The Amazon Brand Registry is a critical component for manufacturers on Amazon.com who want to gain better control over their product listings. Thanks to recent improvements, now Amazon sellers have access to new tools to protect their registered trademarks.
Amazon Brand Registry: Counterfeit Removal & Open Enrollment
As of May 2017 Amazon’s new Brand Registry is now available for enrollment.
According to Amazon’s registration page:
“Amazon Brand Registry helps you protect your registered trademarks on Amazon and create an accurate and trusted experience for customers. Your enrollment in the Amazon Brand Registry provides access to powerful tools including proprietary text and image search, predictive automation based on your reports of suspected intellectual property rights violations, and increased authority over product listings with your brand name.”
Reports indicate brands can now register their logo and intellectual property with Amazon, so that in the event a counterfeit is flagged, Amazon will be able to take down the violating listing and seller account.
“At the very least it sounds like Amazon will be holding individual counterfeiters responsible when a customer complains (which they already do-but not reliably),” Ryan Burgess, Marketplace Channel Analyst at CPC Strategy said.
“The transparency feature might be the major new development, allowing sellers to “Stamp” authentic goods, making it very easy for Amazon/Customers to spot counterfeits.”
Pro-Tip: The new and improved Brand Registry is not intended for Brand Gating but the new program does provide additional support for IP rights violations (which has nothing to do with unauthorized Sellers selling authentic product).
What is the Amazon Brand Registry?
The Amazon Brand Registry is only available to sellers who manufacture or sell their own branded products.
Manufacturers can enroll their brand in the Amazon Brand Registry and register themselves as the brand owner. The goal of the Amazon Brand Registry is to make it easier for sellers to manage their own brands and product listings on Amazon.
Amazon Brand Registry enables brands to:
1) Influence the product detail information for branded products
As the registered brand owner, the information they submit to the product detail pages for registered branded products is displayed automatically, which then helps brands to specify the correct titles, details, images, and other attributes for their products.
2) List products without UPCs or EANs
Registering a brand enables manufacturers to specify an alternative key attribute that they can use to list branded products instead of a standard product ID.
Amazon Brand Registry: Eligibility
Preparation prior to the application process is the number one way to avoid an “Incomplete Brand Registry.”
If you are a manufacturer, be sure that you have read the Product Availability Policy for Manufacturers, prior to the application process.
According to Amazon, the following sellers may apply to enroll in the Amazon Brand Registry and register as the brand owner including:
- Manufacturers or brand owners
- Distributors, resellers and other individuals or companies who have the written authorization from the manufacturer or brand owner to manage a brand’s content on Amazon.
The following categories are currently not eligible for the Amazon Brand Registry including:
- Books, Music, Videos, and DVDs (BMVD)
- Products in the Entertainment Collectibles and Sports Collectibles categories
Amazon Brand Registry: The Application Process
Amazon Brand Registry application will require the manufacturer’s company, listing, product and trademark information. The entire application process for the Amazon Brand Registry takes approximately 2 weeks (or 10 business days) for Amazon to approve.
To complete an application, brands will need to provide the following items including:
- An image of your product packaging with branding visible on the packaging.
- A product image with your branding visible on the product itself.
- Link to an active website that displays your brand or products.
Pro Tip: If you are a distributor or reseller applying for brand ownership on Amazon, you will also need to upload an authorization letter from the manufacturer or brand owner.
Amazon Brand Registry: Key Attributes
During the enrollment process, brands will be asked to select a key attribute. This should be an existing product identifier for branded products.
Once an application for the Brand Registry is approved, brand will need to provide a unique value for this attribute for each branded product.
Pro Tip: If you have UPCs, EANs, or JANs for your branded products , you can select one of these as your key attribute.
Brand can also select one of the following as the key attribute:
- Manufacturer Part Number
- Model Number
- Catalog Number
- Style Number
A good key attribute is unique to the product and never changes. It should be easily discoverable by a brand’s distributors and customers on their packaging, website, or in their catalog.
Pro-Tip: Ensure that the value for your key attribute is unique for all your products. If it is not unique, your products will not be registered in the Amazon Brand Registry; you will receive error messages when you create or update your products on Amazon, or you may not be able to list your products.
Amazon Brand Registry: How To List Products
Once a brand is enrolled in the Amazon Brand Registry, they must include the following:
- Their brand name spelled and capitalized exactly as it was submitted it for brand approval.
- A unique value for the key attribute selected in the application.
Pro Tip: This value must be entered for all products in your brand, and no two products in the brand should have the same value for the key attribute.
If brands select UPC, EAN, or JAN as their key attribute in their application for the Amazon Brand Registry then they should also include values for that attribute when they list their products.
If brands do not have UPCs, EANs or JANs for their products and they select an alternative key attribute such as part number, Amazon will use this key attribute to identify each of their products and they must include a value for this attribute to list their products.
Amazon Brand Registry: How To Enroll Existing Products
Automatic: When manufacturers enroll in the Amazon Brand Registry, if their product listings already includes the brand name and selected key attribute, all of their products will automatically be enrolled in the Amazon Brand Registry.
Manual: If product listings do not already include the brand name and selected key attribute, to enroll the existing products in the Amazon Brand Registry manufacturers will need to update their inventory to include the brand and a unique key attribute value for each SKU.
Amazon Brand Registry: How To Add or Enroll New Products
To list new products and enroll them in the Amazon Brand Registry, manufacturers should include their brand and a unique key attribute value for each SKU.
Pro Tip: If they also sell Amazon Brand Registry products in Amazon Webstore, the listing updates to these products must be done from the manufacturers Selling on Amazon marketplace not from the Amazon Webstore marketplace.
Amazon Brand Registry: How To Update Enrolled Products
After products are enrolled in the Amazon Brand Registry, manufacturers can update product information with product SKUs plus values in the specific fields you want to update for those SKUs.
Manufacturers should not update an existing listing for a new version of a product where the versions are materially different.
This includes changes in color, size, material, features, and product name. They should create a new product detail page for new versions of products.
For example, a manufacturer updates its battery operated toy car by introducing a new remote control with six buttons instead of three buttons on the old controller. This update must be listed as a new ASIN.
Amazon Brand Registry: The Global Catalog Identifier
When manufactures successfully enroll their products in the Amazon Brand Registry by including unique values for their UPC/EAN/JAN or key attribute when they list, they are automatically assigned a unique product ID called the Global Catalog Identifier (GCID). The GCID does not change over time or across countries. It is 16 characters long, alphanumeric, and does not include spaces or hyphens.
The GCID differs from the ASIN in that the GCID is directly tied to a product. The ASIN, on the other hand, is tied to the product listing and can change.
Pro Tip: If a GCID is not successfully assigned to your products, your submissions to the detail page will not be automatically displayed.
To ensure that GCIDs are assigned to your products, verify that your product listings have the following:
- Brand name (case sensitive)
- Selected key attribute
Amazon Brand Registry: How To View Product GCID
The GCID that is created and automatically assigned to each of product will not appear on the product detail pages or in your listings on the Manage Inventory page. To view the GCIDs that are assigned to your products, you can download an Inventory Report.
However, brands should still keep a close eye on their product information to make sure they don’t fall into an “Incomplete Brand Registry” issue. They can monitor the Brand Performance Reports to ensure all of their products have been accepted by Amazon’s Brand Registry.
Why the Amazon Brand Registry is Not Bullet Proof
Although the Amazon Brand Registry provides manufacturers with an opportunity to elevate their business on the shopping platform – it should not be considered a bullet proof solution.
For example: A manufacturer applies (brand-owner) and is accepted into Amazon’s Brand Registry program. Eight months later, a re-seller (considered more powerful because of their extensive sales history) enters the brand registry for the same product. Because the re-seller is viewed by Amazon as a larger more powerful seller, when they (the reseller) make product changes this could unfortunately impact the manufacturer’s listing.
The good news is, because the manufacturer is already registered with the program – they can contact Amazon Services and have their product content updated almost immediately. If they were not in the program, the likelihood Amazon would respond to their content request is much lower.
Regardless, it is still highly encouraged that manufacturers (especially new brands), apply to the Amazon Brand Registry program.
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Courtesy – cpcstrategy Blog