‘Amazon Brand Registry’ is a phrase you will hear a lot about if you are an active Amazon seller or vendor. Your brand may already be registered with this registry. However, the recent paradigm shift that Amazon brought about in the criteria for eligibility, it has become necessary for all of us to revisit the very idea of the Amazon Brand Registry.
We will discuss at length what the Amazon Brand Registry is, how it works, why it’s important for sellers to register and the advantages of being on board. This page comes as the next offering in our series of free guides that every Amazon seller can benefit from following. If you haven’t already, do make it a point to go through all the guides to keep yourself up to the date about everything-Amazon.
What is Amazon Brand Registry?
Amazon has been a market force for years now. Started out as a modest e-bookstore, it delivers anything and everything a buyer would want today, accounting for nearly half of the online retail in America. But this popularity and surge in sales hasn’t been without its fair share of problems. For as long as Amazon has existed, it has had to face criticism about effectively ending the small, local, brick-and-mortar shopping culture on which a significant number of people have traditionally been dependent.
To answer these questions and to protect the intellectual property rights of inventors, creators, manufacturers and vendors, Amazon came up with the Amazon Brand Registry. It is a service that curates all the trademarked brands active on Amazon. This helps Amazon prevent third-party, unauthorized sellers from driving the prices of trademarked products down in a non-ethical, competition-unfriendly way.
It’s important for every private label seller, manufacturer and creator to know where their products are being sold. The Amazon Brand Registry gives trademark owners full control over their products, thus helping them track the sales, determine the prices and ensure that cheap ‘knock-offs’ aren’t being distributed in their brand’s name.
Amazon Brand Registry – Who Is It For?
There used to exist a lot of confusion over the eligibility and qualification criteria for the Amazon Brand Registry. But in the latest, revamped version, Amazon has taken all the confusion out of the picture. You will be eligible to enroll your brand in the Amazon Brand Registry 2.0 if you:
- Own the trademark to your brand* or,
- Are the manufacturer with trademark rights or,
- Have an explicit, written authorization from the brand owner/manufacturer giving you full rights to control the brand presence on Amazon.
*Amazon presently accepts brands with trademarks that bear textual or semi-textual components. Image-only or graphic-only trademarks are not presently a part of this program. In addition, the trademark in question needs to be registered with government-regulated trademark offices, ministries or services in at least one of the following countries or regions:
North America: United States, Canada, Mexico
Asia: Japan, India
Europe: European Union (EU), United Kingdom, Spain, France, Germany, Italy
You can visit this website to find the contact information of these offices.
It is important to note that the following categories do not qualify for enrolment in the Amazon Brand Registry even if the seller fulfils the eligibility criteria:
Why Every Brand Owner Must Take Advantage of the Amazon Brand Registry
From the numbers’ point of view, no marketplace can even come close to Amazon. All of us routinely turn to Amazon to search, browse through and buy products. There are countless examples of small, home-grown brands relying fully on Amazon to achieve their sales targets each year. Thus, it’s safe to say that ‘looking good’ on Amazon is essential to record sizeable sales. The Amazon Brand Registry offers a good way of achieving this.
Making Sure You Well-and-Truly Own Your Brand
But despite all the precautions you may take, things that you have no control over can quickly damage your brand. The foremost among these things are unauthorized listings. It’s very possible for imitators, grey market actors and third-party sellers to list your products at cheaper prices. This can suck all the steam from your listings, driving sales into the ground – a scary scenario indeed.
The sole purpose that the Amazon Brand Registry exists is to help brand owners like you deal with this scenario. This is also the prime reason why you should jump on board this registry. It’s important, however, to know that Amazon does not explicitly bar unauthorized sellers from listing your products. You can, however, more easily report such instances to Amazon if your brand is registered with the Amazon Brand Registry.
Listing Your Products with More Ease
Another important, yet often overlooked, advantage that Amazon Brand Registry brings with it is the ability to upload your products with lesser hassle. Once your brand is approved by Amazon, you will find that listing products becomes much less time consuming. If, unfortunately, Amazon doesn’t approve any of your listings, they will get back to you with reasons for the same – a luxury regular sellers cannot say they have. This will make it much easier for you to submit a revamped listing that will be more likely to get approved.
In addition, brand owners can gain more leverage over their products while listing. If your new product is yet to get a Standard Product ID (UPC or EAN), you can still list it under your brand. This will drastically reduce the ‘wait time’ before your product goes live. Getting a UPC or EAN code for your product can, at times, take weeks. Therefore, if your products are seasonal (think, Halloween lights, Christmas car décor and such), being able to sell right from the word go can be an immensely useful advantage to have. You may want to reach out to the Seller Central or Vendor Central team to learn more about using this feature. You can also directly contact the Amazon Brand Registry team here.
Tip: Even though Amazon lets you sell products with your own identifiers once your brand is a part of the Amazon Brand Registry, it’s still very important to have an UPC or EAN number for each product. You can usually procure these codes from the manufacturer. If you are the manufacturer, please visit this website (US only) or this website (Global) for more information. You can also read Amazon’s take on this issue here.
Accessing Amazon Enhanced Brand Content
Being registered with the Amazon Brand Registry is a prerequisite to be able to use a very useful feature – Amazon Enhanced Brand Content. This feature lets you present your products as well as your brand in a more attractive fashion. It’s a certain way to garner more clicks and improve sales. You can learn more about this feature by going through our free Enhanced Brand Content guide.
Controlling Product Specs
If you list a generic, no-brand product on Amazon, anyone and everyone is free to contribute suggestions regarding product specs. This allows Amazon to take over and choose what to display to buyers. On the other hand, if your brand is registered with the Amazon Brand Registry, you and only you will be able to edit product details.
Amazon Brand Registry: How to Enroll?
Amazon Brand Registry Application Screenshot (Credit: Amazon.com)
If your brand qualifies on the criteria listed earlier, you need to take steps to enroll your brand in the Amazon Brand Registry at your earliest. It usually takes up to 10-15 business days for Amazon to assess your brand’s information and make a decision.
Important: If your brand was registered prior to 04/30/2017, you will need to submit a new application to enroll in the updated registry.
Amazon Brand Registry Application: A Handy Checklist
An incomplete application is perhaps the most common reason for brands to see Amazon turn their application down. To avoid this, do make sure that you have the following information handy before you start working on your application:
- The name of your brand (as trademarked)
- The patent or trademark office documentation certifying the registration and ownership of the brand.
- The brand’s logo (preferably a high definition image file).
- Original photographs of at least one product (or packaging) exhibiting the brand’s name and logo.
- References to external websites (at least one) where your product is on sale under your brand’s name and logo. This website could be your own or a third-party marketplace.
- A complete list of countries and regions in which the product is manufactured and distributed.
- Preferable product categories in which you want to list your products.
- Resellers and distributors will also need to have an authorization letter from the brand owner.
Amazon Brand Registry Application Process
Once you are ready with all the information present in the checklist above, proceed to visit the Amazon Brand Registry application page. The application is intuitive and straightforward. Please note that it’s advisable to have an active Seller or Vendor account before you attempt to register your brand.
Choosing Product Identifiers
This is a step that many brand owners seem to get wrong. When you reach the final stages of your Amazon Brand Registry application, you will have to choose a unique product identifier. Amazon will treat this identifier as the ‘Key Attribute’ for all your future listings. The purpose of this is to make sorting and referencing your products easier for Amazon. You will have all the standard identifiers such as UPCs and EANs to choose from. If you haven’t yet obtained these, please choose from other identifiers such as part numbers, catalog numbers or styles. It’s important to keep a common product identifier across all the products listed under one brand.
How to Register Products Once Your Brand Shows up in the Amazon Brand Registry?
If you are already familiar with listing products via your seller account, you will find this step easy to tackle.
Updating Existing Products
If your existing product listings contain the brand name (with the exact same spelling) and the Key Attribute you selected while enrolling in the Amazon Brand Registry, Amazon will automatically update them. If that isn’t the case, you may have to manually update each listing to reflect the correct brand name and Key Attribute.
Listing New Products
Listing new products under your brand name becomes much easier when you are on board the Amazon Brand Registry. All you will have to do is submit the product specs and the Key Attribute. The platform will automatically create a listing that you can easily edit before it goes live.
Amazon Brand Registry: Identifying & Reporting Violations
Amazon Brand Registry – Reporting Violations (Credit: Amazon.com)
Giving original creators and brand owners peace of mind is the very foundation of Amazon Brand Registry. Earlier, Amazon would require sellers to follow a generic, all-purpose link to report listings that would violate their intellectual property rights (counterfeit products, unauthorized sellers etc.).
The Amazon Brand Registry has made this process immensely easier by providing brand owners with a special ‘Report a Violation’ tab. Although still in beta phase, this feature is very much likely to pack more power in coming months. If you suspect a listing that affects your rights as a brand owner, you can look it up and report then-and-there by entering the listing title, ASIN or other searchable information. You can also take screenshots of the pages you think are in violation and submit them to the Brand Registry team.
Having Trouble Signing Up for Amazon Brand Registry? Let Us Know!
It’s quite easy to register your brand with the Amazon Brand Registry. However, it’s also very common for brands to face multiple rejections on various grounds. If you come across such a scenario, feel free to let us know.
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