Taking into account the tremendous amount of work that goes into establishing, maintaining and scaling your brand on Amazon, every reasonable effort should be made to protect it from shady competitors, unscrupulous brand infringers, and unauthorized sellers. Some competitors will aggressively simply target your brand, while others may go as far as selling counterfeited products (replicas or knockoffs) of your products.
Protecting your brand online requires a well thought out brand protection strategy.
By engaging brand protection tactics, sellers are able to reduce counterfeit products, have consistent pricing and messaging, and get more out of their marketing spend.
If the best defense is a strong offence, implementing these strategies using Amazon advertising will help to create a strong shield of protection for your brand.
5 Ways to Protect Your Brand Using Amazon Advertising
I. Bidding on branded queries helps sellers to dominate their search engine results pages.
Providing online searchers additional opportunities to click on your ad works to your advantage. By appearing in both the organic and paid ads columns, you are indicating to your searchers that you are a prominent player in your niche. Also, the more frequently your ad appears, the better chance you have for securing the sale.
II. Sellers can control their messaging.
PPC ads allow sellers to craft messages that will grab the attention of their online searchers and entice them to visit their listing/website. Use Sponsored Brand and Sponsored Display ads to target relevant audiences. A seller’s organic results might not send online searchers to the most ideal landing pages. However, they can use PPC ads to send searchers to their highest converting landing pages, which have great descriptive headlines and images of the product(s) for sale.
III. Competitors may be invading a seller’s territory.
Competitors may already be bidding on a seller’s branded terms, actually causing traffic that would have been directed to their listing/website to be diverted to the landing pages of their competitor.
IV. Branded terms are cheap.
Typically, branded terms are cheaper to bid on and actually have search volume. Not only are these words likely to be cheaper, but they should also get some of your highest click-through rates and Quality Scores.
V. Capture high-quality leads that are near the point of conversion.
Online shoppers who are searching for your branded terms are already familiar with your brand. These individuals are further along in the Customer Buying Cycle than the average potential customer who’s searching with more generic terms. They may also consist of shoppers who have bought from you before. These types of leads can be leveraged to give you the competitive edge in securing the sale.
Other Types of Protection Tactics Include:
- Putting your logo on your product(s) and packaging. Don’t make it easy for unscrupulous sellers to copy your product(s).
- Using Amazon provided barcodes (FNSKU) instead of the manufacturer provided ones. Using the FNSKU identifies you as the seller. Anyone can list using the UPC, which makes it more difficult to identify knockoffs if a hijacker does counterfeit your product(s).
- Using Amazon Seller Central Two-Step Login. When sellers use a two-step login for their Seller Central account, Amazon will text or email a new code to type in, every single time they log into their account as an extra layer of security.
- Consider using a third-party service that will issue an alert to you about possible suspicious activity, (like changing your description or images).
- File a formal trademark for your brand and logo. Owning your trademark gives you more rights under the law. It’s also required if you want to protect yourself further by joining Amazon’s Brand Registry and Amazon Transparency.
- Using Amazon Brand Registry. Brand Registry allows sellers to request that Amazon merge other listings of the same product(s) under their listing, using the product details, pictures, etc. that they approve of. This results in a more professional representation of their product(s), consistent with their high standards of branding.
- Using Amazon Transparency. This program gives sellers ‘upgraded’ unique barcodes that authenticate their product(s) as genuine.
- Using Amazon Project Zero. Sellers receive unique codes for every unit they manufacture, but they also get the power to self-remove listings of their products if they believe them to be counterfeit without any Amazon involvement.
- Using Amazon Brand Gating. This places a ‘gate’ around your brand or specific ASIN, that prevents counterfeiting to occur. In order to be eligible for Brand Gating, sellers must be Brand Registered, and they must have proof of counterfeit activity on the specific ASIN or ASINs that they wish to gate
You’ve invested a significant amount of time, money and other resources into building a great brand.
Not having brand protection can lead to inconsistent pricing, content being misleading or incorrect, and a less-than-ideal customer experience. Sellers who implement strong brand protection strategies have the ability to meet their customer expectations and deliver a consistent experience through the Amazon platform.
If you’re committed to using Amazon as your sole or primary platform, it is absolutely critical that you do everything within your power to protect your brand in the marketplace.
Protecting your brand is an important step in your journey to build a strong brand that may someday become a household name. But there are a lot of moving pieces to consider and implement. If you suspect that you may have missed a critical piece, our experts can work with you to make sure that everything is 100% on track, while freeing you from the daily grind.
Schedule a call with us to discuss your Amazon advertising management needs.
Entourage: Software to Scale Amazon Ads and Results Driven Management.
Michael Zagare is a serial entrepreneur, a recovering physical therapist, and the founder of PPC Entourage.
Mike has an unquenchable thirst for knowledge in all things Amazon, and loves sharing that knowledge with other sellers to help them take steps towards personal and financial freedom.
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