When it comes to selling on Amazon, we all know that building a successful brand is a long and complicated process that is both challenging and rewarding if done right. Considering the tremendous effort that goes into building a brand, it is crucial to make every effort to establish brand protection.
There are a few things that you can do to protect your brand in order to avoid false claims, hijackers who take over your own sales and other black hat actions to happen. Let’s find out together in this article.
Why do you need to protect your brand in the long run?
Brand protection is the act of ensuring that nobody is stealing your brand’s identity or lessening its value by using your photos, texts, ideas, or products without your permission.
Then why is it said that protecting your brand is essential?
The most important reason for this is to protect your brand reputation. Simply put, inferior goods sold by unauthorized sellers who don’t follow your quality control procedures will cause long-term brand erosion. You’ve invested time and money into making sure everything is on brand and looks great and then you check it a few days later and it’s all changed. You are not alone if you have experienced this, in fact far from it. As Amazon is a marketplace, anybody selling an item can request changes to the product detail pages and if they are accepted then your time and effort may be rendered useless.
The second reason is that you want to ensure anyone selling your product on Amazon is following quality controls is to protect your Amazon product reviews. Aside from the content of the product listings being incorrect, more serious issues could arise from ‘unprotected’ brands on Amazon. A third party seller may be selling your products with incorrect information on the listings which will inevitably lead to poor reviews and poor customer experience. Issues such as this could well lead to a damaged brand reputation or account suspension, all because of other people!
4 Tips to protect your brand
#1. Focus Your Brand Identity
Another efficient tip on brand protection on Amazon is brand focus. Amazon product pages are popular search engine hits. So are optimized websites and social media accounts. Maintaining a public website for your brand for which you can prove ownership – this is actually a requirement for applying to the Amazon Brand Registry (see below)
- Take care to create a uniform, professional image across your website and social media accounts. That way, consumers can recognize you as a wholesaler and credible business.
- Ensure all content posted has been proofed and vetted accordingly.
- Brand identity goes beyond your online space.
- Make sure all products have your logo and name on them. That way, there is no question where any of your products originally came from. A logo and name are also useful when identifying counterfeit products.
#2. Create a strict MAP policy
Ensuring minimum advertised price (MAP) compliance is crucial to maintaining brand integrity. It’s the minimum price you can set across all distribution channels and it prevents distributors from going rogue on pricing. MAP is great for competitive intelligence, preventing price wars, protecting profit margins and ensuring brand compliance.
Once, a MAP compliance policy is set, be prepared to enforce it. After confirming your MAP, outline the violations you want monitored and the penalties they carry. From there, consistently track all sellers and channels (including the grey market ones), notify all parties involved in the event of a violation, and keep a historical record of violations as well as a record of compliant and non-compliant sellers. Amazon doesn’t typically monitor for MAP compliance; it will be your job to notify them of these issues unless you have a third-party vendor who monitors MAP violations for you.
#3. Join Amazon Brand Registry
In short, the Amazon Brand Registry is a program designed to help brand owners maintain control over their products on Amazon. Amazon sellers who join the Brand Registry have increased control over their brand’s intellectual property (IP) and also on how their products are listed on Amazon through product detail pages, titles, and images used. This implies that it helps the true brand owners defend their brand from sellers who sell their products without authorization.
The Brand Registry not only identifies brand owners and their authorized resellers, it also helps them enforce their standards that brands must meet in order to sell on the Amazon Marketplace.
It is a relatively straightforward process to sign up for and enrol a brand in Amazon Brand Registry, however, you will need to ensure that you have an existing trademark (although this should be the case when selling your own products on Amazon regardless of Brand registry). Head to here to begin the process.
#4. Create A Strategy For Dealing With Unauthorized Amazon Sellers
It is essential to keep an eye on all of your products’ listings. This helps proactively monitor product pages and accounts to identify when products have unauthorized Amazon sellers. When you identify such products, you have a two-step process to handle the issue:
- Send a ‘cease and desist’ style message through the Amazon system directly to the other seller. This eliminates a good percentage of unauthorized sellers.
- If you believe it is a counterfeit item, place a ‘test buy’ to validate. After verifying that the product is not authentic, you file a complaint with Amazon and try to have the seller’s offer taken down. You will not get any compensation from Amazon for doing this.
Protecting your brand from grey market sellers, IP infringers and hijackers is crucial in establishing yourself as a strong brand in the Amazon marketplace. If you are encountering issues with third-party sellers affecting your product listings then please get in touch with AMZ.Today. We are always ready to help you.