Amazon has been looking for ways to increase its private label business for some time now. New household and clothing brands have emerged at the forefront of these efforts, but the company still pushed for more opportunities last year. Amazon has employed multiple tactics in order to expand the exclusive products it has to offer consumers. It is among these efforts that Private Label and Exclusive Brands emerged– and it looks like they’re here to stay. In this article, I’ll help you understand how to best approach selling private label on Amazon and if it’s right for you.
The introduction of the Accelerator Program and Our Brands (which encompasses Private Label and Exclusive Brands) programs played a key factor in Amazon’s ambitious efforts to begin offering brands that can’t be found anywhere else.
How Does Amazon Define Private Label & Exclusive Brands?
While the distinction between Amazon Private Label and Exclusive Brands can be a little muddy to consumers, it’s important that any manufacturer looking to get in on the program understands the difference between the two.
Amazon’s private label brands are owned by the retailer. Private label brands will feature either “Prime” or “Amazon” in their brand names– think AmazonBasics. In some cases, the brand name will just contain a plain and explicit statement regarding the fact that they’re Amazon-affiliated. The product titles of some items may read “Amazon Brand – (Typical Brand Name Here).”
Amazon-Exclusive Brands are brands that are advertised by Amazon using an “Our Brands” tagline but that are not owned by Amazon itself. The brands that are a part of this program do not offer consumers 100% refund guarantees should they be dissatisfied with their items; private label brands do.
How is Amazon Advertising These Brands?
Amazon’s advertising strategies for private brands have clearly proven effective for both Amazon and the brands in their various programs. The company’s private label business is on track to generate $25 billion by 2022. Amazon is seeking to push and accelerate that growth further through the manufacturing side of the programs, specifically, in order to grow its collection of private brands.
Amazon offers private label brands and produces a wealth of exposure across their site. These brands show up high in search results in their own designated area– a box with the denotation “Top Rated from Our Brands.” More recently, Amazon has also tested new features that are able to promote private label brands underneath competitors’ product listings.
What is Accelerator?
Accelerator is the program that allows manufacturers and Amazon to work together at bringing exclusive products and brands onto the site. Amazon provides manufacturers of exclusive brands additional benefits and support to develop the brand, while retaining a call option to purchase the brands from the manufacturer at some point in the future.
One Amazon spokesperson laid out in an email what Accelerator was all about:
“Amazon Accelerator creates new opportunities for manufacturers and offers a way for them to launch brands and products directly to Amazon users.”
Manufacturers who utilize this program in conjunction with Amazon’s team create, trademark, and own the products they offer– so you don’t need to worry about sticky situations with legalities or brand ownership.
Accelerator was launched by Amazon in late 2018 with the intent to get more exclusive products onto the site. It was created as a way for manufacturers to bring their own private brands onto Amazon and then sell them there exclusively. The company states that the Our Brands program seeks to “bring high-quality products at great prices to our global network of customers.”
Manufacturers who become a part of the program will have access to a few key benefits:
- Onboarding support
- Guided support and setup
- Free toolset of products to help track performance and communicate your brand’s story
- Marketing services
- A suite of marketing & advertising support
- Products with high ratings and reviews are eligible for additional placements throughout the site
- Venue to test and learn
- Easy to test new products
- Receive quick customer feedback
Is Accelerator Right For You?
There are actually two Accelerator programs– a Brand Accelerator Program and a Manufacturer Accelerator Program. The Manufacturer program centers around identifying retailers who will help achieve Amazon’s private label ambitions by doing some of the heavy lifting and production work behind a line of products.
The first thing to note is the exclusive nature of the program; you’ll be in a club of a small handful of brands (fewer than 200, if recent statistics are to be believed) that receive special attention, support, and advertising site-wide. The boosts in sales that come from being backed by Amazon itself can mean a considerable jump in profit for your company.
Amazon actively solicits new products that they’d like to see manufactured and sold exclusively on Amazon. In return, they offer marketing and promotion services that are second to none. For those focused on manufacturing and other more gritty aspects of the retail chain, this can be a considerable benefit. Less time spent on marketing and pushing products means more time coming up with new, innovative ideas.
One Amazon job listing for a relevant position cited the program as a way to “enable established manufacturers to rapidly launch their products on Amazon.” If you’re confident in your organization’s ability to do the manufacturing legwork and ready to take the plunge towards a better-advertised brand, the Accelerator Program offers you a unique opportunity that you may not find anywhere else.
If the Accelerator programs aren’t a right fit for your new brand and you don’t want to be locked into being an exclusive brand with Amazon, then you might consider their Amazon Brand Incubator program.
Signing up for the program requires little more than filling out a few forms and crossing your fingers. The application page states that after completing a brief questionnaire, somebody from the Our Brands team will review your application. They will follow-up with you on getting the process started should you be a good fit.
At Orca Pacific, we have many contacts at Amazon throughout the private label product management teams. If private label is an important initiative for your company, we can coordinate the appropriate introductions and assist through the entire process of quoting, negotiating and finalizing products for Amazon private label. Our experience and guidance will ensure you have the best chance at securing an Amazon private label supplier relationship. Feel free to contact us for more information.