Originally published May 13, 2019. Revised and updated October 14, 2021.
Did you know that there are 1.5 million active sellers on Amazon? The staggering number serves as a testament to the online retailer’s power, but it also means that sellers have to work harder to defend against bad actors and make their brand stand out.
The Amazon Brand Registry was originally designed to help brands to defend against violations of their intellectual property. It still does that with programs like Transparency and Project Zero.
Brand Registry has layered on top of the brand defense tools access to a whole suite of programs, many of them free, that boost brand awareness and help a brand to tell its story. These include programs like Amazon Stores or Sponsored Brands.
Taken together, these programs for protection and growth form a powerful toolkit for brands selling on Amazon. Applying for brand registry should be part of any Amazon brand’s business plan.
What is the Amazon Brand Registry?
Back in May of 2017, Amazon launched its new-and-improved Amazon Brand Registry, a model that the ecommerce company has continued to expand.
The Amazon Brand Registry forms a voluntary archive of the current brands selling on the marketplace. It was originally developed so that the company could keep better track of any possible intellectual property infringement, issues with active listings, violations of company policy, and even technical issues
Since its implementation, the Amazon Brand Registry has become a ‘one-stop-shop for brands selling on the online marketplace, big and small. The initial creation served as a signal that the company was taking intellectual property violations seriously, but it has also become a centralized access point to opportunities for promotion and brand-building.
Eligibility For Amazon Brand Registry
To get listed in the Amazon Brand Registry, a brand must have an active or pending registered trademark in the country in which they want to enroll.
Countries Amazon accepts trademarks from:
United States, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Australia, India, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Turkey, Singapore, Spain, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, Egypt, Sweden, Poland, the European Union, and the United Arab Emirates
It also accepts trademarks issued by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
If you don’t yet have a trademark, you can get help and speed up the lengthy process, so you get access to all the Brand Registry benefits faster. Take advantage of Amazon’s IP Accelerator program.
Requirements For Brand Registry
- Brand name that has a live registered trademark. Must be a word mark and NOT a stylized, illustration, or design mark.
Government Registered Principal Trademark Registration or Serial Number.
- For USPTO marks, the Mark Drawing Type must be equal to “4 – STANDARD CHARACTER MARK” or “1 – TYPESET WORD(S)/LETTER(S)/NUMBER(S)”.
- Images of the brand’s logo.
- Images of products and packaging that carry the trademarked brand name. If the product is not branded, the packaging must be branded.
- A list of product categories (e.g., apparel, sporting goods, electronics) in which the brand should be listed.
- A list of countries where the brand’s products are manufactured and distributed.
Completing the Brand Registry Application
The first step is to submit the requested information to Amazon via the enrollment process detailed in Amazon’s Brand Services section.
Brand owners can apply for Brand Registry by visiting the brand registry homepage and logging in with their Seller Central account using this link to enroll. Have all of the necessary information ready so you can complete the enrollment form.
Once logged in, brand owners are presented with a three-part application to complete to be considered for the Brand Registry program – Brand information, Selling account information, and Distribution information.
Once submitted, it can take Amazon up to 14 days to review the application and reach out via the Case Log in Seller Central with their decision. The Case Log can be found in the top right corner of your Seller Central dashboard.
If all criteria in the application are met, Amazon will then reach out to the public contact listed on the website for the agency that was used to register the brand trademark. This public contact is typically the law group used for registration. Amazon will provide this contact with a verification code that must be obtained by the brand owner and relayed back to Amazon within 30 days.
Once this code is provided, the brand owner will receive an email confirming approval for Brand Registry.
Tips for a Smooth Application Process:
- Make sure the trademark status is listed as “Live” by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) before applying. Brands with trademarks that are not active will not be approved. Brands can quickly check their trademark status by utilizing the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS), which Amazon also uses to verify trademark status. Link to the TESS: https://www.uspto.gov/trademark
- If you are planning on enrolling more than 10 brands, only fill out one application and make sure to select “Yes” when asked, “Do you intend to enroll more than 10 brands in the Brand Registry?” A member of the Brand Registry team will contact you with instructions for enrolling the remaining brands in bulk to help save you time.
- Keep in mind that the brand name is case-sensitive and must match the trademarked brand name exactly.
- It is also helpful to verify that the brand name used for all existing products in Seller Central matches as well. If the name does not match on these products, they will not be linked to the brand in Brand Registry. The brand name for products can be changed manually, via upload, or by contacting Seller Support.
- Ensure all products contain either UPCs, ISBNs, EANs, or other GTINs and have been uploaded into Seller Central with these correctly. Products without a unique identifier will not be linked to the brand name in Brand Registry. Sellers who do not have UPCs, EANs, or JANs as their unique product identifiers will need to create them for their products. You can do that through GS1.
- Provide external website and social media links in all fields on the application. Although external website links and social media accounts are optional, it can make it easier for Amazon to identify the brand and speed up the application process.
- Reach out to the public contact for the agency used to register the brand trademark immediately after submitting your application. Giving the agency advanced notice that an email from Amazon will be coming with a verification code can avoid confusion and possible deletion of the email from Amazon. If you are unsure which agency was used, the agency name is listed on the TESS.
Benefits of the Amazon Brand Registry
For the eligible vendors and sellers operating in the bustling ecommerce marketplace, the Amazon Brand Registry provides several important benefits.
As mentioned, Amazon’s aim in creating and expanding the Registry was originally to better protect the brands selling on its platform from becoming victims of intellectual property infringement, trademark violations, and more.
By getting listed in the Amazon Brand Registry, you’ll also be able to take advantage of brand-building features, which are only available to registered brands.
An Amazon Store is a customizable brand website within Amazon that helps to tell the brand story and helps shoppers to understand the brand catalog.
Sponsored Brands ads work similarly to Sponsored Products, but they allow you to raise the profile of your brand by using creative and linking to your brand Store.
Sponsored Display ads use product targeting or audience targeting plus custom creative to grow brand awareness among shoppers.
A+ Content (previously known as Enhanced Brand Content)
The A+ Content program allows brands to utilize additional text and graphic features to enhance their product listings, make them stand out, and tell their brand story.
Project Zero is an Amazon program that helps brands protect against counterfeits. This program uses unique codes applied to products, and it gives brands the ability to remove counterfeits using a self-service tool.
The Transparency program helps to protect your brand against counterfeits by assigning a unique code to your product which you then apply to every unit and is scannable during the fulfillment process to confirm authenticity.
Amazon Live works much like livestreams on social media platforms but without requiring shoppers to move between the social experience and the shopping experience.
Similar to Amazon Live, Amazon Posts provides a social-media-like ability to distribute content, within the Amazon marketplace. Posts work much like Instagram.
Brand registry provides access to Brand Analytics within the Reports tab in Seller Central, giving you more data to understand your brand performance on Amazon.
Manage Your Customer Engagement
Amazon keeps pretty tight control of seller communication with customers, but the Manage Your Customer Engagement tool enables brands to utilize templates to email customers.
Respond to negative reviews
It’s no longer possible to respond to reviews in-line on Amazon, but registered brands can send templated responses to negative reviews to provide a better customer service experience.
Clearly, the Amazon Brand Registry represents a fitting choice for qualified vendors and sellers who are serious about protecting their valuable IP and expanding their brand visibility.
With the proliferation of tools that require registration for brands to access them, brands would be wise to register and gain the ability to leverage the tools the competition already uses.