Before you sign up for an account in Amazon Seller Central, let’s talk about Amazon Brand Registry. Some of Amazon’s greatest selling perks are exclusive to sellers who have registered their brands with the platform.
Being brand registered involves a few more steps and costs up front but, ultimately, it has the potential to be a total game changer for you.
The Amazon Brand Registry gives sellers access to a ton of cool tools that can help boost their brand. Many of these tools can help increase conversion rates for your products, earning you more sales and profits. Being brand registered also gets you additional support from Amazon when you have other sellers trying to imitate your brand.
Here are a few of the Registry’s tools:
Enhanced Brand Content
The Enhanced brand content tool replaces the dull, html-based product description with a graphical representation of your product.
It really makes pages pop too, often increasing the conversion rate of the product listings using this tool.
Next up is Amazon Storefronts. Storefronts give your a brand a nice, tidy Amazon URL (eg. http://www.amazon.com/yourbrand). It also allows you to design the page as you see fit.
Plus, Amazon makes designing the page easy. You can avoid many of the headaches that can come with programming, as the Registry offers a simple drag-and-drop page builder.
Again, the professional optics provided by this sort of page goes a long way to improving your presence on Amazon.
Headline Search Ads
Finally, not only does having a brand in the Amazon Brand Registry help you “pretty up” your page and listings, it also gives you new tools to promote your products in the form of headline search ads (HSA). Headline search ads are the rectangular ads that hover over the other search results.
Typically HSAa feature one to three products and the brand itself. And, in my experience, these types of ads convert at a much higher rate than typical Amazon PPC sponsored ads; they also have a lower ACoS.
Any other reasons I should enroll in the Amazon Brand Registry?
It protects your brand and trademark.
If you put a lot of thought into your business name and brand, it’s definitely worth your time to secure the rights to them. Plus, a government-issued trademark (text or image) is a MUST when applying for the Registry. And if you’re applying to be registered in multiple marketplaces, you need to have an active registered trademark in each country.
And while filing for a trademark is going to take a bit of time and money, it’s worth it. Just be prepared for it to take a minimum of six months and $300 to receive approval. You may want to consider hiring a trademark lawyer to make sure your application is filed correctly as well. It will cost more upfront, but could save you money in the long run, as many people have to file more than one application when they do it themselves.
That being said, if you manage your time wisely during your product research, you can build this extra step into your launch (and budget!).
It defends your products from hijackers.
In case you’re unfamiliar with the term, a ‘hijacker’ is either a third party seller, or a distributor, who jumps on someone else’s private label listing.
They usually offer the same version (or a knock-off) of your product, but at a lower price. Also, they may have purchased the product from you through a discount or giveaway, reselling it on your listing. Or they may be a seller with a similar product, using your listing and ranking to boost their own sales.
Either way, not cool! Hijackers can end up stealing the Buy Box from you or, even worse, they can steal your sales and leave you with bad reviews.
However, you don’t have to worry about hijackers if you’re in the brand registry. You can file an infringement claim to a registry-dedicated department with a quick reaction rate. They will assess the situation on your behalf, and you won’t have to send your own cease and desist letter to the hijacker!
The important thing, though, is to remain vigilant. Check your listing(s) often to see if anything looks out of place. This goes for any seller, brand-registered or not.
When you join Amazon’s registry, you’re no longer bound to the algorithms (well, not all of them) applied to the general selling public. You’ll have more control over the product pages that use your brand name, making sure your customers have accurate information about your brand.
You can play around with your product listing details too; one of the most desired components: swapping out your lengthy UPC code for a simple product ID of your choice.
Finally, the Amazon Brand Registry gives brand owners access to tools that will find, report, and prevent violations more efficiently:
An image search will locate listings that match your product or logo.
An ASIN search can find content potentially infringing on other product URLs.
A global search will even scan the other Amazon stores without ever navigating away from your screen.
For U.S. sellers, a transparency tool now enables brands to assign a unique code to their products. This authenticates each product when it is both received by, and shipped from, the Amazon warehouses. On the flip side, customers can use the transparency app to authenticate their Amazon purchases.
What do I need to get accepted into the Amazon Brand Registry?
Now that you understand a bit more about the Amazon Brand Registry, here’s what you’ll need to have when you go through the application process:
Your brand name with its active registered trademark. Make sure your brand name matches your active registered trademark exactly. If it doesn’t, you risk delays or rejection from Amazon’s registry. So double check the spelling, the spaces, and the capitalization!
The serial number associated with your government-registered trademark.
Images of your brand’s logo.
Images of your products and packaging that show the trademarked brand name. It must be present on the product, the packaging, or both.
A website for your brand with purchasable products. Your brand website must display your business information (on an ‘About’ page), have all relevant logos, and a working cart that allows shoppers to purchase your product.
A list of product categories that pertain to your product (eg. Kitchen, Home & Garden, Beauty & Health, etc).
The list of countries where your product is distributed, along with the country where it’s manufactured.
How do I get my brand trademarked?
For many novice business owners and Amazon sellers, applying for a trademark can be scary. But don’t be fooled! If you’re planning to do it yourself, the process is easier than you might expect. Just follow these steps to research and register your brand’s trademark:
1 – Gather what you need.
You’ll need to have the following documents prepared when applying for a trademark:
A legal business, or you can register as an individual with an EIN code if you are just starting out and haven’t registered an LLC or other business entity yet.
The logo or mark you want to use.
The full legal name and address of the business owner (seller).
A copy of the product. This shows how you plan on using your mark in commerce, and could be something as simple as a picture of your product.
The date you first started using your logo or mark, or where it was first shared.
The last thing you want to do is try to register a trademark when that trademark’s already been taken. Something like that can cost you a ton of time and money. So, to make sure you’re doing it right, here’s a guide on how to search the USPTO database for US trademarks. And if you’re searching in Europe, you can use the EUIPO website.
Don’t forget Google either! An old-fashioned Google search may also help to uncover any companies or brands already using the name you wish to trademark. You might want to use TMview too. It shows you a variety of results for trademarks that have been registered all over the world, including which country, which Nice class, and even if there is an associated graphic representation:
3 – Apply for your trademark.
You can apply for your trademark directly through USPTO or EUIPO, but we’ve heard it can be very time consuming. For two of Jungle Scout’s products, Jungle Stix and Jungle Snugs, we used trademarkengine.com, which was extremely helpful. Of course, hiring a lawyer who specializes in intellectual property law is a great option as well.
The bottom line is that you shouldn’t be afraid to hire a professional. If all of this seems outside of your wheelhouse, an expert in trademark and intellectual property law can actually save you time and money. So consider seeking an attorney in your area, or even look for business consultants on the Amazon-centric expert marketplace: Jungle Scout Market.
If you provide everything the Amazon Brand Registry is asking for, you can expect the approval process to take about two weeks from the date of your submission. Additionally, supplying this information upfront will allow the Registry’s support team to proactively implement all of their protective measures right away.
Once you’re in, you’ll have: added value to your brand, legitimized your product for your customer, and peace of mind that your business is fully protected. And who doesn’t what that?!
Melissa is a publishing veteran with more than 10 years of experience between Penguin Random House and Time Inc. She has been researching and writing about Amazon and ecommerce for the last two years while traveling all over the world!