How Private Label Amazon Sellers Get Brand Registry Approval
As a Private Label Seller, you may remember hearing about Amazon’s Brand Registry. If you haven’t applied for it, now is the time for this must-have program. And we’ll guide you on how to fully prepare.
Why should every Private Label Seller register their Brand on Amazon? Well, it’s a major step toward protecting your unique listing from hijackers and unauthorized, counterfeit Sellers. Making sure Amazon has a record identifying you as the Brand owner is a card that hopefully never has to be used. However, you’ll be so relieved it’s available if your bluff gets called. Unfortunately situations to show up sometimes. Like when you’re Brand registered and another merchant jumps on your listing offering your beloved product as new, Amazon will consider you the expert first. Brand Registry is also a way of protecting your Seller account from being suspended or banned due to suspicious activity and product-related buyer complaints or claims.
Amazon generally doesn’t do Sellers any favors, but I’d count Brand Registry as a bonus since it enables Sellers to:
~ Influence the product detail page content. As the registered Brand owner, you will have increased influence in editing the content on product detail pages for any of your registered branded products. You can specify the correct titles, details, images and other attributes. That’s a big deal when you’re working so hard to grab buyer’s attention by fully optimizing a listing.
~ List products without a UPC. Registering your brand enables you to
specify an alternative unique identifier instead of having to use a standard product ID (UPC, EAN or JAN). This is a big cost savings since Amazon may verify that your UPC is GS1 authenticated. GS1 UPCs average around $250 + $50/year per UPC to keep it. The only reason you would invest in a GS1 UPC would be if your strategic plans includes selling in retail stores. Then you definitely need one.
The Sellers who benefit the most from Brand Registry are:
~ Traditional manufacturers
~ Private label brand owners
~ Producers of branded white label products
~ Creators of custom or handmade products
~ Sole or exclusive distributors of a product on Amazon
But as far as Amazon is concerned, in order to enroll for the Amazon Brand Registry, a merchant must fit into one of two Seller-types:
~ Manufacturer and/or Brand Owner (this includes Private Label Sellers); or,
~ Distributor, reseller and/or other individual or company who has written authorization from the manufacturer or brand owner to manage the brand’s content on Amazon.
Pre-Brand Registry Preparations
If you’re reading this post, you’re most likely a Private Label Seller which means you’ve already chosen your Brand Name and created a logo. I’ll assume you’ve made it that far. Now, BEFORE you even think about applying to Brand Registry, take care of these major steps first.
Use the Trademark Symbol After
Your Brand Name on Everything
While you don’t need to have your brand name trademarked at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in order to get Brand Registry approval; it’s something to genuinely consider. It will let Amazon know you’re serious about your Brand Name should they ever look into it. Even if your USPTO application isn’t completed or it’s pending, you are allowed to use the trademark symbol™ on anything your brand name is printed (ie. products and packaging).
Take Product and Packaging
Photos Showing Brand Name
Be prepared to show your products and/or packaging with your Brand Name on it. Even if your packaging isn’t done, create a label that you can print from home. You may want to consider using a transparent full page label. The label should have your Brand Name and logo on it. Additionally, you can design a label to go on the inside or side of box as well that has a QR code which leads to your website (see Step Three). Order a sample box from U-line and place the labels on it.
Take photos of your product and the packaging both closed and open with product inside. Do this so that the Brand Name is clearly seen. You’ll need to submit these.
Create an Active Website
I know this almost sounds contrary to Amazon who doesn’t like you leading customers away from their site; but you won’t make it past the application process if you don’t have one.
There’s no need to get overwhelmed with this task. Instead plant to dedicate a few days to complete it. There are so many 1 page templates that can be up and running within a day or two.
Be sure to include the following:
~ Create your website domain name with the Brand Name you intend to register on Amazon.
~ Add pictures of your product, a brief description & an About Us section.
~ Make sure a site visitor can actually purchase your product on the website. You can easily do this with a PayPal button or sometimes templates already come with a store built in.
~ Display the same address and phone number that’s on your Seller Account.
~ Include your Brand Name and logo clearly visible on every page.
Now you’re ready to apply to Amazon’s Brand Registry program.
Applying to Brand Registry
To complete an application, you will need to provide the above items mentioned:
~ An image of your product packaging with Branding visible on the packaging.
~ An image of a product with your Branding visible on the product itself.
~ A link to an active website that displays your brand or products.
If you are a distributor or reseller applying for Brand ownership, Amazon will ask you to upload an authorization letter from the manufacturer or brand owner. Download a template request letter for you to send to the manufacturer.
Heads up, this is what the application looks like. This is nothing to rush through. Read thoroughly.
If you are a Private Label Seller, select “I manufacture the product and own the brand.”
Unique Identifier (Also known as Key Attribute)
During the application process, you will be asked to select a Key Attribute. If you haven’t purchased a UPC directly from GS1, choose “No” when you’re asked, “Have you purchased a UPC, EAN or JAN for all of your products.” Then select one of the following as the unique identifier:
~ Manufacturer Part Number
~ Model Number
~ Catalog Number
~ Style Number
Picking any one of these, gives you the option to create that number “in-house”. For example, if your company name is Tally Ho Ventures, you can create a catalog number that looks like THV-101 for your product. Make sure each product has it’s own unique number. It’s super easy and far less expensive that obtaining a legitimate GS1 UPC.
Once you’ve filled in all of the details, simply select the Submit button. If the Brand Registry team has any questions, they will contact you.
I’ve witnessed Brand Registry applications get approved quickly while others move into an endless cycle of rejected. If you follow the Pre-Brand Registry steps mentioned in this post, you have a much higher likelihood of success.
If you do find yourself on the path paved with disapprovals, take a few calming deep breaths and then try calling Seller Support. Don’t allow your frustration to prevail in your tone as often there is a simple remedy to whatever is causing denials.
Take note of the issue and approach your application with the necessary change(s).
While Brand Registry adds a protective layer, please note that it is not impermeable. Even Amazon recognizes that Sellers who manufacture and/or sell their own Branded (Private Label) products need assistance with maintaining some level of control over their listings. Amazon is so customer-centric that it’s quite satisfying to know they created the Brand Registry program for Sellers “to make it easier for sellers to manage their own brands and list their products on Amazon.”
This really does give registered Sellers expert status for more authority over listing content though it may be a thin veil of protection, the Brand Registry program precludes anyone else from being able to use your registered Brand Name plus helps Amazon shut down counterfeits of your product. On behalf of all Private Label Sellers, “Thank you for that Amazon.”
Click here if you’re ready to apply for Brand Registry.
Tina Marie Bueno is a global citizen with an MBA in Int’l Business plus over 20 years of content marketing experience both in the U.S. and overseas. As the Lead Writer at MarketHustl, she strives to deliver relevant content to serve Amazon businesses of all sizes.
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