Understanding Amazon Brand Registry and Its Limitations

By Cory Checketts | Amazon

Sep 01
amazon-brand-registry

Amazon Brand Registry is a program designed to give brand owners increased control of their products on Amazon. The program’s biggest benefit for manufacturers is the direct influence they have on their detail pages. In this post, we’re going to discuss what the program allows brands to do, why brands should consider using it, and what are some of its limitations.

The Rundown on Amazon Brand Registry

You can find the complete description of the Amazon Brand Registry program by logging into Seller Central and going to this link.

What a manufacturer gets with Brand Registry?

  • Increased control over product detail pages, such as titles, details and images
  • The ability to list products with different product identifications outside of UPC and EAN codes

Who can apply for enrollment in Brand Registry?

  • Manufacturers or brand owners
  • Distributors, resellers and people with written permission from a brand owner or manufacturer to manage a product’s detail page on Amazon

How can manufacturers enroll in the Brand Registry program?

Manufacturers and brand owners must apply to be considered for the program. Amazon is pretty clear about what is needed before an application can be submitted.

Here are things you must include with your application:

  • An image of the product’s packaging with the branding clearly visible
  • An image of the product itself with the branding clearly visible
  • A link to the brand’s website (make sure there are images of the brand and the products with the branding clearly visible)

Amazon asks that manufacturers and brand owners provide a unique product identifier when enrolling in the program. The identifiers need to be easily discoverable on the package, product, website and catalog. Identifiers need to be consistent and unchanging.

Identifiers include:

  • Manufacturer part number
  • Model number
  • Catalog number
  • Style number

Why Would a Manufacturer or Brand Consider Using the Brand Registry Program?

Besides being able to influence detail page content to a greater extent, the best argument as to why a brand owner should enroll in the program is expedite the process of removing counterfeit listings. But it doesn’t make brand owners and manufacturers impervious to counterfeiters. Amazon says “Enrolling a brand in the Brand Registry and registering as the brand owner does not prevent other sellers from selling the branded products.”

So how can you leverage the program to your advantage?

Brand owners and manufacturers can expedite the process of removing a counterfeit or inauthentic product from a listing because they can easily prove to Amazon that they own the brand. Counterfeit listings are an extremely common problem for popular brands or sellers with higher sales velocity.

Removing fraudulent sellers from a listing isn’t as big of a hassle for a brand if the seller is using FBA. By being on the Brand Registry, a seller can prove if someone has counterfeited a product quicker because of the previous work of registering a brand on Amazon is done. Best of all, Amazon will dispose of any counterfeit inventory if the seller is using FBA. Unfortunately, non-FBA sellers can hop back on a listing after they’ve been removed by opening up another seller account with a different name.

One Amazon Seller’s Experience with Amazon Brand Registry

Patrick-circlePatrick from Seller Labs’s $25k Challenge spoke with me about applying for and enrolling his #1 selling barbell collars in the Brand Registry program. He said the hardest part about getting enrolled into the program was adding a logo to his product and packaging since he hadn’t done so from the beginning.

When I spoke with him, he told me he was in the process of removing six counterfeit listings from his detail page. And the best way for him to prove the others were fake was by using the Brand Registry program. He’s had to make some additions to his offering to further differentiate it from would-be copycats. He added a carrying case with his brand on it to make it weigh more for shipping, thus make it more expensive for non-FBA counterfeits, and to improve the overall quality.

He believes Amazon has created its own nightmare, though, by opening up its platform to any Chinese seller. Amazon aggressively started onboarding Chinese sellers to keep up with the popularity of Wish.com last year. In doing so, Amazon has opened itself up to an influx of counterfeit products, which could keep potential shoppers away if too many claims are made about product quality and legitimacy. Not to mention the possibility of large brands pulling their listings or avoiding the site altogether— Birkenstock’s decision to leave Amazon due to a rise in counterfeit sales is an apropos example of this. There is still much that remains to be seen in regards to how Amazon will smother counterfeit items.

Here are Patrick’s takeaways and advice for sellers looking to enroll in the Amazon Brand Registry program:

  • Adding a logo to your product and packaging costs money and takes time but it’s worth it if you have a top-selling item.
  • Expect your cost per unit to increase by about 10% for branding and special packaging.
  • You need a website to enroll in the Brand Registry program—don’t go overboard—use WordPress or Squarespace to accomplish this requirement at first and scale as you grow.
  • Being on the Brand Registry won’t keep counterfeiters away, but it will make it easier to remove them.
  • Being on the Brand Registry won’t get you access to A+ content; you need to be a vendor, which can be accomplished through Vendor Express.

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About the Author

Cory is the content manager at Seller Labs. He has five years of experience doing strategic communications and professional writing. When he’s not typing you can usually find him getting dropped off the back of amateur cycling pelotons on the roads of Georgia.

  • Mark

    Thanks Cory for explaining this so clearly for Sellers. Can Vendors selling TO Amazon via VC enroll in Brand Registry?
    Thanks again!

    • Cory Checketts

      I appreciate you taking the time to read my post! To my knowledge, vendors selling to Amazon through Vendor Central cannot enroll into the Brand Registry program because they have already proven they have rights to sell a brand, or are the brand just by being in VC. Hope that helps.

  • Tom

    Great Article Cory. I think there will be some egg on Amazon’s face if they try and do this in the media category as Amazon has been selling counterfeit Blu Rays of one of the biggest brands in the world for the past two years. Zip-a-Dee-do-What?

    • Cory Checketts

      Thanks for reading, Tom.

  • I have a registered brand Carpe Diem Designs”. Amazon basically forced me to register my brand with them in order to sell my designs on clothing. I now have several thousand listings, hundreds of which have counterfeit sellers poaching the listings. Selling my “Made in the U.S.A.” items shipped from China and Taiwan. Getting Amazon to remove these counterfeit listings is like pulling teeth. I have used my control of the listing to make my logo more visible but I’m not sure if Amazon really gives a crap about my brand.

    • Cory Checketts

      Sorry for the delayed response, William. I’m assuming you’ve tried to contact each counterfeit seller? If so what has happened? Where do you stand today?

  • Khoa A Tran

    i have approved Brand registry by amazon, what do i need to do next to lock down my product listing no one can jumb in hijacking? and they need my approval?

    • Cory Checketts

      Khoa,

      Thanks for reading. Here are some things you can do to remove hijackers if they happen to get onto your detail page. 1. Register for a trademark in the US if you haven’t already done so. 2. Order any products that appear on you listing and report them to Amazon to prove the sellers are violating Amazon’s TOS. 3. Contact the hijackers directly and explain to them that you will be filling a complaint to Amazon. Make sure you order their product first before doing this so you have evidence. Hope this helps.

    • ian hayse

      Only new listings are protected under Brand Registry. Your old listings will NOT be protected. I learned this the hard way.