Brand Registry is a program on Amazon that confers de-facto ownership of a brand to a specific seller or manufacturer. The program allows Amazon sellers who manufacture their own products to register as the brand owner, list products and manage their brand identity on the Amazon marketplace more easily. Ideally, the Amazon Brand Registry program allows manufacturers to better scale their online assortment while improving ASIN authority on their product detail pages.
It almost looks like there’s no downside, right? That’s not necessarily the case.
This program can actually cause more problems than it’s worth if the seller’s product data does not align with the program’s structure and requirements. Within this post, we’re going to detail the steps required to obtain Brand Registry status and outline some of the pros and cons that are associated with the program.
Applying for Amazon Brand Registry
In order to enroll for the Amazon Brand Registry, a seller must fit into one of two seller-types:
- Manufacturer and/or Brand Owner
- Distributor, reseller and/or other individual or company who has written authorization from the manufacturer or brand owner to manage the brand’s content on Amazon
As long as your business fits into one of the aforementioned seller-types, you can then move on to the application process. Besides submitting the standard application, you will have to provide the following items to the Amazon Brand Registry team:
- An image of your product packaging with branding visible on the packaging
- An image of a product with your branding visible on the product itself
- Link to an active website that displays your brand or products
- If you are a distributor or reseller applying for brand ownership on Amazon, you will also need to upload an authorization letter from the manufacturer or brand owner
Once all information is submitted to Amazon, it is first reviewed and verified by Amazon. Following this review, a member of Amazon’s Brand Registry team will contact you with the status of your application. You can expect this review and approval process to take 1-2 weeks to complete, pending any unforeseen complications.
After Registration: Required Key Attributes and GCIDs
Once you have been approved for Amazon’s Brand Registry, your products will be assigned a GCID. So what exactly is a GCID? GCID stands for Global Catalog Identifier.
The GCID is a 16 character long, alphanumeric value that signifies that the seller is the registered owner of the product. This GCID value is applied when a required attribute, or set of required attributes, has been populated for all products within a Brand that has the Brand Registry status applied. These key attributes include:
- UPC, EAN or JAN
- Manufacturer Part Number
- Catalog Number
- Style Number
The required attributes for your products depend on the category that your products are listed in. Head here for a full list of required attributes by category. Alternatively, you can refer to the category guide below:
To verify that the GCID has been properly applied, you can reference an Active Listing Report that can be pulled directly from Seller Central. Under column W of this report, you will notice that a 16 digit GCID will be applied, as opposed to a standard ASIN. Once you see that the GCID has been applied, you now know that you have successfully listed your products under the Brand Registry program.
This is what you can expect to see:
The Million Dollar Question – Does Brand Registry Make Sense for You?
First, the Pros
The Amazon Brand Registry program offers two main benefits for sellers who list products on Amazon.
The first benefit of the program is that it allows for UPC exemption when listing products. Most categories require a standard product ID (UPC, EAN or JAN) in order to create new product pages or list products on Amazon.com. However, if you are enrolled in the Brand Registry program, you will be exempt from this requirement when creating listings or selling products on the marketplace.
The second benefit of the Brand Registry is that it grants the registered owner heightened ASIN authority on the product listing pages. ASIN Authority means that you have a greater ability to influence the product data that is listed on the ASIN page. In other words, a higher ASIN Authority offers you greater control over your brand identity on Amazon.
Now, the Cons
Despite the pros, there are some major cons to the program, as well.
Once Brand Registry is applied, there are certain attributes within your product data that cannot change. If these attributes change in any way the change can, and often will, result in errors when trying to list products.
The attributes at risk are the required key attributes that correspond to your selling category. An example of this would be if you applied for Brand Registry with a product that had a Model Number of A-103. If this Model Number changes to A-103A at some point in the future, this new model number will trigger an error and you will no longer be able to make changes to the current listing. If these types of errors occur on a large group of products, it can present a major issue as these products will not update and product data won’t change.
In addition to creating unnecessary listing errors, resolving these errors can be quite tricky for sellers who’re part of the Amazon Brand Registry. You have only two available options to fix these errors
Your first option would be to break the Brand Registry status on the affected listings. If you move forward with this option, it is important to note that the processes can take 2-3 weeks for Amazon Support to complete. While Amazon is working to break the Brand Registry status, your listings will either need to be pulled down completely or they will remain live with stale data on the marketplace.
The second option is to fully remove the products for 24 hours and relist the products in hopes that a new GCID is applied. It is important to understand that either way you go about the resolution, there will be factors at play that can greatly influence your performance on the platform.
So how do you judge whether Brand Registry makes sense for your brand?
The majority of issues that occur with Brand Registry are a result of frequent product data changes. If you have frequent product data changes on your key attributes, this likely isn’t the program for you.
Also, you will want to consider the size of your assortment that will be affected by the program. If your entire assortment falls under Brand Registry status, you’ll want to be extremely sure that the data you’re providing for your listings is the same data that will remain in place while the listings are live.
When deciding if this program is appropriate for your listings, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I have UPCs /GTINs for my listings?
- How important is it for my brand to control the content that is listed on the ASIN page?
- What percentage of my inventory will fall under brand registry?
- How often will my (key attribute) product data change?
- If I run into errors, can I afford to have down time on my listings to resolve the errors?
In summary, the Amazon Brand Registry provides manufacturers with powerful tools for assortment expansion and managing their brand identity more effectively on the Amazon marketplace. .
However, you need to ensure that participating in this program aligns with your ability to provide consistent and accurate product data both at the inception of your listing and consistently over time, across all your products. You will want to be confident that the potential top line revenue increase that can be attributed to this program will outweigh any setbacks that may occur.
Have more questions about Amazon Brand Registry and how it affects you as a seller? Reach out to our Marketplace specialists and we’ll help you right away!