How To Protect Your Brand on Amazon
Somewhat recently, Amazon decided to revamp their entire Brand Registry process with what has been deemed Brand Registry 2.0. What is it and what does it do? Let's take a little peek under the hood.
Keeping with history, Amazon has continued to grow at an incredible pace, continually bringing new issues into the fold, or exacerbating old ones. With a fast paced growth of third party sellers, protecting a brand had become near impossible. Fighting for buy boxes, against knock off products and theft of content have all been major issues facing sellers over the years.
As a seller what can you do?
Amazon’s original Brand Registry took steps towards mitigating these dirty tactics, but lacked teeth when it came to enforcing much of anything. Fast Forward to today, where version 2.0 feels similar to the original, yet has many more powerful aspects to both protect and promote your companies products. Yes, you absolutely must have a registered trademark in order to participate. If that’s not true of your brand, then in Amazon’s eyes you do not own the brand. It's that simple and honestly, it needs to be, because that was one of the biggest issues with version one. So if you’re serious about the long term protection of your brand identity and the assets you’re building, then consider applying right away under the guidance of a legal professional....it takes a few months.
Once you have a Registered Trademark, application to Brand Registry 2.0 is a very simple process. Being accepted can be a bit trickier, as the application must be approved by a team member at Amazon, which if you’re selling anything on the platform, you know is never as easy as it seems. Despite supplying every bit of information, you may get denied, but simply keep applying and meet resistance with the positive mindset that Amazon is at least properly vetting the applications and is thus protecting brands from false claims.
So, once you’re beyond the barrier of entry and have been accepted, well congrats, it’s time to take advantage of this program!
Protection - So let’s start here. The whole point of registering is obviously, first and foremost to protect your brand, your product listings, and all your hard work. Brand Registry will allow you to do this in a few ways.
All product listings you own will be able to be connected to your brand name. This will help with disputes and hijackings. Before anyone, says “I could do this before!”, yes you could, but now once attributed, the power is in your hands to go after those attacking your listings, etc. Amazon now knows that you are the sole owner of that brand and will not allow anyone else to sell under that name, period. This is a big step forward. My hope is that it will begin to slow down knock offs and listing hijackers to the point where it will no longer be profitable or worthwhile to waste their time trying. Since Amazon can now quickly confirm ownership, they have shown the propensity to quickly pull the trigger on delisting pretenders. Yes!
Speaking of being connected to your brand name, this also means they can and should be connected to your Brand Store. Gone are the days of the awkward store pages that were hard to find, hard to navigate, and quite difficult to build. Amazon Storefront’s are now able to be built by brand in a familiar, if not limited, editor. As we know, nothing stays the same for long, but Amazon Storefront’s for now have a HUGE VALUE.
Placement - All branded products can now be brought into one central hub of a store. This allows anyone who clicks on your brand on a listing to jump to a page you can build out to merchandize your products. Think of the possibilities! Highlight your most popular (read profitable) products and really sell them with imagery and copy of your choosing.
Bringing everything together allows you to showcase all you have to offer in one tidy place. Though the editor is limited to some basic tile options, the content and images are completely up to you, so be creative and show your products off!
Your store will be available, once published, at amazon.com/yourstorename - Very powerful and easy to find. This allows you to truly have your own space carved out on Amazon for the first time ever.
But wait, there’s more.
Promotion - Advertising has also changed, and as of now, for the better. Stores allow you to run “Amazon Headline Ads”, which can be shown in a variety of places, the most important of which, so far, is the top of the search. The ads display above all product results, so your brand is the first thing a customer sees!
Now of course, there are different versions of these ads, based on placement, browser, etc. So if a customer if on mobile, it may only display your main image that when clicked, will bring them to the storefront. However, on desktop, the ads will display up to three products and a main image. Products will link directly to a listing, while the main image will still link to your storefront homepage.
Powerful stuff? You tell me. Average ACos on Amazon can run from 5-30%. Headline ads are currently running as low as 1-2%...
I thought I had your attention. So while I do, here’s one more item that I don’t believe is being used much but could be a major player in 2018. Amazon now allows you within your Storefront to tag sources or traffic. They will give you the numbers for Organic Amazon Traffic and Headline Search Ad Traffic, but they also allow outside ads to be run and tagged. This is HUGE. Ads can now be run from outside of Amazon directly to your storefront and all sales will be properly attributed based on the tags you apply. This really opens to floodgates for promotions on social media, ads, etc. If you can build it, you can track it.
Conclusion: If you’re an Amazon Seller, get your brand registered! The first few months of this new program have supplied plenty of opportunities. If we know anything about Amazon, we know things change. These easy wins and spaces of strength will eventually get more difficult or expensive to play in, but others will open too. Staying on the pulse it super important, so make you check in with my blog if you want to learn the latest techniques and tips.