For eCommerce entrepreneurs, the Amazon Marketplace may seem like an irresistible proposition. However, this platform also presents a few red flags that need to be properly managed, and one of them is brand protection. While Amazon provides a brand registry program for manufacturers and other business owners who wish to retain control over their brand and products, this has not proven to be an adequate solution for marketplace sellers who could be targeted by unauthorized third parties such as rogue sellers, counterfeiters and dropshippers.
More sensible solutions for brand and product protection are being provided by B2B companies such as Brandlox. To understand how these solutions work and why they are needed in the Amazon Marketplace, it helps to understand how this platform emerged and how Amazon intends to develop it in the future.
Amazon’s position on Branding
In the highly competitive world of eCommerce, branding is one of the most important business factors for many homeowners, but this was not always the case. In the early days of eCommerce that date back to the early 1990s, branding was not something that internet users actually cared about. In fact, the first major online marketplaces placed greater focus on a wholesale experience that offered little in the way of branding. For this reason, the early eCommerce success stories were associated with names such as eBay, Half.com, Priceline, and OverStock.com; these are online marketplaces where buyers could find bulk, wholesale and used products.
When Amazon started out as an online bookstore in 1995, founder Jeff Bezos was mostly attracted to the idea of selling items that the company could acquire on a wholesale basis for the purpose of offering them at low price points. Back then, the brick-and-mortar bookstore chain Barnes & Noble took Amazon to court over their assertion that the eCommerce website had no right to describe its business as a “bookstore” since it was actually a broker of printed works.
A Switch Towards Branding
In the 21st century, online shoppers have become brand-conscious because eCommerce is no longer limited to internet auctions and wholesalers. Ecommerce entrepreneurs have realized that branding can make or break their business operations since this is something that consumers have come to appreciate. The power of brands can be appreciated in examples such as the coffee giant Starbucks. This is a company that is more driven to sell an experience than hot beverages, and the experience is what keeps coffee lovers returning to the brand.
As a company, Starbucks exerts tight controls over its brand image and products. To this effect, the company’s products are sold on Amazon only by authorized sellers who agree to abide by certain branding, pricing, and customer service rules. More than likely, Starbucks conducts an in-house monitoring program to keep an eye on how authorized sellers are managing products listed on Amazon. This is the type of monitoring that Amazon Marketplace sellers need, and it is available through subscription programs such as Brandlox.
Real-Time Monitoring and Protection
Amazon Marketplace sellers who manage at least 10 products can subscribe to Brandlox to receive instant notifications whenever third-party sellers lists a registered product on their own stores. Depending on the subscription level, Brandlox can also generate cease-and-desist legal notices that can be sent to unauthorized sellers. In other words, Brandlox is a solution that goes beyond the Amazon brand registry program by providing real-time monitoring and notifications.
Sellers who only have a couple of products listed on Amazon may be able to check the activity of their brands on their own; once they list 10 or more products, this type of monitoring would turn into a full-time job. To learn more about brand protection on Amazon, contact Brandlox today.