How to Protect Your Brand on Amazon: Brand Registry
The Amazon Brand Registry is a program for sellers who manufacture or sell their own branded products. The program’s goal is to make it easier for sellers with their own brands to manage those brands and list their products on Amazon.com. So registering your brand with Amazon gives you increased control over your products’ titles, details, bullet points, product description, meta-data, and other attributes. This program also gives you the ability to list products without UPCs or EANs, like in a case where you make customized items that don’t naturally have UPCs or EANs. Here are some of the useful situations in which Brand Registry will help your business control the brand equity experience of your brands:
- So let’s say you sell your own private label products on Amazon, and you want to make sure the content you submitted for your products doesn’t get changed by other sellers, this is a very good way to lock down content.
- You may have other resellers listing your brand of products on Amazon, but they haven’t done a good job of creating accurate or complete content for the site – you can update and lock down that content. You may also have products that you don’t sell on Amazon, but some reseller will eventually sell the items. Through Amazon Brand Registry, you can create “shell” listings, and lock down the content so future resellers will have good content on existing listings to use.
- Even if you aren’t the rightsholder of a brand you sell on Amazon, you may be able to get Brand Registry permission to lock down content if you send Amazon a letter of approval from the brand’s rightholders for you to control and update Amazon listings content on behalf of the brand
So if you go into Seller Central, and search for Brand Registry, you’ll find a link that takes you to where you need to apply for Brand Registry. You put in a bunch of information demonstrating the specific situation for which you are applying for Brand Registry. As part of the application process, you will be asked to identify what product dimension you want to use as the unique identifying criteria of each SKU in your brand – something like the UPC, EAN, or possibly the manufacturer part number. If your brand consists of some products in different package quantities, you must be careful about those multi-packs, as you might be using the same UPC, Manufacturer Part Number, or Model Number for different package sizes of same item…. so you may want to consider using as the key Brand Registry attribute something that combines UPC and Package Quantity – something like “UPC_Package Quantity” as a key attribute, if your product commonly is sold in different package quantities, or resellers create their own package quantities. As you can pick whatever variable or combination of variables you want as the Brand Registry identifier, think strategically about what you select.
Once you have selected that identifying attribute, it will take a few days for Amazon’s Brand Registry team to review and hopefully approve your application. Then you are granted Brand Registry permission for your brand, at which point you will need to RESUBMIT all of your feeds on this brand. Only then will the data that you want locked down get locked down by Amazon. And Amazon will actually apply a Global Catalog Identifier (GCID) to each and every SKU in the brands that you have locked down. Each GCID is unique, and will be tied to your third-party seller account such that no one else can change the content that you have submitted (with the exception of product images).
When you RESUBMIT your feeds in Seller Central, be sure to check the error reports. If a GCID is not successfully assigned to your products, you will not have greater control over your product detail pages. To ensure that GCIDs are assigned to your products, verify that your product listings have the following:
- Brand name (case sensitive)
- Key attribute
It’s not important to know WHAT the GCIDs are on your products, but rather to know that there IS a GCID tied to each of the SKUs on the brands that you have had locked down in Brand Registry. To view your products’ GCIDs in an Inventory Report:
- Go into Seller Central, and under Inventory, select Inventory Reports.
- On the Inventory Reports page, select “Active Listings Report” from the report drop-down list.
- Once the report has been generated, open the file using a spreadsheet program (for example, Microsoft Excel).
- In the report, locate the column titled “product-id”. If your product has been assigned a GCID, you will see an alphanumeric, 16-character value with no spaces or hyphens. For example: 5C5CXXX999XXX999
Note carefully: Any data you submit AFTER being approved will be locked down for only you to change, with the exception of images which any seller can upload. But IF YOU DO NOT SUBMIT A PARTICULAR COLUMN OF DATA to be locked down, another seller can come along and provide data. So if certain types of data or fields of data are important to you, make sure to submit them in your feed AFTER your brand is approved for Brand Registry.