AS 8: Protecting Your Brand on Amazon, Brand Registration, Trademarks and Patents
28 Jan 2016
Protecting your Brand on Amazon
Amazon is a jungle out there and there are poachers. The ones who kill animals, and rare species. Except on Amazon, these are your busiensses.
It’s important that you take as many steps as possible to protect your business and in this episode we go through it all.
Hijackers, highjackers and highjackers. Highjacking is probably worth a discussion in itself, for another episode, but basically highjackers are typically from China, see your product, source it, and sell it on your listing as well.
There are ways to protect against highjackers of all sorts. To protect from this case, you first want to register your brand in Amazon’s brand registry. This does a few things:
- This means you will have exclusive ownership of the buy box, as well as the product description, product images, and bullets. No one can change that without your permission!
- This means if someone tries to counterfeit your product, you can have them removed
- This means no one else can use your brand name – on amazon
Brand registry is fairly quick and easy.
Amazon will wants photos of your packing and product. You need to present them with your branding, an email of the company name as your domain, firstname.lastname@example.org, a phone number and a company website.
According to Amazon, the following sellers may apply to enroll in the Amazon Brand Registry and register as the brand owner including:
- Manufacturers or brand owners
- Distributors, resellers and other individuals or companies who have the written authorization from the manufacturer or brand owner to manage a brand’s content on Amazon.
In terms of building your website, I recommend WordPress over shopfiy, but that’s mainly because I’m a seasoned web developer in my other businesses. WordPress is very easy to use, easy to build on, and free. If your truly serious about building a big business, you need to have that website to give you brand presence not just on Amazon, but in google search results as customers do background checks on the product there about to buy. Not only that, in the long run, you can drive traffic using articles, fans, and social shares, and more to your website.
Currently on my site, I have articles being written each day by a fellow team member of mine, in which he writes articles of 2000 words, that are of high quality, that all relate to my brand. I will go into a lot of detail about this in Podcast 8. By generating related content, visitors searching x y and z will read my articles and potentially be interested in buying my product. It creates great product awareness, and higher long term revenue. Its’ all about planting the seeds now, setting that foundation that will blossom into a big oak tree later. From the 40+ articles now written on my site, each one has generated about 300-400 page views already each, and counting. Each view = a potential sale. My products are approximately $25 each. $400 page views * 25 = 10,000 dollars * the number of articles = 40 =potentially 400,000 from creating quality content, and a quality site.
Now back on topic – securing your brand from the world. So not only is your registering your brand important, but ensuring that you have the .com of your brand name. Obviously, by listening to this podcast, your probably farther in your private label than just beginning, but I hope you researched your brand name and then checked to see if the .com is registered for it. If you haven’t purchased your domain yet, PLEASE do so NOW, even if your website won’t exist for some time. I ALWAYS, always recommend the .com extension, as it is the highest level, and quality of a domain name of all the domain extensions (.edu,.org, .net .co etc.) Although the other ones do exist, and you can get it if yours is already taken, most guests trust, and believe in .com. Also from an SEO point of view, it is easy to have your articles appear in google higher – from what I’ve seen in my 8+ years of building websites for myself and clients.
The next thing you want to do is get trademarks for your business. Trademarks are the “R” standing for registered. I registered my brand using legalzoom. I registered both the LLC and the trademarks with them, as the entire process was done online. The legal process for the registration of my brand took 6 months after I filed – of processing, and signing, and processing, and verifying. Also folks, this is for Americans that have private label business. In fact I hate calling it private label. We are essentially creating real businesses that are here to last a long time. You are building the legal foundation for which your business can operate and remain competitive.
By registering your trademarks, you are blocking any potential highjacker from using your brand on their products that will probably look alike. Surely they can create the same product, but it wont have the same quality of your brand, the design, the packaging, the care, and customer service that comes with it.
Registering your brand for trademarks is important and you MUST DO IT.
As for patents. This is more tricky. If you are the sole creator, inventor of the product, this is when you need to file a patent. For most private labelers, you can’t patent your product.
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