Organisations looking to prioritise corporate protection need to receive great support from senior executives and should develop a strong understanding of brand value at all layers of the business.

Stuart Hughes, global director of profit protection at Adidas, said the sports firm must protect its people, products and processes.

“All these elements can affect the value of your brand,” he said, referring to best practice advice for other business leaders. “We’ve all got people, products and assets worth protecting.”

Strong foundations are crucial and the executive board must support your strategy. “You’ve got to talk to the people in charge and make sure they’re aligned with your approach,” said Hughes, speaking at RBTE 2016.

Key elements can include risk assessments, threat assessments and definitions around the assets the business aims to protect. Hughes said effort should then be expended on making sure the selected strategy is effective on a day-to-day basis.

“You have to make sure your approach to profit protection is focused and aligned with the corporate culture,” said Hughes. Adidas spends a great deal of time communicating its message, both externally and internally.

The firm has worked alongside key suppliers, such as Oracle, to ensure its identity is protected on systems, reports and even at till points. “We want to make sure that people across the business understand the importance and value of our brand,” said Hughes.

Technology plays a key role and the firm continues to look towards innovation and ways to refresh its approach. “Our suppliers are either working with us directly right now or we’re doing proof-of-concept to see if what’s they’re offering makes sense to our business,” he said.

Security is a crucial area and the firm focuses on standards and training. “We have to be cognisant of brand protection,” he said. “Our events management platform helps us to take control.”

Business continuity is also important. As a global organisation, the firm focuses on standards, operations and technology. “We want to support people across the organisation in the right way and we use e-learning to help our people stay up to date,” he said.