Being a brand on Amazon can feel a bit like being a street musician in a city square: You’ve worked hard to create something unique, and you’ve put yourself in front of a large crowd. But there’s a lot of noise and traffic, and that makes your guitar easy to ignore—no matter how unique the music is.
Now imagine that you get a special license to perform in that city square. All of a sudden there’s a lot more opportunity. You’re allowed to set up a stage and a sound system and put up flyers to draw people to your concert. The crowd is much more engaged.
That’s the opportunity that Amazon Brand Registry gives you. When you register, you make your brand official in Amazon’s eyes. This opens up a new world of ways to protect your brand from counterfeits and stand out from competitors.
Take advantage of Amazon Brand Registry's features and you'll be better equipped to build a profitable business. We'll show you how.
Step 1: Apply to Amazon Brand Registry
Before you get access to these benefits, you need to register your trademark. Without a trademarked brand, you’re ineligible for Amazon Brand Registry.
You don’t have to be the manufacturer of your product to register, but you do need to have a unique brand for your products. That means private-label businesses (that rebrand generic items) are eligible, but Amazon resellers can’t register.
To register, you’ll need to apply to your local trademark office. (Use the Directory of Intellectual Property Offices to find the right trademark office for your country.) If you’re intimidated by the legalese, the Amazon IP Accelerator program provides access to affordable lawyers who can guide you through the trademarking process.
Note that your trademark must be finalized to register your brand—a pending trademark is ineligible. Once you have your trademark, you can apply to Amazon Brand Registry. The application is fairly straightforward, but here’s the information you’ll need to have on hand:
- Trademark details, including your trademarked logo (if applicable) and your registration number
- Manufacturing details, including where your products are manufactured and where they’re distributed
- Category details, listing the categories where your brand is (or could be) listed
If you’re a private-label seller, you also need to make sure that your trademark is on your product or packaging. (See example below.) Otherwise, you’re ineligible for Amazon Brand Registry.
Step 2: Protect Your Reputation with Amazon Brand Registry’s Verification Tools
A hijacker is someone who sells your product (or, more likely, a counterfeit of your product) for less than you do. With these prices, they can win the Buy Box—effectively stealing sales and forcing you to lower your prices.
Hijacked listings do serious damage to brand reputation. Negative reviews for counterfeit products will show side-by-side with reviews of your legitimate product.
Amazon Brand Registry offers you several tools to combat hijackers and take control over your product:
- Trademark violations reporting: Any seller can report an infringement to Amazon if they think someone is misusing trademarked or copyrighted names and images. Eligible trademark violations range from stolen product images to copied brand packaging. A registered brand has a better chance of getting the offending listing removed quickly. You can also apply to Amazon’s Project Zero, a program that lets you remove infringing listings yourself with just a few clicks. Registered brands can apply to Project Zero, but there is an approval process involved.
- Ownership of product page: When a product has multiple sellers, any one of these merchants can submit additions or changes to the product detail page. This can easily lead to low-quality listings, and even inaccurate details. As a registered brand owner, however, control over the product page details reverts to you—even when there are resellers for your product. You get the final say on copy and images, giving you control over product presentation.
- Access to Amazon Transparency: One of Amazon’s latest brand-protection tools is Transparency, a product-serialization tool. The program gives you a unique bar code to add to every product you sell. If you use Amazon FBA, your Transparency codes will be verified upon arrival at the warehouse. This ensures that hijackers can’t use FBA to sell counterfeits of your product.
Transparency does come with a small cost per unit (usually $0.01 to $0.05), but it’s well worth it for brands that struggle to prevent counterfeit sellers.
Without these tools, you’re basically at the mercy of competing sellers and Amazon’s customer support. Registering your brand puts the power to protect your brand in your hands.
Step 3: Use Amazon Brand Registry’s Enhanced Content Features to Establish Your Brand
A strong brand helps you stand out in a crowded marketplace. It also reduces reliance on price competition. But establishing a brand presence on Amazon is difficult. Amazon’s branding is front and center, so customers too often associate a good experience with their brand, not yours. However, registered brands have access to three important brand-building features that aren’t available to other sellers:
- Amazon Stores allows you to create a custom, branded storefront for your business. Choose from several page templates to build your framework, and then leverage custom design assets and images to make it unique. Building a store is simple and helps you establish your brand as trustworthy.
- A+ Content (formerly known as Enhanced Brand Content) lets you add rich content to product detail pages—custom text, images, and even comparison tables. Essentially, with A+ content, you’re designing your own product page within Amazon’s product page.
According to Amazon, A+ Content helps sellers increase conversion rates. And while the marketplace hasn’t officially confirmed this, many sellers also see that A+ Content helps their organic search rankings as well:
- Registered brands are allowed to add product videos to their listings. These videos are included with your product images, making them easy to access. This isn’t a vanity feature, either—80% of shoppers say they’re more confident making a purchase after watching a product video.
These three features are the only dedicated tools for building your brand on Amazon. That alone makes it worth the effort to enroll in Amazon Brand Registry.
Step 4: Promote Your Brand with Exclusive Registered Brand Programs
After you establish your brand, it’s time to build an Amazon advertising strategy to drive up sales. Registered brands have two exclusive marketing tools available: Sponsored Brands and Amazon Live.
Sponsored Brands is a pay-per-click advertising platform that’s similar to Sponsored Products ads. The key difference is that Sponsored Products ads are designed to blend into search results and product pages, while Sponsored Brands promotions stand out. These ads display your logo, a product image, a brief tagline, and sometimes even multiple products.
There are four key placements for Sponsored Brands, each with their own eye-catching designs and strategic value:
- Headline search ads feature multiple products relevant to the search. They link shoppers directly to your Amazon storefront.
2. Middle-of-search ads feature video content alongside your product. This design is attention-grabbing for both mobile and desktop shoppers as they scroll through results.
3. Bottom-of-search ads display the basics of your brand (logo, image, tagline), usually alongside other competing brands.
4. Product-page ads appear in a few different locations on the product page. The unique design and higher placement on the page make them more competitive than a page’s Sponsored Products ads.
Sponsored Brands give you exclusive tools to help you stand out in search results and on your competitors’ product pages. But keep in mind, Sponsored Brands campaigns are designed for driving brand awareness; Sponsored Products ads are for conversions. So don’t expect the same ROI from Sponsored Brands.
Your best bet is to use a mix of Sponsored Brands and Sponsored Products advertising. Fewer competitors will be using Sponsored Brands, so these ads will likely drive business growth—even if you devote only a small part of your budget to them.
The second exclusive marketing tool for registered brands is Amazon Live—a relatively new content platform where sellers livestream product-related videos. Basically, it’s Amazon’s version of The Shopping Network. Most of these videos are creative product demos, such as cooking shows, workout videos, and talk-show interviews.
Fair warning: It takes time and effort to build your reputation on Amazon Live. Don’t expect this to be a quick win. But if you’re already creating livestreams, or if your product fits into popular Live categories, it’s worth giving this platform a shot.
Even if you don’t gain a lot of traffic from Live, your videos can still serve as useful content for your product pages. Given that 86% of shoppers say they want more video content from brands (especially product education videos), it’s worth at least experimenting.
Only registered brands (and individuals in the Amazon Influencer Program) are eligible to create content for Live. With this exclusivity, creating Live content will help your brand stand out to shoppers.
Take Control of Your Business with Amazon Brand Registry
After reading about these features, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed. Maybe you’re wondering, where do I even begin?
It’s simple—just start at the beginning of this guide, and work through the steps at your own pace. Experiment with the features available, and find what works for you.
Ultimately, Amazon Brand Registry isn’t a program—it’s a toolbox. What you do with those tools is up to you.