Amazon has long been hammered for not protecting brands and manufacturers on their site. The original brand registry program was introduced back in 2010-2011 as a way to provide some level of detail and reporting. The program itself did give manufacturers some protection with regards to product quality and true fake listings, but was very weak with reporting and knocking off sellers that weren't authorized.
They've re-introduced the service this week and there's a lot to be hopeful for.
- The process only allows registered trademarks that are validated by Amazon
- The new system will reportedly have better reporting and tracking for your brand
- Although not explicitly offered yet, you get to specify which categories and countries your brand registry covers
- This will likely make "brand gating" easier to get approved
- There's a new beta reporting tool that makes it easier to report violations.
EVERYONE needs to sign up (or sign up again) for Amazon Brand Registry
If you registered under the original brand registry program, you will not have access to the new Brand Registry features, and you will NOT be automatically enrolled in the new program. You'll need to register again. If you didn’t sign up, or weren’t accepted to the original program, the time to sign up is NOW. There is still no charge for the program, just some paperwork and then your brand is protected on Amazon. Yeoman has done several existing brand registry applications and the process was much faster than the prior system. The initial process appears to move quickly but the historical timelines of 6-8 week is likely to return once folks start applying.
For a manufacturer, getting enrolled in the new program should be a priority. History tells us that almost every early stage adopter of an Amazon program gets a competitive advantage as well as insights into the Amazon sales trends. This should be part of your ‘four pillars’ Amazon strategy, which includes direct purchases, merchant account, marketing services (brand demand gen), and the A9 buying engine.
Requirements for registered brands
As a member, there are several requirements you'll need to take care of:
- Registered trademarks, branded packaging and/or branding on products are required for participation. You need to provide the trademark serial # as part of the registration.
- Important Note: Amazon will contact the attorney on record that is associated with the trademark and email them a verification code – so make sure you check your record first to make sure the contact info is up to date
- Verify your trademark contact info at https://www.uspto.gov/trademark
- It is also important to note that your trademark has to be either registered as "STANDARD CHARACTER MARK" or "TYPESET WORD(S)/LETTER(S)/NUMBER(S)" not just an illustration. They specifically are granting brand registry for words (vs drawing trademarks)
- You will need to list items using a Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) –for example, UPC, ISBN, EAN, JAN. However, if you don’t apply for the new Brand Registry, you will continue to be able to list products without a GTIN by using a key attribute such as part number, catalog number, or model/style numbers.
- You still need to provide the following photos:
- Product itself (with logo)
- Packaging (with logo)
- Standard brand logo (not on product)
Some known issues
The new Brand Registry interface is separate from vendor central, seller central, and amazon marketing services. If you have a login to one or more of these you may not be able to register for Brand Central yet. Yeoman has confirmed this is an issue with logins that are associated with a seller and AMS accounts. It is a known bug with Amazon—and hopefully they will fix it soon.
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