HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO HAVE BRAND PROTECTION ON AMAZON?
How Important Is It To Have Brand Protection on Amazon? Amazon’s brand protection is like having insurance. You are protecting your brand and products from unauthorized sellers that could jeopardize your brand’s reputation. Although it is important to protect your brand on Amazon, this can also be tricky. Don’t worry, we are going to break down exactly what threats your brand faces on Amazon and what you can do in 2020 to protect your brand on Amazon.
Let’s first take you through the different types of attacks you may face as a seller on Amazon.
#1: Amazon Listing Hijacking & Piggy-backing Amazon listing hijacking is when another seller steals the Buy Box away from the product you own by selling a counterfeit version of that product. Generally, when hijackers jump on your listing to either sell a counterfeit version of your product or a product that is similar to yours, they do this by copying the UPC of your product and applying it to their product. On the other hand, piggy-backers, also known as “resellers”, will jump on your listing to sell your actual product.
Now, how do you tell if your Amazon listing has a piggy-backer or a hijacker? Easy, there is only one way to know for sure, and that is buying the product from them. Once you have the product with you, you will know if it’s real or fake. If the item is counterfeit, you can either get rid of hijackers by sending the seller a cease and desist letter, file a complaint with Amazon, or talk to a lawyer.
#2: Copyright Infringement Unlike trademarks and patents, you won the copyright to your work the second you create it. So, the second you create your product description, images, and design of your packaging, you own the copyright.
If you ever find yourself in a situation where another seller has violated your copyright in some way, you can either: send the seller a cease and desist letter, file a complaint with Amazon Brand Registry through the Brand Registry portal, or get a lawyer if the seller refuses to remove their listing and if Amazon refuses to do anything especially when you have proof.
#3: Trademark Infringement on Amazon A trademark protects your brand’s name and logo. Trademarking your name and logo will stop someone else from using them and will show proof to anyone that needs to see that you own them. To do this, you need to formally register your trademark. Amazon will give very little assistance in enforcing a non-registered trademark so if you are serious about protecting your brand you definitely want to get a registered trademark. If you want to stop a company from using your logo or brand name, you will need to send a cease and desist letter or report them to Amazon via your Brand Registry Account.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR BRAND ON AMAZON
Now that we have covered the bad things that can happen on Amazon, let’s take a look at some of the proactive and reactive things you can do to protect your brand.
#1: Put Your Logo On Your Product And Packaging
Logos are automatically covered by copyright under U.S. law, this is why it is important to put your logo on your product and packaging as this will give you some protection should someone decide to copy your product, logo, and sell it.
#2: Use Amazon SKU Not UPC
Always make sure you switch your product from the manufacturer’s barcode (UPC) to Amazon (SKU) when you set up your listing. Using the SKU identifies you as the seller, whereas everyone can list using the UPC which makes it harder to point out the fakes if a hijacker does counterfeit your product.
#3: Trademarking Your Amazon Brand
If you are at all serious about building your brand, you are going to want to trademark your brand name and logo. Owning your trademark gives you more rights under the law, and if it’s something you have to do if you want to protect yourself, you have to join Amazon’s Brand Registry and Amazon Transparency.
#4: Register For Amazon Brand Registry
Once you have your trademark you are eligible to apply for Amazon’s Brand Registry. Although this does not make your brand bulletproof from fake sellers on Amazon, it does give you more protection than if you didn’t have it. To find out everything you need to know about Amazon Brand Registry. https://brandservices.amazon.com/
#5: Use Amazon Transparency
Transparency is Amazon’s next level of protection against sellers counterfeiting your products. The program gives sellers unique bar-codes that authenticate their projects as genuine. You don’t need to have a Brand Registry to apply for Transparency, but you do need to have a trademark to prove you are the brand owner. This is why you may as well apply for Brand Registry too.
To conclude, there is no 100% correct way to protect your brand from fake resellers. Chances are there’s someone eyeing your top spot if your product is selling well, but since Amazon is growing rapidly and slowly catching up with ways to better protect sellers with programs like Transparency, hopefully, they’ll launch more safeguards in the future.
If you are committed to building your brand on the Amazon marketplace, then by all means you should protect it. Start by trademarking your brand, join Amazon Brand Registry, and also look into other Amazon programs you might be eligible for.
Contact us to see how we can help scale your brand by scheduling a needs analysis call with our partnerships director.