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Ep. 025 Keyword Podcast: Updates to Brand Registry Coming

April 10, 2017
Ep. 025 Keyword Podcast- Updates to Brand Registry Coming

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Brand Registry is expanding to provide more tools to help sellers dealing with counterfeit products. Peter Kearns with eGrowth Partners joins us. He’s talked with Amazon about the updates and he tells us what we can expect.


Amazon has a problem. A counterfeit problem. Whether it’s a large brand like Birkenstock or a small company selling sleep-inducing pillows, counterfeit products are everywhere on the site. The process for sellers to fix it is often considered an uphill battle.


This is one of Amazon’s biggest focuses for 2017 and soon they will be rolling out new tools to help. Brand registry is expanding.It’ll be collecting more information to help make sure shoppers only get the real deal.

Peter Kearns from eGrowth Partners is this week's "Amazon insider." 






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Show Notes:

Ep. 025 Keyword Podcast: Updates to Brand Registry Coming

Brand Registry is expanding to provide more tools to help sellers dealing with counterfeit products. Peter Kearns with eGrowth Partners joins us. He’s talked with Amazon about the updates and he tells us what we can expect.
Amazon has a problem. A counterfeit problem. Whether it’s a large brand like Birkenstock or a small company selling sleep-inducing pillows, counterfeit products are everywhere on the site. The process for sellers to fix it is often considered an uphill battle.
This is one of Amazon’s biggest focuses for 2017 and soon they will be rolling out new tools to help. Brand registry is expanding.It’ll be collecting more information to help make sure shoppers only get the real deal.
This is Peter Kearns, our Amazon Insider.
“I actually talked with Amazon about it yesterday because I have a number of sellers who will be using it,” Peter says.
Peter worked at Amazon for four years. He primarily focused on finding gaps in the Amazon catalogue then finding sellers to fill it. Now he runs a company consulting third party sellers called eGrowth Partners. They can be found at www.egrowthpartners.com
Brand Registry has been around for a while. If you register your brand right now you’re promised more influence in editing the information on product detail pages for your branded products so you can ensure the right titles, details, and images are used. It also allows sellers to specify unique identifiers instead of a standard product ID like UPC or EAN. Brand Registry is one way Amazon is trying to help protect brands on Amazon and it’s getting an upgrade.
Brand Registry’s newest version or what’s being called Brand Registry 2.0 will have some similarities. The differences, though, promise to help sellers even more with counterfeit issues.
The updated version will allow intellectual property rights holders to register their trademark information and other proprietary information so that amazon can act more promptly to remove counterfeit products.
So as sellers input this information, Amazon will be building a database with all of it. Things like logos, packaging, trademark information will all be in this list and instead of being inside Seller Central, Brand Registry will have it’s own URL.
“So I think the thing that is most exciting from my perspective is that this is a stand alone URL so it’s separate from seller central so the thing that’s great is that brands that aren’t selling on Amazon have the ability to access this tool to help control their intellectual property and their trademarks,” says Peter, “I think that this is a really good step in the right direction for giving these brand owners who spend millions of dollars, thousands and thousands of hours to build up these great brands and create this amazing product and they need to have the ability to protect it.”
To register to be Brand Registered right now, you have to provide:
An image of your product packaging with branding visible on it
An image of your product with the branding visible on it
And a link to an active website that displays your brand or products.
With the updated Brand Registry you will also need to provide information about your trademark and your intellectual property.
Many sellers, especially smaller companies, aren’t getting the trademarks they need because the process can be cumbersome but here’s why you have to do it.
Let’s say for example that I created a pillow that’s infused with lavender and I have special technology that keeps that lavender scent fresh so the pillow helps shoppers fall asleep faster and stay asleep. If I haven’t filed for a patent or trademark or intellectual property, legally there’s very little to protect me if counterfeiters start stealing my ideas and that’s what Amazon is saying too.
“If you want to use these programs, it’s gonna make you, it’s gonna force your business to do it the right way to get the right documentation to get the right trademarks and what not so your business is going to be that much more protected,” Peter says.
There are rumors that future tools may even help sellers get the trademarks they need .
“I think Amazon is recognizing that there’s a need to help these brands go to market and do it the right way and from a customer’s obsession point of view, the Seller Services team that views the Amazon Seller as their customer they’re gonna create a better product for them to be able to go to market and utilize their platform,” Peter says.
Brand Registry will help amazon identify counterfeits faster but it’s not going to get rid of all the counterfeit products overnight.
“It’s not a tool to clean up your channel. It’s not a tool to gate your brand,” says Peter, “So you can’t go in there and start willy nilly filing all these claims against these sellers. You really have to identify that they are violating the intellectual property and because there are limitations on what you’re able to see and what you’re able to do with it from what I’ve been told.”
If there are counterfeiters seller your product, you will still have to file a claim and likely buy the product. But Amazon’s goal is that you give them all the information up front and it makes it that much easier to identify the bad players.
Now, if you’re a reselling or selling private label products, this part’s for you. Make sure you know where your products are coming from.
“I think you got use this as an opportunity to start looking at the relationships that you have with your suppliers and manufacturers that you’re buying and really work hard to facilitate those relationships with them and look at negotiating exclusive agreements if that’s something that you want to do,” says Peter, “Going upstream with your business to make sure you’re being transparent with the products that you’re getting and so you have some comfort that you know that you’re doing it the right way.”
I was recently talking with a seller about the updated version of Brand Registry. This seller decided to check in on his products based on our conversation. He’s been selling a private label product for several years. When he first launched it, the manufacturer promised him it wasn’t in violation of any intellectual property. After our most recent conversation, this seller decided to double check that and found that yes, he was in violation of another brand’s intellectual property.
So now, years after launching, he is re-designing and creating a new product that’s his own.
It’s costing him thousands of dollars but likely preventing him from being shut down by Amazon. So check and double check with your suppliers and manufacturers.
“I’m not saying that all of the sudden everyone’s gonna get shut down because they’re buying their inventory from a distributor who may not be authorized to be selling it on Amazon,” says Peter, “But if it’s me and that’s my business I want to be looking at what’s my total exposure here? How have we been getting our products? How have we been getting our inventory and what kind of dialogue do I have with these businesses?”
On a final note, Brand Registry is also creating a lot of opportunities for building up a brand.
“The ability to create your own product now is becoming so easy because of technology the different types of services that are out there,” Peter says.
So if you have an idea, go for it. Design it.Create it. Test it. Get all your trademark and patents set up and sell it. Amazon wants Brand Registry to be there to help you protect your brand as you work to make it grow.

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