Brand registry on Amazon is essentially a platform or dashboard that provides tools for brand owners to personalize their brand pages, protect their trademark(s) and improve the overall brand buying experience for their customers. Brand owners must apply to become brand registered and meet specific requirements to be accepted.
Amazon’s original brand registry program rolled out in 2015 as an attempt to protect sellers from hijackers and curb the sale of counterfeit goods. The old program was simply another tab inside Seller Central where sellers could file copyright violation complaints and eventually add Enhanced Brand Content to their listings. However, the reporting process was slow and difficult, and many registered sellers didn’t take advantage of EBC.
In an effort to target counterfeits and continuously improve both the selling and buying experience, Amazon gave their Brand Registry program a serious facelift in May of 2017 and introduced Brand Registry 2.0.
Other Benefits of Being Brand Registered
Although improved counterfeit reporting methods are a major benefit to brand registry, the program has a lot more to offer sellers. Brand registered users are the only ones with access to Enhanced Brand Content (comparable to A+ Content for Vendors) for more developed product descriptions. For eligible products, brand owners can also utilize the Early Reviewer Program to gain initial reviews on new products.
Amazon continues to add features for Brand Registered sellers. More recent additions include:
- product videos that can be uploaded alongside product images
- unique Amazon URLs for your brand
- a new design and customizable details for product pages
Both Private Label and Vendor brand owners are also now able to access Headline Search Ads within Seller Central, which allows users to create custom “keyword targeted cost-per-click ads to promote 3 or more products.”
As if that wasn’t enough, brand registered users can create custom storefronts that allow them to creatively display all of their products on multiple pages, which also includes a custom Amazon web address for your brand.
As Amazon adds new features to their platform for marketing and displaying products, typically Brand Registered sellers have access to this content before non-registered, providing an ongoing competitive edge.
Who Can Sign Up? What if I was Already Signed Up?
According to Amazon, “Brand Registry is available to sellers who manufacture or sell their own branded products.” If you’re a private label seller of any kind, Amazon Brand Registry is not only available to you, but a strong value proposition to consider if you aren’t already registered.
Unfortunately, if you were registered before April 30, 2017, you’ll have to re-enroll your product(s) under the new registry. If you choose to not re-enroll your products in 2.0, you won’t have access to any new features Amazon rolls out in the new brand registry program.
What Info is Required for Brand Registry 2.0?
Sellers who want to sign up under the new registry are now required to have an Active Registered Trademark (®). In Brand Registry 1.0, sellers could register with just a pending trademark (™), but sellers must now provide a Government Registered Principal Trademark Registration or Serial Number.
According to Amazon, the trademark must meet one of the following requirements:
- “1 – TYPESET WORD(S)/LETTER(S)/NUMBER(S)”
- “3 – AN ILLUSTRATION DRAWING WHICH INCLUDES WORD(S), LETTER(S)/NUMBER(S)”
- “4 – STANDARD CHARACTER MARK”
- “5 – WORDS, LETTERS, OR NUMBERS IN A STYLIZED FORM”
Essentially, your trademark can either just be the name of your brand (with or without a claim to any font or size, i.e. Apple or Big Mac), a stylized brand name such as the Coca-Cola logo, or a combination of a symbol and brand name like the Starbucks logo or Microsoft’s logo.
If the provided trademark information does not exactly match (spacing, capitalization, etc.) what is found on the USPTO database, the application will be rejected.
Sellers must also provide the following:
- images of the brand logo (standalone, not on a product)
- an image of the product or packaging with the trademarked logo
- a list of countries where the product is manufactured and distributed
- a list of categories the brand should be included under.
For more information on USPTO trademarks and how to register, visit the USPTO trademark basics page. Also, be sure to check out our podcast with LegalZoom discussing trademark benefits, risks and more.
What is the New Dashboard Like?
Unlike with the old registry, Amazon has set up an entirely new Brand Registry dashboard separate from Seller Central. The interface features new-and-improved reporting tools to deal with counterfeits and hijackers as well as new search tools to help sellers discover products that may be infringing on their copyright. Sellers can now easily search by a product name, ASIN, brand name, keywords or even images.
Amazon also now has a customer service team dedicated to addressing infringement reports. Previously, claims often took a few days to be addressed, leaving many sellers frustrated. Now, Amazon is claiming all violation reports will be dealt with in just a few hours by one of the members of their 300-person strong counterfeit complaint team based in the US.
To prevent counterfeits from reporting the actual brands, all complaints must include an intellectual property information file (name, email, ASIN, asserted rights, etc.) as well as an authorized statement confirming that the filer is approved to act on the reporting brand’s behalf. Amazon had claimed they would be improving brand support efforts, and it appears the proof is in the pudding with Brand Registry 2.0.
How Long Does it Take to Become Brand Registered?
If you still have to complete the trademark process, that can take anywhere from 6-18 months until you’re officially registered and able to sign up for Amazon Brand Registry. The approval process with Amazon only takes a couple weeks if you provide all of the correct information up front.
What if I have Several Brands I Want to Register?
Sellers can register multiple brands individually using the same contact information. However, keep in mind that it can cost anywhere between $225-$400 to complete the trademark application process for each brand. There’s also additional fees if you enlist the help of an attorney or trademarking service, or require protection for additional classes.
For a more cost effective and less time consuming route, it may be worthwhile to consider registering one “universal” or “all-encompassing” trademark for all of your brands. This could lead to packaging issues if you already have stock of each brand with separately branded packaging, but may be a simpler long-term consideration.
Final Thoughts on Amazon’s Brand Registry
Amazon Brand Registry 2.0 might sound like a bit of a headache or a serious upfront investment, but the long-term benefits undoubtedly outweigh any short-term costs. Private label sellers have better brand protection tools and can boost their brand’s legitimacy in the eyes of consumers by having a streamlined, higher-end brand page with fewer hijackers.
Plus, it sounds like Amazon is only going to improve the brand registry experience and offered features, so what are you waiting for? Trademark your brand and head on over to Amazon’s Brand Registry sign-up page to get started building a better brand today.