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Getting Started with Amazon Brand Registry
Amazon offers sellers many helpful programs. Do you know which are available to you and which can deliver the greatest benefits to your business? Understanding and enrolling in these offerings can be difficult. In working closely with sellers, we’ve learned that Amazon Brand Registry is a program about which many sellers are confused . . . but from which they stand to benefit most. That said, let’s clarify the basics so you can move forward.
What is Amazon Brand Registry?
According to Amazon, “Brand Registry helps you protect your intellectual property and create an accurate and trusted experience for customers on Amazon.” While true, that’s not particularly specific or helpful. So let’s put it this way: Amazon Brand Registry is an official Amazon program where approved brand owners (or their registered agents) are on file with Amazon as trademarked brands in good standing. Being on file as such unlocks a preferred tier of Amazon services (protections and benefits) not available to unregistered brands or resellers. Enrollment and membership are free.
What are the protections and benefits Brand Registry unlocks?
As Amazon combats counterfeiting, it emphasizes protection as Brand Registry’s leading asset. According to Amazon, “Our automated protections use information about your brand to proactively remove suspected infringing or inaccurate content. The more information you provide, the better Brand Registry can help you protect and improve your brand experience.” So think about it not unlike a product listing: the more detail, the better the experience.
The information that you provide Amazon for Brand Registry allows Amazon to mitigate efforts by counterfeiters and listing hijackers. But don’t think that Brand Registry is going to solve all problems with counterfeiters and hijackers or that it will gate your product or brand. It doesn’t, it won’t, and it can’t. But Brand Registry does enable behind-the-scenes prevention, post-infringement reporting, and resolution with support from a dedicated team. Brand Registry is also the gateway to the newer protections like Project Zero and Transparency, however, it does not automatically enroll you in those programs, which are separate and can carry fees for certain services.
Marketing and Analytics Benefits
Amazon positions protections as the primary advantage of Brand Registry. And no doubt that detecting and reporting infringements is of massive value. However, we at Seller Labs believe that these brand protections are really secondary to the marketing-and-analytics benefits afforded by Brand Registry. It is this ever-growing suite of exclusive extras that we deem the big advantage. The Brand Registry premium tools not available to resellers or unregistered brands include:
- Increased control over your listings (text and images)
- Sponsored Brands Ads
- A+ Content
- Amazon Stores
- Brand Dashboard
- Advanced Analytics
- More being added regularly
These are powerful tools in and of themselves, but considering that only sellers enrolled in Brand Registry can access them, they become even more powerful as the competition is lessened. Read 4 Reasons Why You Should Enroll in Amazon Brand Registry for more about Brand Registry goodies.
What are the eligibility requirements to join Brand Registry?
- An active registered trademark (text-based mark or image-based mark with words, letters, or numbers) in each country where you want to enroll. That’s right, a trademark must be in each country, not just one for all.
- That trademark issued in the United States, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Australia, India, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, the European Union, and/or the United Arab Emirates
- If your trademark is issued by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), submit the number registered by your country’s IPO office instead.
Frequently Asked Questions
I don’t have a trademark. What are my options?
You can apply for a trademark and then apply for Amazon Brand Registry if/when your trademark is issued, or you can be content to not have a trademark and to not have Brand Registry. In short:
- If you own your brand, you should get it trademarked for general protection as well as for the purposes of joining Amazon Brand Registry. Three words in this case: Trademark your brand.
- Until you do have your brand trademarked, don’t even bother applying for Amazon Brand Registry. Amazon will deny you immediately and you will have wasted your time.
How do I get a trademark? How long does it take to get one?
For US-based brands, start with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The whole process takes several months and you might want to consult a lawyer. For brands outside of the US and based in another eligible country, consult your country’s trademark office website. Amazon is not affiliated with any country’s trademark office. It does not issue trademarks nor will it help you apply for one. You are not eligible for Brand Registry until the trademark issue is complete. Amazon does not accept pending trademarks.
Cool! I’m eligible for Brand Registry. What now?
Assuming that you are already set up as a merchant on Amazon, you can sign in to Amazon Brand Registry using your Vendor Central or Seller Central credentials. Head to the Brand Registry eligibility requirements page, review the info, and click the orange “Enroll Now” button. In order to enroll, you’ll need:
- Your brand name that has the active registered trademark.
- The related government-registered trademark number.
- A list of product categories in which your brand should be listed.
- A list of countries where your brand’s products are manufactured and distributed. • Images of your trademarked logo, trademarked products, and trademarked packaging.
- Descriptive details about your brand.
The application is fast and the turnaround time is as well. Amazon will verify your information and get back to you with further instructions or requests for additional information.
Do I have to re-enroll every time I add a new product?
No. You need only register a brand once regardless of the number of products. If you add new items, add those to the brand-registered account. Of course if you own multiple brands, you will want to register those separately and keep the correct products with their brands. If you enrolled a brand in Brand Registry prior to April 30, 2017, you will need to re-enroll as the program has changed significantly.
The Final Word on Getting Started with Brand Registry
Amazon is bullish on brands and it privileges brand owners over resellers as it tackles counterfeiters, hijackers, and other bad actors who diminish the integrity of the marketplace. So if you’re a brand owner with a trademark, there is no reason not to apply for Amazon Brand Registry today. It costs you nothing and gives you myriad advantages in the form of protections and marketing and analytics benefits.
If your brand isn’t trademarked, start the trademark process today. It’s a bit cumbersome and not without costs in terms of time and money, but it’s a must-do. Knowing that the process takes some time, don’t wait. And once you are approved, apply for Amazon Brand Registry without delay. Remember that every day that you could be enrolled in Amazon Brand Registry but you aren’t is a day that you’re making business easier for your competitors and harder for yourself.
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