Amazon Brand Registry: A How-to Guide
Amazon Brand Registry is a program Amazon developed to give manufacturers and brand owners greater control over their content published on Amazon. The idea, from Amazon’s point of view, is to improve the overall quality and accuracy of the product and sales content that customers see on the Amazon marketplace — to create a better customer experience. Here is how the program works.
Your company completes an application to be included in the Amazon Brand Registry. When Amazon accepts you into the program, they designate your company the official “brand owner.”
Is Amazon Brand Registry Worth the Effort?
Short answer: Yes. If you are a manufacturer or brand owner, signing up for Amazon Brand Registry is well worth the time investment it will take to complete the application process.
There are many potential benefits to joining the Amazon Brand Registry, but here are the two primary benefits:
- You’ll have greater control over how your brand and products are depicted on Amazon.
When you are the official brand owner, Amazon lets you upload your content directly to the Amazon marketplace.
This is in contrast to other sellers — any company not listed as “brand owner” — that will instead have to submit new sales listings and other content to the Amazon Seller Team for review and approval before being allowed to publish that content to the live site.
- You will be in a better position to spot and stop unauthorized usage of your content and unauthorized resellers from offering your products on Amazon.
Because Amazon Brand Registry helps you limit which sellers are allowed to list your products on Amazon, it will become much easier to spot those rogue, unauthorized sellers representing your brand on the marketplace.
Plus, if you catch a seller illegally using your intellectual property to sell your products without your permission, and you file a complaint with Amazon, they will be both more responsive and more likely to remove the listing in question. This is because, with your status as “brand owner,” Amazon will regard you as a trusted source.
The new version of the program — Amazon Brand Registry 2.0 — also offers new online tools that brand owners can use to spot unauthorized resellers. We’ll discuss the details of Brand Registry 2.0 in more detail below.
In other words, Amazon Brand Registry can help you, as a manufacturer or brand owner, more easily and quickly add new content to Amazon than before. At the same time, it helps protect your brand against unauthorized retailers and even those third-party sellers who try to violate your intellectual property rights.
What Amazon Brand Registry is Not
You might have noticed in the summary above that Amazon Brand Registry is not a program designed to protect manufacturers against price erosion or resellers who violate their pricing or branding policies. This program is designed primarily to help Amazon reduce the amount of inaccurate sales content on its marketplace and illegal uses of brands’ copyrights and other intellectual property.
All of which is to say that while Amazon Brand Registry has a lot of helpful features for a manufacturer looking to protect its brand online, the program will not be of much help in and of itself against an authorized retail partner who violates your MAP pricing policy on Amazon. For that, you will want to implement a comprehensive, automated system for Amazon brand protection.
It’s also worth pointing out that Amazon Brand Registry does not give you the ability to pull down sales listings or ads of your products from unauthorized resellers. You will still need to report these violations to Amazon and ask for their help.
How to Sign Up for Amazon Brand Registry
If you determine that applying for Amazon Brand Registry is worth the effort (and we believe it is, too), you’ll need to take the following steps to sign up.
Note: It’s worth pointing out that to be accepted into this program, you will need to be either manufacturer or a reseller or other company that has been designated the “brand owner.” You will need to supply Amazon with written authorization stating you have permission to represent the brand on Amazon.
If you’ve cleared that hurdle and are able to prove to Amazon that you are indeed the owner of the brand, you will need to complete the application process, which looks like this:
- Fill out and submit your Amazon Brand Registry application.
- Submit an image of your product packaging, with the branding visible in the image.
- Send in an image of your product, also with branding visible on the product itself.
- Supply Amazon with an active website featuring your products or brand.
- Note: If you are a reseller, distributor or other partner of the manufacturer and seeking to become the “brand owner,” you will also need to submit an authorization letter signed by the manufacturer granting you its approval.
The Approval Process
Application review and processing times vary, but when you’ve submitted your completed application package, the Amazon Brand Registry team will like respond with an answer in less than 10 business days (unless they have questions or request additional supporting materials during their review process).
5 Things Worth Knowing About Amazon Brand Registry
- As the official brand owner on Amazon, you’ll receive much greater control over your content on Amazon.
You’ll be able, for example, to upload product details such as specs, features, sales copy, keywords or images right to the live site — without needing to submit any of this content to an Amazon team for review.
- Your products will each receive a unique number, a Global Catalog Identifier (GCID), which will not change over time, by the country in which the item is viewed, or even if the product listing changes.
(The Amazon Standard Identification Number, or “ASIN,” by contrast, can change with new product listings and over time.)
The GCID is an important component for the Amazon Brand Registry in that if it is not assigned to a particular product, you might not be able to automatically update the details on that product’s listing page.
- Many product categories are included in the Amazon Brand Registry, but some are still not eligible for the program—such as books, music, DVDs, and products in the “Entertainment Collectibles” and “Sports Collectibles” categories.
- Although there are several benefits to joining the Amazon Brand Registry, this program isn’t a cure-all for all of a manufacturer’s reseller issues. Amazon Brand Registry will not, for example:
- Stop other sellers from slightly modifying your product’s sales listings and then competing with you on Amazon.com.
- Let you pull down retailers’ sales pages of your products if they’ve violated your pricing policy.
- Guarantee you automatic Buy Box status (although it can help).
- One possible drawback the Amazon Brand Registry is that when you are accepted into the program, you might not be allowed to change some of the product attributes set up to organize your products’ data.
What’s New About the New Brand Registry (“Amazon Brand Registry 2.0”)?
Let’s first review the added benefits of the updated version of the Amazon Brand Registry, and then we’ll discuss the one new requirement to joining the program that wasn’t a part of “Amazon Brand Registry 1.0.”
3 New Benefits of Amazon Brand Registry 2.0
- Post your content to Amazon.com with no reviews or approvals.
With the original brand registry program, sellers submitted product listings and other sales content through the Amazon Seller platform, and Amazon’s teams vetted that content before publishing it live to the marketplace.
Under the new program, Amazon gives you administrator status (which you can also provide to staff and even authorized resellers) that allows you to bypass this step — and upload your product content directly to the live marketplace.
- You can proactively search for intellectual property infringements across Amazon.com — and report violations to Amazon’s Seller Teams
Amazon’s new program also includes a search feature that allows brand owners to search the marketplace anytime — using keywords, ASINs, text or images specific to their brands — for evidence of intellectual property infringement or counterfeiters.
If a search uncovers an illegal listing, you as the brand owner can easily contact Amazon through the new Report a Violation link, and Amazon says it will take expedited action against the violator.
- Amazon itself will now help brand owners stop illegitimate listings using its “predictive automation” tools
Amazon Brand Registry 2.0 also includes a new set of predictive automation algorithms to help prevent counterfeit listings and intellectual property infringement.
According to Amazon, when you submit reports of suspected violations of your copyrighted or trademarked content by unauthorized sellers, Amazon will feed those reports into its predictive analytics tools and use that data to spot future infringements.
The New Requirement to Joining Amazon Brand Registry 2.0
There is one new hurdle you will have to clear to join the brand registry on Amazon: You will need a live, registered trademark for your brand.
From Amazon’s point of view, demanding this proof of ownership is the best way of definitively distinguishing between a brand’s true owner and all of the other sellers of its products across the Amazon marketplace.
But if you do not already have an active registered trademark for your brand, you will need to secure one before applying for the new brand registry program. You can apply through the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).