Amazon Brand Registry: Complete Seller Guide for 2020
Article by: John L. Ghiorso
Many Amazon sellers experience issues with counterfeiting and/or trademark infringement. Enter Amazon’s major solution: the newly powered-up Amazon Brand Registry.
Amazon Brand Registry gives sellers the tools to manage their brands on Amazon and easily remove infringements. In combination with Project Zero and Transparency by Amazon, you can ensure that your brands and products are safe from exploitation on the Amazon marketplace.
In the following guide, we will cover:
- What is Amazon Brand Registry?
- What is Transparency by Amazon?
- What is Amazon Project Zero?
- How Can Brand Registry Help Your Business?
- How Do You Enroll in Brand Registry?
What is Amazon Brand Registry?
Brand Registry is a program designed to give increased control to reputable brands on the Amazon platform. The program was recently beefed up with all-new brand protection tools, and enrollment is now a prerequisite for participation in several other Amazon initiatives.
(If you enrolled prior to April 30, 2017, it’s necessary to re-register to get the benefits of the new version.)
Brand Registry is open to all 1P vendors and 3P sellers that have an active registered trademark in each country of enrollment. Some sellers who are closely connected to a brand can also get involved in Amazon Brand Registry.
The program offers a combination of manual and automated features.
One feature allows sellers to search the platform for infringements using images, keywords, or bulk ASIN lists and report violations through an easy-to-use portal.
Another feature relies on powerful automation to scrub the marketplace for your brand and product information and proactively remove content that is inaccurate or suspected of infringement.
As it stands today, over 200,000 brands are already using Brand Registry. And according to Amazon, 99% of those brands are reporting fewer counterfeit and trademark infringements than before.
What is Transparency by Amazon?
Transparency by Amazon is a product serialization service that brings ASIN-level protection to the Brand Registry program. Sellers who enroll get item-level tracing that checks individual products at Amazon fulfillment centers.
Transparency requires products to have a 12-digit UPC barcode. Customers can use this barcode to authenticate their product regardless of where the product is purchased, be it on Amazon, a different eCommerce site, or a physical retail location.
As a bonus, brands who enroll their products in Transparency have the capability of linking their UPC barcodes to product information such as manufacturing date/location, product ingredients, and more.
What is Amazon Project Zero?
Project Zero is Amazon’s tech solution for driving counterfeit products down to zero. With advanced machine-learning capability, the anti-counterfeit software operates behind-the-scenes to locate and remove counterfeit products from storefronts.
Brands are asked to provide Amazon with logos, trademarks, and other data with which the technology can actively scan the 5 billion daily product listing updates for activity that is traditionally linked to counterfeit products.
Amazon reported that their technology has been shown to detect and remove 100 times more counterfeited products from the platform on average than current brand-led reporting.
How Can Brand Registry Help Your Business?
Brands of all sizes and from every category rightfully strive to protect their reputation, integrity, and customer loyalty on Amazon. When you’re selling online versus through a storefront, issues of copyright infringement quickly impact sales and damage brands.
When unscrupulous companies steal brand logos, copy products, and sell those poor-quality products for way cheaper, it’s not difficult to see how consumer trust can erode. That’s why enrolling in Amazon Brand Registry is crucial when selling on the Amazon platform.
You probably already know that successful branding increases customer loyalty, builds trust, and helps your products stand out to consumers. Amazon’s Brand Registry allows you greater control over Amazon product pages so that you can represent your brand accurately to consumers and start building that trust and loyalty.
2. Search & Report
Gone are the days of having to constantly search Amazon for unethical companies that are copying your products, brand identity, and even logos. Brand Registry empowers you with tools to search in a more seamless way.
- Global search allows for a one-stop, one-screen way to search for imposters.
- Image search lets you sift through countless images to find ones that may be imitating your branding or logo.
- ASIN or URL search allows you to do a bulk search to find copycats, fast.
All of these search tools are supported by improved reporting functions. This means you can integrate your search in one smooth motion with reporting infringements. And Amazon takes action fast: 95% of reported violations are investigated by Amazon within 8 hours.
3. Brand Protection
By enrolling in Brand Registry, you’re giving Amazon a ton of useful information about your products, brand, and catalog. They then use this information to weed out potential infringements by tracking suspicious behavior.
For example, once Amazon knows your logo and which products are associated with your brand, they will immediately highlight unscrupulous sellers who use your logo but don’t sell products associated with your brand. They’ll also be able to flag products that are ostensibly yours but are being shipped from countries that you don’t sell from.
All of these features work in unison to crack down on infringements and catch the brand copycats in action.
4. Global 24/7 Support
No service is complete without excellent support. With Brand Registry, Amazon promises global support that’s available 24/7.
How Do You Enroll in Brand Registry?
Ready to enroll your business in Brand Registry? Here are the 5 steps you need to take:
1. Review Eligibility
Your first step is to review eligibility for each country you want to enroll in. According to Amazon, you need to have a “registered and active text or image-based trademark” specific to the country each of those trademarks is registered in.
Amazon accepts both Text-based and Image-based marks. Just make sure that when you’re applying initially your trademark text actually matches the brand name on the application.
When reviewing for eligibility, make sure to look into your country for additional guidelines. This will show you which agency you need to have a trademark with. For example, this would be Marcas Instituto Mexicano de Propiedad Industrial (IMPI) for Mexican products and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for United States products.
2. Sign In
Once you’ve determined your eligibility for each country you sell in, simply sign in to your Amazon account like usual to really get the process started. Sign in with your usual vendor or seller credentials.
3. Enroll your brand
This is the part where you tell Amazon everything they need to know to protect your brand(s).
Be prepared to answer the following questions:
- What’s your brand name and active registered trademark?
- What’s your government-registered trademark number?
- What product categories do you sell in?
- Which countries are your brands manufactured and distributed in?
In addition to this info helping Amazon fight on your side against copyright infringement, this also gives you as a seller or a vendor an incredible chance to highlight your seller page and offer more detailed, tailored information to your customers.
Amazon takes this process very seriously. Once you submit the required information, they will reach out to a contact who is linked to the registered trademark in your application for verification. Amazon will send a verification code to this person, and once it’s sent back to Amazon, your account will be verified and ready to go.
5. Enroll in Transparency
To further protect your brand, we also recommend enrolling in Transparency. To enroll in Transparency you will need to be able to verify yourself as the brand owner for your products, have a 12-digit UPC barcode on your products, and be able to apply unique Transparency codes on every unit shipped to Amazon.
Transparency is currently free for the first 6 months or first 100,000 items. However, that may change, so make sure to ask your Amazon contact before applying. After the free period, sellers are charged per Transparency code based on a tiered pricing model.
- After you’ve completed all the steps of registering, you can check your application through the “case log” in your brand Registry account.
- If you have multiple brands, you can register them through the same account through clicking on the “enroll a new brand” function.
- Agents that represent brands can also gain access to Brand Registry if given permission by the rights owner.
There’s a reason Amazon has been rated the number one most reputable brand in the Harris poll for three years running: it has strong policies in place to protect your brand. With a healthy respect of copyrights, trademarks, and intellectual property rights, it’s in Amazon’s best interest to protect your brand every step of the way. By using Brand Registry, you’ll effectively leverage Amazon’s interest in brand protection for your business.