Amazon Brand Registry is a free service launched by Amazon to help businesses on the Marketplace protect their brand. Put simply, it proves that you own the products that you are selling. It gives businesses the peace of mind that they aren't going to wake up to someone selling their products as their own.
The Brand Registry also helps sellers manage the businesses selling their products on the platform. Though Amazon's algorithms tend to be pretty good at what they do, there are times when other sellers are selling your products with permission, but the algorithm thinks that they are selling them without your permission. The opposite can happen as well.
Registering with the Amazon Brand Registry gives you control over these sorts of instances and many other issues that can occur on the platform. It's a way to leverage the control you have over your brand on the platform.
Despite seeming like an obvious move, the creation of the Amazon Brand Registry as we know it today only happened about three years ago. Amazon had a brand registry in place before that, but it was lackluster, to say the least. So, what led to Amazon's overhaul of the system in 2017?
Like many big companies, Amazon's motivation came in the form of lawsuits. Brands were being copied left and right, leading to several companies and trademarks suing Amazon for not doing a better job of managing the Marketplace. It was the heat of a thousand shop owners' torches by which the Amazon Brand Registry was forged.
The Amazon Brand Registry ended up being the perfect compromise to the issue at hand. It provided the security demanded by Amazon sellers and eased the burden of protecting innumerable brands. It gives brands the ability to be more proactive in protecting their brand using powerful tools crafted by Amazon, but it also removes the burden for Amazon to be a watchdog for every seller on the platform.
The clearest benefit of the Amazon Brand Registry is one that we've been touching on already, and that's that it protects your business' brand from being infringed upon by others in the Amazon Marketplace. It does this in several important ways.
One of these ways is that it gives businesses access to a dedicated support team. This team handles reported issues of brand infringement on the platform so that businesses aren't left dealing with automated support systems. Issues of infringement are handled promptly and professionally.
The Amazon Brand Registry also gives you the ability to control the way your brand is represented on Amazon. It presents a more consistent image across the platform and removes impostors, building trust in your customers.
A great feature that Brand Registry users have is the ability to search through the Marketplace for potential instances of fraud. These search tools use three of the most potent methods of finding fraudsters on the platform:
Global Search: Global search allows you to look through the content of different shops on the Marketplace without having to click through all of their listings. You can quickly look through other sellers' catalogs from one screen.
Image Search: Image search makes it easy to search the platform for instances of your logos, product photos, and other branding imagery.
Bulk ASIN Search: To make sure that no one is using URLs or ASINs (Amazon Standard Identification Numbers) that belong to you, you can enter all of your ASINs at once to search the platform for copies of all of your products.
Amazon's Brand Registry benefits from something that the whole of Amazon is good at, and that's making predictions. The Brand Registry uses the information that you provide to make intelligent, automated decisions on when to take action on behalf of your brand.
These actions include flagging product listings that are using your brand for products that aren't yours, using your logos and trademarks without your permission, selling your product from a country that you do not distribute from or manufacture in, or being listed under your brand name without being in your official catalog. The Brand Registry automatically searches for these sorts of infringements and becomes better at identifying issues as you provide it with more information.
Though Amazon Brand Registry is a big help for most of your brand's needs, there are some things that it doesn't help with. The primary area where Brand Registry is lacking is in limiting who can and can't sell your products. You aren't able to whitelist certain sellers or blacklist others.
The other major thing that Amazon Brand Registry doesn't do is allow someone to report an infringement on your behalf. Unless someone you've appointed is using your Brand Registry account to report an infringement, you are the only person, other than Amazon, who can make reports. If someone on Amazon notices someone abusing your brand, the best they can do is try to let you know.
Unfortunately, not every Amazon seller is going to qualify for Amazon Brand Registry. The reason is pretty straightforward: not all sellers have a brand to protect and those that do need some kind of proof that they own that brand.
The requirements vary by country; you can view the full list of requirements for every country here. For U.S. sellers, you'll need:
Most of these requirements are pretty simple and can be submitted in an afternoon. One, however, is a little bit more difficult than the rest.
The most important and difficult part of Amazon Brand Registry eligibility is the registered trademark requirement. It requires you to have an official, active trademark on your brand and its associated imagery. A pending trademark, represented by ™, isn't enough to be approved for the Brand Registry. You need to have the active trademark symbol ® next to your branding.
For brands that don't have this, it can be a bit of a setback, as the application process for this symbol can take up to ten months and $400+ in application fees. The sooner you start your application, the sooner you'll be able to protect your brand on Amazon.
For those who do have an active trademark, you need to be careful when submitting it with your Brand Registry application. If the information you provide Amazon doesn't exactly match the information that the USPTO has on file, your application will more than likely be denied.
Applying for the Amazon Brand Registry is fairly simple. Here are the four steps involved in getting approved for the Brand Registry.
Before you actually submit your Amazon Brand Registry application, it's important to make sure that you meet all of the eligibility requirements for your country. Being approved for the Brand Registry takes about ten days in total, which means that every time you apply and are denied, you lose over a week in waiting time.
Rather than dragging this process out, take a moment to go over the requirements and create a checklist of everything you need to have in order to be approved. Once you're sure that you have everything on this list taken care of, it's time to start the application process.
Now it's time to sign in to the Amazon Brand Registry, which you can do here. You can sign into the Registry using your existing Amazon account. More specifically, you should sign in and submit your application using the account that acts as the vendor account for your Amazon store.
Once you sign in, you'll be asked to verify your Brand Registry account. This means providing information like your legal corporation info, agreeing to the ToS, and validating your identity via SMS.
Now that you're logged in, it's time to enroll your brand in the Amazon Brand Registry. This is going to be the actual application process where you submit your brand name, trademark number, product categories, and the countries where your products are manufactured and distributed.
The enrollment process will walk you through four steps before completing your application. The first is Brand Eligibility. This page is where the broad details of your brand are entered, like the name of your brand, the number of brands you're submitting, and so on.
The second step, intellectual property, is where you'll punch in the finer details, like trademark number and registration number. After that is identification, which is just pictures of your products, packages, logos, and so on. Last but not least is the Characteristics page, which is where you'll describe the manufacturing and licensing attributes associated with your products.
The last step in having your brand approved in the Brand Registry is, well, being approved. This process can take anywhere from two to ten days, so be prepared to wait a while. If you are approved, Amazon will send a verification code to a contact associated with your registered trademark. For your approval to be finalized, you need to send this verification code back to Amazon.
Once you've submitted that verification code, you should be able to start reaping the benefits of the Brand Registry within one to two business days.
Luckily for us, that's where Amazon IP Accelerator comes in. And if you want to know about our experience using it on our own brand, watch this:
For those that aren't approved by the Amazon Brand Registry (or for those who just want to go the extra mile), Amazon has two other services that can supplement the benefits provided by the Brand Registry.
The first is Amazon Transparency. Transparency is a feature that provides each of your products with a unique code (kind of like a QR code) on the packaging. You're the only person with access to the file for this code, which means you're the only person who can print them on your products.
Once your products are enrolled and tagged with Transparency codes, Amazon will scan all of your incoming products to make sure that they aren't counterfeits. Any products claiming to be under your brand that don't have these codes won't be shipped out to customers.
And speaking of customers, your customers are able to use Transparency as well through the Transparency app. They can scan your Transparency code to make sure that the products they're receiving are authentic, which helps you build trust with them without having to use the Amazon Brand Registry.
Amazon Project Zero is an additional layer of security for Amazon Brand Registry users. And yes, that means you need to be enrolled in the Brand Registry to use Project Zero.
Project Zero is essentially a higher tier of the Brand Registry. It includes all of the benefits of the Registry and more. This includes advanced proactive counterfeit searches which continuously scan the platform for potentially counterfeit products.
There's also a self-service counterfeit removal feature which gives you full control over removing counterfeit items from the Marketplace. Every time you use the self-service feature, the automated counterfeit removal system learns from you and becomes better at removing counterfeit products. It also comes with Transparency-like codes that allow you and Amazon to verify your products for authenticity.
If you aren't already using the Amazon Brand Registry and you meet the eligibility requirements, then you're doing yourself a disservice. It's one of the better brand protection tools available for the platform and one of the best ways to improve your credibility on the site. Get your requirements in order, submit your application, and improve your Amazon reputation in less than two weeks.