketing.


SnapDragon uses intellectual property to find fake or counterfeited products online. To do so, their Brand Protection team scours through online sites and uses key terms to search for these fakes. Similar to an artist getting a copyright or trademark on their original work, when a piece of creative work is made and, more importantly, shown to the public, copyright protections are immediately granted to the creator. This protection extends to all creators and inventors. However, without this Ip infringement protection, it is almost impossible to protect your work from being counterfeited. 

While interning, I was tasked with searching for fake popsocket products. SnapDragon wished for me to work with their Brand Protection team to gain a better understanding of what IP is to ensure I could market their company appropriately. Additionally, I was assigned with research and writing multiple blogs on IP news to help inform and educate SnapDragon’s clients. Using marketing to help spread awareness to people purchasing items from the internet is crucial to aid and expand this business. Throughout this summer, I was in charge of running the SnapDragon social media sites. On top of writing informative blogs, I implemented a “Did You Know” campaign that informs people and clients about past IP infringement incidents. This campaign was set up in HubSpot to run through the end of September. Using Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, SnapDragon is working towards expanding its social media footprint. While working within each of these platforms, I learned the importance of marketing towards a specific audience. For example, the posts I made for Facebook and Twitter had a less professional connotation compared to LinkedIn. This is due to Linkedin being a professional networking site and requiring more of a professional tone to its post compared to the other social media sites. 

Additionally, I also started a “ThrowBack Thursday” campaign that was posted to both Facebook and Twitter as a way to raise awareness of intellectual property issues. On top of setting up and improving SnapDragon’s social media statues, I also created a website for the Scottish Anti-Illicit trade group. SnapDragon works closely with this Scottish government organization to help stop and spread awareness of infringement. This website will allow current and future customers to find aid when faced with infringement. When creating the website on Wix, I took a pamphlet of information provided to me by the SAITG and morphed the information into a website. After I had the first draft of the site completed, I began the editing and review process with my boss. After changing simple things like fonts and colors to ensure the flow of the website was good, I sent the site directly to the SAITG to ensure it was to their liking. 

Despite being an IP company, SnapDragon is getting ahead in the IP world by using marketing to bring awareness to their company and cause. By having a better media footprint, more clients will know who to turn to when faced with infringement. Additionally, it allows current clients to keep up with current IP issues. By reading the multiple blogs I have contributed to the SnapDragon website, new and old clients can learn how to report infringement, learn when to start thinking about IP and how to use social media without being a target for infringement.

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