How To Protect Your Brand on Amazon
We specialise in supporting and growing brands on Amazon. It's the core of what we do and we are good at it! Protecting your brand on Amazon and utilizing the marketplace tools is one of the more difficult areas, yet is so important now that over 70% of shoppers use Amazon as their first shopping experience, your brand must be able to stand on its own without fear of counterfeit product, and unauthorized sellers.
Won't a cease and desist letter do the trick?
As a brand owner, you can by all means contact these sellers through Amazon to try and help protect your business and inform them of illegal doings, but many sellers ignore these, and many also know that without the Amazon brand registry tools in place you are powerless to enforce them, it is also very difficult to get these items being removed from being sold on Amazon without brand registry.
Key Reasons To Protect Your Brand on Amazon
According to Marketplacepulse.com, over 70% of the millennial generation comes to Amazon before any other platform, your brand should be absolutely leading the category listing pages and to do this Amazon has created certain tools available to registered trademarks which control sellers selling your items through certain protocols. these include:
- The content and design of your product pages, including videos and store pages
- Certain analytics and tools available only to brand owners
- Violation reporting of intellectual property and any trademark infringement.
Protecting Your Brand on Amazon Brand Registry
Using Amazon brand registry to protect your name is becoming vital, with huge importers and fake sellers trying desperately to "hijack" good listings with good reviews and reputations - sometimes cease and desist email ands and letters do not get responses and this can lead brand owners feeling exceptionally frustrated. Unauthorized sellers can cause huge headaches for sellers, not to mention Amazon and ultimately the customers who rely so heavily on your brand.
Amazon brand registry is open to all trademark owners in their respective countries, you must have existing products on Amazon in order to register and preferably a seller or vendor account.
Will it mean I win the buy box?
The buy box, or Amazons process of chosing the most relevant seller for a listing is NOT affected by the brand registry system. protecting your brand and stopping counterfeit products does not improve your chances of improved sales, third party sellers will have the ability to sell your product and acquire the buy box.
How Do I Stop Third Party Sellers From Selling My Brand?
Competition rules mean that you cannot stop other legitimate sellers from selling your brand on Amazon products, however, the brand registry tools allow you to take control of the content and design of your product detail pages and also give you the power to create violation reports to Amazon and stop fake counterfeit products being sold on the platform., creating violations for your brand allows you to become part of Amazon's project zero platform. Some sellers on amazon will stop at nothing to ambush the actual product and replace it with their own poorly packaged, sometimes unsafe brand name product when a customer thinks theu have ordered from your brand.
Will Amazon Brand Protection Improve My Products Sales?
Amazon brand protection allows you to create content which help with conversion and visual appeal to Amazon customers as well as protect consumers from a fake product listing or to remove counterfeiters from the marketplace without expensive legal costs.
The other way brand registry helps improve sales is through the advertising platform called "sponsored brands" and "sponsored display" giving additional ad opportunities to brand owners.
Report A Violation To Amazon
Once you have reported at least two violations of counterfeiters selling fake, patented, trademark infringed products on your listings, Amazon will allow you to sign up to its project zero system.
To report a violation and start the process to protect your brand you will need to go on the brand registry system - contact amazon brand registry support and click on "report an intellectual property (IP) violation" on the "report a violation" tool and search for your product ASIN, then you can either select:
copyright infringement - this option is useful if invalid content is being used on content or images and the product or packaging is pirated, or wholesale copyring of the copyrighted product or packaging.
design right infringement - if you have a registered design right you can provide a trademark number.
patent infringement - you can report a potential violation of your patent or utility model.
trademark infringement - the most common issue if sellers are hijacking your listing or creating a counterfeit product when using your brands trademark.
Once you have 2 of policy violations you will be able to get onto "project zero".
It is important to note that you must be an administrator the brand registry programme or a "registered agent" to be able to submit policy violations on Amazon.
Amazons project Zero platform allows you to gate your brand from sellers, report and remove unauthorized sellers who sell fakes and allow you to vet trusted sellers of your brand, improving the customer experience and bringing reputation in both your brand and Amazons platform.
You will need to provide additional information on how the products are infringing your brand. We recommend being very specific and clear, any inconsistancy or lack of evidence will likely make the violation invalid.
Amazon brand gating and Product Detail Page Protection
Brand gating can only be achieved by being succesful on the project zero programme but it will mean, sellers will need to get a legitimate invoice and approval letter or letter of authorisation to sell your products, this will give you a much better way to protect your brand.
Amazon have started to gate categories too, due to large numbers of fake products or risky products that may violate rules or health and safety issues.
Whats Amazon's transparency programme?
The transparency programme allows sellers who send items into amazon warehouses a unique QR code that gets placed on every unit and allows Amazon fulfillment centres to know that the product they are bringing into their warehouse's that the product is legitimate and stops any unauthorised seller from sending the item in, Amazon will reject any ASIN that is not in the transparency programme.
What else can I do to protect my brand on Amazon?
One of the key things we see regularly is holes in supply chains. our clients are providing wholesale products to their customers who in turn are allowing retailers to sell these items, this makes a much bigger market but also means product listings and you might find multiple offers for the same SKU, some retailers selling products without VAT, and occasionally some buying from multiple sources which may also mean lines are are not legitimate, meaning the brand owner has a much more difficult task on protecting their brand on Amazon.
The sheer amount of Amazon sellers who have now entered the marketplace in the last couple of years means that its becoming more and more difficult for brands to control the quality of what product a customer buys.
Amazon Brand Protection Strategy, what we do to protect your brand
We succesfully help our clients navigate brand registry and project zero to make sure fakes and poor sellers keep off the platform, and our clients have a frictionless buying experience between them and their buyers. the process is not straight forward and even intellectual property (IP) lawyers and legal representatives struggle with the process, and many amazon experts can help sellers with marketing and SEO but the brand protection system that aligns