What is Brand Registry?
Brand Registry is an Amazon program that allows companies with registered trademarks to gain access to marketing and advertising tools that previously were only available to brands who sell directly to Amazon as vendors, or through the Amazon Exclusives program. It also prevents editing of listings by sellers other than the brand registered seller (although Amazon itself can still currently change listings).
Why is this important?
First, advertising can be very expensive. Every small increase in the conversion rate (how many of your visitors actually end up buying your stuff) decreases the total percentage of your revenue that advertising takes up. Since most of these tools end up increasing conversion or reducing defects, it’s very useful to any Amazon brand owner or private label seller.
Second, hijacking of listings is a huge problem faced by many Amazon sellers. One client had their high quality clothing item hijacked by Chinese sellers who listed cheap cotton t-shirts instead of the custom developed blended fiber tees the client sold. Because they didn’t have Brand Registry, they were unable to successful report the violations, or prevent changes to their detail page submitted by these Chinabased sellers.
Okay, so I need a brand name. What should I choose?
It depends on your target audience. When I was working on a branding decision for a factory client who wanted to launch their own private label, I took a look at the competitor items they wanted to imitate, and went to the “Customers Who Bought Also Bought” widget on the competitor’s page.
Through looking at those products, I was able to construct an idea of the customer they were targeting: traditional, value focused, avoiding gimmicks, liked what I would refer to as early 20th century decor.
Based on that, I put together a list of common British surnames along with Downton Abbey related references and came up with a short list of 10 possible brands, and ended up landing on a brand name that our client loved that perfectly reflected the values of their target customer.
In general, using words that are commonly used by a particular age group will resonate better with them. Using groovy in a brand name will not likely resonate millennials, for example, but something that is retro/80’s might, due to the popularity of 80’s reboots and retro styled shows like Stranger Things.
Using X’s and Z’s typically signal a more modernist brand (in the English language), such as Zertexal, and would better fit a very modernist decor, electronics, or unique/unusual clothing.
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I chose my brand. How do I sign up for Brand Registry?
To register a brand with Amazon, you need to have had it registered with a governmental authority recognized by Amazon, such as the US Patent and Trademark Office, or similar offices in Australia, Japan, China, Mexico, the EU, Great Britain, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Brazil, India, or Canada.
To register in the United States takes 10-15 months currently, depending on whether you have a dispute after the brand has been published for opposition.
But don’t freak out! 10-15 months is a crazy long time, but there’s other options. Australia is currently around 6 months, and Mexico is 2.5-4 months!
Click here to work with us to register in Mexico.
That seems expensive when I could just start using a brand I choose on Amazon.
True, you can absolutely start using a brand name (double check no one else is using it using the publish search tool on USPTO) in the United States without registering it, as there is precedent for protection based on use in the marketplace.
However, Amazon won’t protect your listing from being hijacked and edited without you learning about it until after the fact if you’re not registered. If you’re registered, then you can lock editing to just your account or Amazon directly (sometimes they have catalog issues that require contacting support).
Well, that’s helpful. What else does Brand Registry get me?
Detail page improvements, such as a video in the Images and the Related Video Shorts section as well as custom images and graphics in the product description section called “Enhanced Brand Content” which also includes a comparison chart to link to your other products.
In our experience, this can be critical in increasing customer conversion (sales per visitor to your page). For one client, just adding a video resulted in an increase in conversion by 10%, from 5% conversion to 15%, with no other changes to the page.
A Storefront is an Amazon hosted website (www.amazon.com/yourbrand) where you can post videos, show pictures on correct usage, and other information to help increase online conversion.
We’ve found a solid social media strategy plus Storefronts can result in great conversions. For example, we added the Storefront link to one client’s Instagram account, and the sales through the Storefront doubled (from 7% of overall sales on the account to 15% of overall sales, the rest of the sales coming from the detail page).
The most useful element of the Storefront is landing pages. You can create unique landing pages with customized content for your target audience. We have worked with clients to create unique videos and images that work with the brand message the client wants to achieve.
To better capture traffic, the written content on the Storefront is tailored to top searches on Google Keyword Planner, helping clients gain traffic off of Amazon, as well as manage traffic coming in through Amazon directly, or through social media.
Sponsored Brands Advertising
Formerly called headline search ads, Sponsored Brands Ads show at the top of search, below competitor products on the detail page, and in other ad placements on Amazon. For very good keywords, these types of ads can convert at 4-10% ACoS (average cost of sale for advertising spend).
They can also direct customers to a dedicated landing page within your Storefront, which you can tailor to a particular customer target, which different videos on each page, different words on each page, to convert the same way you would off of Amazon using landing pages and websites, but with the immense trust of the Amazon brand name behind it. Conversion off of traffic to landing pages can be 20-40% in our experience.
Brand Registry Seller Support
Having a registered brand gains you access to Brand Registry seller support, who are a lot faster and easier to work with than the regular support for getting detail page issues or account issues fixed.
Brand Registry gets you access to the “Report a Violation” tool that allows you to quickly and easily post violation notices to Amazon about sellers infringing on your intellectual property. For example, if someone listed an item under your brand name, and you had no records of that seller or how they got the item listed, you could do a test buy, and report them if the product they’re selling doesn’t match in every way to what you’re selling on Amazon.
Be careful on this one, however – the tool is a bit wonky, and occasionally will warn you, the brand owner, for violating your own trademark. Hopefully this is fixed soon!
Amazon provides a convenient and easy rank tracking report within Amazon that also lets you know if you’ve received new reviews on any given ASIN, and what the star ranking is (Reports > Business Reports > Brand Performance).
It can be tempting to think that paying for expensive software that tracks metrics or reports etc will help you grow your business, but I always suggest using the tools Seller Central offers first, learn their weaknesses and strengths, then you’ll be much better able to evaluate which tools will work for you off of Amazon.
Potential New Additions to Brand Registry Tools
While not available yet, it is expected that additional data will be made available to BR sellers in 2019 in advertising to learn more about the demographics of their customer. In mid-2018, it was announced that all of Amazon’s advertising teams would be merged. A lot of features from AMG (Amazon Marketing Group) and AMS (Amazon Marketing Services) have been added to Marketplace Advertising in the past three months, so I’m looking forward to see what’s added in 2019.
In addition to advertising data, 360 degree images are expected as well as Vine Voice reviews – although those are not for certain. 360 degree images went from beta to standard very quickly for vendors, so we’re hoping for a quick addition to Marketplace. The Vine Voice beta ran in August 2017. However, Community has had their hands full managing review abuse in 2018. Hopefully, it’s enough under control in 2019 for them to add Vine Voice reviews for Amazon Marketplace Sellers.
Alright, you convinced me! I need Brand Registry, and I need it fast! How do you help?
We support by helping you register your trademark in the US or Mexico in coordination with legal counsel.
We also help with walking you through options and brainstorming for a brand name that is appropriate to your target audience.
We also help clients to design and launch an optimized Storefront with custom written landing pages.
Contact us for more information!