Insights

Amazon Brand Protection: Control is a Choice for Brands

Control_is_a_Choice_for_Brands_On_Amazon

There’s been a trend of big-name brands breaking up with Amazon — including Birkenstock, Nike, and most recently, Ikea. Counterfeit issues and wanting more control over the customer experience are reasons brands commonly cite for making this decision.

Amazon is taking steps to give brands more control. Features like Amazon Brand Registry and Project Zero empower brands to better manage their listings and address issues, but much of the responsibility still falls on the brands.

Here’s the truth: control in any form can be difficult to maintain on Amazon. Gray market products, MAP policy violations, and unpredictable third-party sellers are all issues facing the modern-day brand. Not having control can lead to pricing being all over the place, content being misleading or incorrect, and a less-than-ideal customer experience. Cutting off Amazon altogether may seem like a solution, but by doing that, brands are removing the only control they had — leaving unknown third-party sellers to represent their brand.

 

Control is a choice

According to Feedvisor, 89% of US consumers are more likely to buy products from Amazon than any other e-commerce site. Combine that figure with the fact that Amazon dominates a huge percentage of the US e-commerce market, and it becomes overwhelmingly clear that shoppers prefer Amazon when it comes to e-commerce.

Ditching Amazon doesn’t work. Birkenstock, Nike, and Ikea products are still available through third-party sellers on the marketplace.

Whether brands like it or not, third-party sellers will continue to sell their products on Amazon. Choosing to take control is the necessary move. Creating a strategy to win back control allows brands to protect their image, ensure customers receive authentic products, and deliver on-brand experiences.

 

Gaining brand control on Amazon

To begin with, brands must have a full understanding of their retail distribution network and find a strategic way to ensure trusted sellers are present on Amazon listings. The first step is setting a solid foundation. Brands should have an unauthorized seller policy, an internet authorization policy, and a MAP policy posted publicly on their website.

Monitoring is the real mountain to climb. Control requires brands to consistently monitor for violations of their policies, such as MAP. This means reviewing listings daily and effectively managing Amazon Brand Registry. This can be done in-house, but it takes a large number of resources to do effectively, which is why many brands choose to outsource this work to a retail or brand control partner.

 

A real-life example of brand control

What does this look like in real life? Let’s look at Peet Dryer, the leading brand in a niche product category: shoe and boot dryers. There were two primary issues affecting this brand: gray market distribution of their products and non-compliance with their MAP policy. Eventually, the negative impact of these issues stretched beyond e-commerce and started to affect their brick and mortar relationships. That’s when they decided to work on controlling their Amazon listings.

Control comes before growth. After partnering with Netrush, Peet Dryer was able to regain control over a majority of their product catalog after six months. Today, they have 93% brand control across all listings.

Partnering with Netrush has been a great move for our company. Prior to the partnership, we were struggling with our online presence. We took back control of our brand and by doing so strengthened our relationships with our brick and mortar customers.

Trask Silva, VP of Operations, PEET Dryer

 

Key Takeaways of Brand Control

A strong brand control strategy gives brands the ability to meet their customer expectations and deliver a consistent experience through Amazon and other e-commerce platforms. Other benefits include counterfeit reduction, on-brand customer experiences, consistent pricing and messaging, and getting more out of marketing spend. Most tangibly, brand control is a step toward the unification of a brand’s greater retail strategy — ideally, brands will be able to deliver a consistent experience across all retail channels.

In the Peet Dryer’s case, implementing a control strategy helped them achieve accurate on-Amazon brand representation, stronger brick and mortar relationships, more effective marketing strategies, and overall better customer experience and brand health. So much so, that they now attribute their success as the strongest brand in their product category directly to brand control strategies.

Learn more about Amazon brand protection on our Amazon Brand Protection page.