In a much awaited and welcome move aimed at protecting genuine sellers and their intellectual property, Fortune reports that Amazon is testing a new brand registry system that may come into play as early as May 2017. Brands can now register their logo and IP, and even report sellers who are using their brand’s identity without permissions or requisite clearance.
So far, one of the concerns around selling on marketplaces has been the unlawful sale of products under a brand or label, which then turns out to be faulty or deficient, thus leading to consumers losing trust in the original brand itself. So far, a buyer has no way to determine which seller is genuine and which seller is not authorized to use a brand name, unless they are willing to invest a lot of time into due diligence. A large-scale implementation of the brand registry will help sellers protect and preserve their brand equity in an ever-growing world of competition, fake products and first copies. The service is expected to be free for all North American sellers, to begin with.
From its perspective, Amazon hopes that this move of reassuring new and prospective vendors of the safety of their IP would entice more genuine sellers and label owners to sell on the marketplace, thus helping Amazon expand its catalog of products even further. Along with another feature it calls ‘Transparency’, the sale of counterfeit products on Amazon may soon be a thing of the past.
Not only will the brand registry help new retailers looking to sell on Amazon through their own label or brand, it will also speed up the process of removing those sellers who are selling counterfeits as they are reported to Amazon more and more often.
The Current Brand Registry Process
The current Amazon Brand Registry is available to sellers who are
- owners of the brand
- manufacturers of the branded product
- authorized distributors and resellers
If you want to pass Amazon’s test for brand registry, here are a few things to do:
- Have a working website up and running. If you are a reseller, the original brand needs to have a working website which you can present.
- An email address that is attached to your site makes the process faster. email@example.com is preferred over firstname.lastname@example.org.
- You need to present pictures of your product packaging that clearly show your logo and/or branding elements. Remember that a branding element needs to appear both on the package and the product itself. Naturally, an exception is made for products such as grocery that cannot be branded this way.
- While a UPC code is the most commonly used identifier for a product, you may consider using EAN, model numbers or catalog numbers depending on the product.
- Books, music CDs and a few other products such as collectibles cannot be added to the brand registry.
Once Amazon updates its registry process, hopefully very soon, do come by this post to check for the new process and guidelines. Until then, happy selling!