What is Brand Registry? Can private label Amazon sellers become Brand Registered? You may have heard the term ‘Brand Registry’ and thought this is something reserved for big name sellers, or, assumed it’s a super complicated process that requires a law degree to navigate. You couldn’t be more wrong!
Brand Registry is a relatively simple process which can dramatically increase sales as well as the overall value of your Amazon business. Oh and did we mention that Amazon gives the extra Brand Registry goodies for free? Yes you heard right! With the below know-how you’ll breeze through the Brand Registry process and be well on your way to increased sales!
Amazon has faced a lot of criticism in the past from brands claiming not enough has been done to protect brand interests. Brand owners found themselves competing with counterfeit product sales and intellectual property violations. This lack of protection made selling on Amazon less appealing for brand owners. Enter Brand Registry!
The Brand Registry program gives registered sellers access to a dedicated internal team within to help monitor and protect seller rights with clear violation reporting and remedies. In addition, Amazon gives extra ‘real estate’ to registered sellers to help promote their brand via increased listing space, storefronts and advertising options.
The name of the game on Amazon is to build a brand customers love and protect your business from unscrupulous sellers. In a nutshell: to build and protect! Trust me when I say Brand Registry can dramatically help with both of these goals.
Amazon loves it when sellers take full advantage of the tools and resources available and often rewards sellers for their efforts. By becoming Brand Registered you unlock a whole host of resources that will not only make your selling experience easier but will make your listing a hot favourite with the A10 algorithm as well. It’s a super easy way to level up against lazy competitors who aren’t willing to go the extra mile.
In addition, some selling categories are ‘gated’. This means sellers must jump through additional hoops before Amazon will approve the listing. This can include being brand registered. A full list of gated selling categories and their individual requirements can be found here.
There are four different ways being Brand Registered can help build your Amazon business for long term success:
Let’s take a closer look at each of these benefits in further detail.
An Amazon storefront is an online, customizable FBA storefront that allows you to display all of your brand’s listings in one central area. No coding experience is necessary; thanks to Amazon’s pre-built drag and drop templates, building your own professional-looking store is a relatively painless process.
Not only that, it gives you an easy spot to direct traffic to your listings from outside sources such as social media and other eCommerce platforms. A10 loves outside traffic, and will give you a BSR (Best Seller Rank) bump in return! For more information check out our recent how-to create an Amazon storefront blog.
With knowledge comes power! Amazon Brand Analytics is a suite of reports only available to brand registered sellers. These additional reports are available inside Seller Central and provide valuable insights into customer purchasing behaviours, search terms and product portfolios. These reports are designed to empower sellers to make informed decisions about their products and marketing efforts.
Advertising is big business on Amazon, it’s predicted Amazon advertising spend will hit $US13 billion by the end of 2020. With more sellers using PPC to drive clicks and sales the cost for bidding on certain keywords can quickly escalate. But what if there was an advertising campaign only available for brand registered sellers? Say no more!
Sponsored brand campaigns allow brand registered sellers to showcase their listings in key placement locations across the Amazon platform. This can be at the very top of an Amazon search, product detail pages, left hand rail and the bottom of search results. There is even an optimization feature that allows Amazon to automatically display ASINs from your product catalog based upon the search term and what Amazon believes is more likely to lead to a conversion.
We’ve all heard the saying ‘a picture tells a 1,000 words’ and this couldn’t be more true for Amazon listings. Remember, customers shop with their eyes first and foremost! Enhanced brand content (EBC) gives sellers additional listing space to highlight their product for maximum visibility and impact.
EBC is displayed on a listing page between the bullets and the reviews section. EBC is fully customizable and provides a golden opportunity for sellers to reach their ideal customer through high quality lifestyle images that call out product benefits.
There are three different ways being Brand Registered can help protect your Amazon business from dishonest sellers:
Let’s take a closer look at each of these benefits in further detail.
Amazon has a very unique way of listing products sold by multiple sellers. The complex Amazon algorithm compiles product data from the different sellers to create a single product listing page. Needless to say, this can easily result in misleading product information and unhappy buyers!
When you’re a registered brand owner you have full control over your product details. This ensures customers see accurate information about your products and you prevent rouge sellers spruiking incorrect product information. Accurate listings equal happy sellers!
You’ve worked hard to create a brand your customers love and trust and you certainly don’t want another seller swooping in and using your logo or brand name as a sales ploy. This can directly affect your bottom line and seriously damage your brands reputation long term. Also, for a platform as large as Amazon it’s completely unrealistic for sellers to personally monitor all competitor listings for potential violations. What’s a seller to do?
Think of Proactive Brand Protection as having a team of elves working day and night on your behalf intent on finding and removing inaccurate or infringing content about your brand. The more information you provide to Amazon’s Brand Registry elves the better they can protect your brand experience. Couple this with ZonGuru’s powerful IP Monitor tool and you’ve got yourself some serious brand protection! IP Monitor lets you track your product photos and alerts you when someone uses your photos in their listing.
But what happens if you do come across a less than reputable seller who is infringing on your brand? With a few clicks of a button you may instantly report the violation and get back to what you do best, making sales!
As a registered brand you have additional reporting powers so that you can quickly resolve any issues before serious damage may be done to your business. Amazon will contact the rouge seller and quickly remove the listing where appropriate. Problem solved!
Now that we’ve spruked the benefits of Amazon Brand Registry, how do you get accepted into the club? Simple….you need a trademark!
Brands must have a registered and active text or image-based trademark. A trademark is a type of intellectual property consisting of a recognizable design or expression. It is a super valuable marketing tool and is essentially your business identity. Trademarks are the way you show your customers who you are.
When you register a trademark you own the exclusive rights to use the mark for your business in the region registered. For example, ‘Amazon’ is a trademark. No other business may use the ‘Amazon’ image to promote products or services without consent.
Plus, by registering a trademark you are building an asset! The more successful your business becomes the more valuable your trademark becomes. If you are looking to grow your Amazon business to eventually sell, having a trademark should be at the top of your priority list.
Great question! If you have a trademark issued from an Amazon approved government office you may gain access to the Brand Registry program within any Amazon marketplace. However, if the trademark isn’t from the corresponding marketplace the trademark rights will not be enforceable. Trademark rights and Amazon Brand Registry are two separate things.
Remember, having a trademark provides the owner with usage rights. A trademark gives the owner exclusive use of the brand in the region registered. For example I may obtain a trademark from the Australian government trademark office and use this to enter the Brand Registry program and sell on Amazon.com (USA marketplace). I will have access to Brand Registry benefits however, to truly protect the use of my brand within the USA I would need to register the trademark within the USA as well. This is something sellers should keep front of mind as they expand into different marketplaces.
Amazon currently accepts trademarks that have been issued by government trademark offices in:
A common mistake a lot of sellers make is believing that a business name is the same as a trademark. A business name is the legal name you trade under and identifies who you are. For example this would be the name you use when dealing with government taxation departments. It’s important to note, each country and state often have different business name requirements so it’s worthwhile speaking to a local expert before making a business name decision.
A trademark is your registered brand and is used to distinguish your business from other products and services. A trademark can be many things such as a letter, number, word, phrase, logo or image. A trademark gives you exclusive rights to use the brand and is essentially your business identity.
Absolutely! The golden rule of marketing is to develop a brand that speaks to your ideal customer. If you are selling multiple products which appeal to different customer avatars it may be worthwhile creating a different brand for each product line.
Each individual brand may be trademarked and entered into the Amazon Brand Registry Program. There is no need to open a separate Amazon Seller account, all brands are easily managed within the one Seller Central account.
Again, this is a tricky one to answer as it will depend upon your products and the country in which you apply for your trademark. Typically the cost ranges from $300 - $1,000 USD however can fluctuate depending upon the number of categories you register your trademark within. For a newbie seller just starting out this cost can be prohibitive, however what is the cost of not registering and seeing your sales stolen by a hijacker?
The trademark system is broken down between different category types. For example if I’m selling ‘Yoga Mats’ and ‘Water Bottles’ I may choose to register my brand within the trademark categories ‘rubber goods’ and ‘household utensils’. Each category registration requires an additional fee and each country will have a different categorisation system.
The exact costs and registration steps are easily found online via your local country's trademark office or even better, get in touch with a reputable trademark specialist such as Trademark Angel.
Each country has its own time frame for trademark registration. This can span anywhere from 1 month up to 2 years! You may still use your branding in the meantime so long as it doesn’t infringe upon another registered trademark, however, Amazon will not accept sellers into the Brand Registry program until official registration is completed.
Some countries have a much faster turnaround time than others. For example, Germany is well known for it’s fast trademark registration process and the USA is notorious for dragging its heels. Sellers who find themselves in the precarious position of launching a successful product without Brand Registry may be left reeling at the wait time as hijackers take advantage of their unfortunate situation.
As a temporary solution, sellers may choose to fast track the trademark process by applying in Germany. This will allow sellers to benefit from Amazon Brand Registry and access brand protection tools sooner rather than later. Keep in mind if you register your trademark in a country other than the marketplace you are selling in you will not have full trademark rights.
Pro Tip: There is a workaround to USA trademark delays! Read on to find out how the Amazon IP Accelerator program can fast track your acceptance into Brand Registry!
First things first, you need to have a product and your brand name and/or logo completed. Have you created a brand identity that really speaks to your ideal customer? Does your brand adequately represent what you’re selling? As mentioned above, the trademark process can take considerable time so you want to make sure there are no changes that need to be made along the way.
So when is the best time to begin the registration process? Considering the relatively small outlay and long lead time it’s recommended to start the trademark registration process sooner rather than later. Some sellers prefer to wait until they know their product is successful however we find best practice is to start registration once you’ve decided to push ahead with the product and have finalized your branding.
Amazon’s IP Accelerator program was created to help Amazon businesses obtain intellectual property rights and brand protection sooner. The program connects businesses with a curated network of trusted IP law firms which provide trademark registration services.
Amazon acknowledges the pending trademark registration and allows early access to Brand Registry benefits. This fast tracks Brand Registry months sometimes years ahead of the competition! You can find out more information on Amazon’s IP Accelerator program here.
Once you have your trademark the brand registration process is relatively simple. Amazon has a separate hub for brand services and has automated the entire submission and approval process.
Follow the below steps to quickly and easily get your brand registered with Amazon.
Simply log into your Seller Central account and navigate to brandregistry.amazon.com. Once there, select the “Enroll a new brand” button.
This begins the process of registering your brand.
The next step is to fill out the Brand Eligibility form.
After filling out this form, you’ll then be asked to provide Amazon with your trademark information.
Next up is submitting your brand characteristics. This involves providing basic information such as whether or not you manufacture your products, and where they are manufactured. After you submit your application, the approval can take anywhere from 2 business days to 2 weeks. It’s that simple!
Amazon is a super noisey platform with competitors constantly vying for shoppers attention and precious advertising space. Any leverage over the competition should be grabbed with both hands and used to full effect!
Amazon Brand Registry not only makes it easier for your products to be seen but provides protection against sellers looking to hijack your listings and capitalize on your hard work. It’s easy to see how important these tools are and how they add tremendous value to your brand. And remember, a more valuable brand means a bigger payday down the track if you ever decide to sell your Amazon business!
If you aren’t already Brand Registered now’s your chance to get started and perhaps even fast track your registration using the Amazon IP Accelerator program. If you are Brand Registered make sure you are making the best use of all the amazing tools at your fingertips and leave your competitors in the dust!
Wanting more information on trademarks and Brand Registry? Check out our recent interview with Anita Mar of Trademark Angel.
P.S. Do you want to know how to bring a flatlined listing from $0 sales back to life? Our in-house experts recently resuscitated a flatlined Amazon product using the latest listing optimization techniques and PPC strategies. Watch the complete Amazon FBA Case Study series here
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