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How difficult was it to register my brand on Amazon?

Nekodamari Kobo's products are also sold on Amazon. From a consumer's perspective, Amazon is a convenient and easy-to-use shopping site, but from the seller's perspective, the rules are quite complicated.

By chance, I checked the product page on Amazon and was thankfully surprised to see that it had a total of 333 reviews. ⇒Product page

Looking back at screenshots from around May 2021, there were five reviews.

It has grown by about 60 times in three years. In fact, we have also experienced being ranked number one in our category.

I have started to use various content, tools, and systems related to Amazon, so this time I will write a short story about the difficulties I faced with Amazon Brand Registration.

It was so difficult that I would never want to do it again, and I think it would have been easier if I had taken some measures at an early stage... I'll write about my reflections and some points to be careful about.

I hope this article will be of use to manufacturers and those who are considering using Amazon to sell their products. This is just my personal opinion, but if you are thinking of using Amazon in the future, I recommend that you start with Amazon.

In particular, if your product is handled by an agent distributor, retailer, or wholesaler, you may not be able to get started if you put it off.

What is Amazon Brand Registry?

To put it simply, this is a preferential treatment from Amazon that requires trademark rights.

Since the standard is trademark rights, the manufacturer is usually the standard. Basically, registration is voluntary, so there are many cases where company A has registered but company B has not.

However, most companies that make full use of Amazon are probably already registered.

What can you do with Brand Registration?

Amazon is a product-first shopping site. Therefore, images and descriptions can only be arranged and displayed in a regular, predetermined way.

Other shopping sites are able to make themselves attractive to users by creating detailed explanations and communication methods like a homepage, but Amazon is largely unable to do this.

To take it in extreme terms, our stance is that if the same product is being sold, it doesn't matter who is selling it.

The only thing that differentiates you is the "product" and the "price". As an aside, if you don't take any precautions, anyone can list a product, even if it is a resale product. As a consumer, there are rare occasions when you find yourself saying, "I thought I was buying a product from Company A, but I received a tattered product!"

Returning to the main topic, since Amazon is based on the "product", a good Amazon product page is one that conveys the appeal, function, and value of the product. However, since you can only arrange and display your products in a set way, there is simply not enough usable space.

Meanwhile, by registering with Amazon Brand Registration, you can link it to your product page and expand the space available for descriptions.

First, on the product pages of manufacturers who use Brand Registration, the phrase "View 'Brand Name' Store" will appear under the product title.

This store function is like a homepage that Amazon gives to trademark owners. There are various rules, but you can introduce your own products, write descriptions, introduce videos and concepts, etc.

If you have not registered your brand, clicking this will take you to a screen where you can search by "brand name." Since it is a brand name, your own products will be displayed, but since it is actually a search screen, products from companies A, B, and C are lined up, and company D, which is also advertising, will also be in the middle.

Manufacturers who think, "Now that you've taken the time to look at our product page, we'd like to tell you about our other products and concepts!" create and develop store pages.

We haven't been able to make much use of it at Nekodamari Kobo yet...we have to get some more use out of it...

The actual display screen looks like this. You can introduce various categories, so you can introduce beeswax wax and pickups together.

You can also see this by scrolling down the product page, but if you use an extension called A+, which can be used after registering with Amazon Brand Registration, you will be able to provide explanations and introductions in the header and large images.

By the way, if you have not registered your brand, only the text description you entered will be displayed. This may be enough to convey information, but there is no reason not to use a means to convey the atmosphere to users.

That is the reason why I mentioned earlier that companies that make full use of Amazon almost always use it. In fact, I think that more than 80% of products that have a high number of reviews and positive reviews on Amazon, or that are consistently ranked on Amazon, use it.

There are various formats for the extension, and you can add a comparison introduction like this. When there are many products of different sizes and types, it is a function that makes it easy for consumers to choose and refer to.
Due to the nature of Amazon, the main focus is on products, not brands or manufacturers. For example, if you are looking for "A's guitars," "A's basses" may not appear unless you search for them.
If you were able to create your own homepage or introduction page, you would make an effort to highlight Company A's "guitars" and "basses," but on Amazon, guitars from Company B and Company C are recommended, so your valuable products end up getting buried.
Not only that, but existing product pages provide almost no opportunity to communicate "What kind of products are you making?" or "What is the concept behind your products?" Directing customers to your own website or advertising something unrelated to the product is a violation of the terms of use.
By registering with Amazon Brand Registry, you can use convenient tools that allow you to communicate such worldviews and values ​​"almost free."
There are also advanced features available only to manufacturers who are experts at using it, such as the ability to customize layouts and incorporate videos.
If you can watch the video in A+ content, it might be interesting to take a look at the product page for some trivia information from the perspective of a manufacturer that is quite adept at using Amazon.
Other features include more complex ones such as a protection function that automatically deletes product pages suspected of being counterfeit or fraudulent listings, an advertising function that can only be used by Amazon Brand Registry owners, and a global system that requires brand registration.
I plan to write about that in my notes on another occasion.

A difficult story [Amazon trap 1: Brand name = Trademark application notation]

Up until now, you might be wondering, "If I can use Amazon Brand Registry, why not?" In fact, if you do some research, you will find plenty of information on the above, and the Nekodamari Kobo logo was also an international trademark, so all that was left for me to do was to register it.
I immediately started applying, and although the registration process itself wasn't that difficult, I quickly encountered some points that made me wish I'd told them earlier.
The brand name that can be registered with Amazon is "only the name used when applying for the product." Uppercase and lowercase letters are recognized as separate characters.
In the case of Nekodamari Kobo, in order to register it as an international trademark, we did not register it as "Nekodamari Kobo" in Japanese, but rather applied and registered it in English as "nekodamari. work". Look closely. It's in full-width.
At first, I applied for the name "Nekodamari Kobo" in Japanese because it was the same logo, but it was rejected because it "did not match the spelling on the application."
I thought maybe the nickname was no good after all, so when I applied again, I tried to use half-width characters like "" on Amazon because full-width characters sounded drawn-out. It was rejected again.
The reason for rejection was that the wording did not match the wording used in the application. I was thinking, "It's the same string... I didn't even change it...", but if that's the rule, there's nothing I can do about it.
I applied again using full-width characters and it was approved successfully, but the results were in full-width characters.
The reason is that the system recognizes them as different products, but this is a surprisingly troublesome specification. For example, if you register the wrong product due to a variation in the way it is written, it will be recognized as a different product and you will not be able to receive the benefits of brand registration.
Examples of variations in spelling include "wood," "wood," "wood," "WOOD," "WOOD," and "WOOD"...these are all considered to be different things.
If you sell on Amazon first and then want to register your brand later, and the name variation does not match the name of the trademark you have acquired, you may have to re-register your trademark. This is the first trap that makes you think, "They should have told me first."

A difficult story [Amazon Trap 2 Editing authority]

Now that we have successfully registered our brand, let's try editing the product page for a product that is already on sale...but we can't.

This is something that makes you want to say "You should have told me before," but Amazon is the one that decides whether to change the product page or not. Therefore, editing requires a request to Amazon for permission.

So, does that mean all applications are approved? No. There seems to be a priority system, so I'm not sure exactly how it works, but here's an idea for reference.

Brand owner who registered the brand > Seller who first created a page > Seller with a high sales record > Others

The order of priority is as follows. In other words, you can either create your own Amazon product page first, or register your brand and have editing rights. If you can't do either of these, you won't be able to steer your product page.

For example, you may not be able to make changes even if you say, "The photo on the old package is old, so I want to replace it," "The specifications have changed, so I want to edit the description," or "It's not apple flavor, it's orange flavor..."

Even if you are lucky enough to make the correction, it may be rewritten to content sent by a user with more authority.

The only fundamental solution is for your company to register its brand and have authority over its own products.

You need to be especially careful when registering a brand for a product that is already being sold on Amazon. Brand name changes are quite strict, probably as a measure against impersonation.

Therefore, as mentioned above, if the name is inaccurate and does not match the brand name, you might think, "Just correct it," but it is quite difficult. This is because the brand name registered on the product must match the registered brand name exactly, and you must have the authority as the brand owner.

Ideally, you should create and operate your own product page before the product is released.

And the worst and most difficult scenario is when another company has created the product page and it already has a certain number of reviews.

If you're smart, you might notice from the screenshot from three years ago that the brand name of Nekodamari Kobo is different from what it is now. This is the next trap point.

A difficult story [Amazon Trap 3: The trap of non-branded products]

When browsing Amazon, you may sometimes see "No Brand" in the brand name column. This is a miscellaneous category that is assigned when you apply for listing an item as "not a particular branded product."

I mentioned earlier that in the worst case scenario, if the name is inconsistent, we can re-register the trademark, but the exception to this is "no-brand" products, which we cannot do anything about. It was really difficult...

The reason is that the owner of the category "No Brand" is theoretically Amazon. Since Amazon is the owner, it is as if the rules for "No Brand" are "No need to change, no need to change."

As mentioned earlier, if the item is listed under the brand name "Wood", you can register as the owner by presenting your brand registration and trademark rights for "Wood".

This method cannot be used for "generic products." The basic principle of Amazon's official response and the answers to many people's questions is that "generic products cannot be changed," "give up even if they have a number of reviews," and "you can delete them."

Nekodamari Kobo's Clear Beeswax wax fell into this worst case scenario. Some musical instrument store registered it for me, and I applied for it as a "no-brand product" because I didn't know what it was. When I noticed, the number of reviews was about 250, even before the switchover was successful.

These are comments written by each individual person, so I don't think they should be easily deleted.

If you have the opportunity to sell items, we recommend that you avoid "no-brand items" when registering.

There are two official answers to choose from:

- Giving up the benefits of brand registration and continuing to use the product as a generic product.

・Delete the generic product and create a new product page. In that case, the number of reviews will be 0 and the sales record will also be 0.

I had no other options but these were heartbreaking, so I tried really hard to find something I could do, and I did.

However, there is no guarantee that it will be reproducible, and it was so difficult that even if I was asked to do the same thing again, I would probably refuse, so I think the best thing to do is to avoid getting into the same situation again.

If you are considering selling or listing on Amazon, please use this as a reference.

A difficult story [Amazon Trap 4: Battle with technical support]

So, what did I do to turn a "no-brand item" into ""? I sent dozens of emails to Amazon's technical support every day for about three months, persisting until they responded.

I knew I couldn't be stubborn or selfish, but when I read the terms and conditions, I felt there was room for correction. I emphasized that the terms and conditions state that corrections can be made to "contents that were registered by accident or incorrect operation," and decided to make a logical correction based on the process of "making corrections as a request or demand as a rights holder."

Specifically, we first prove that the product was a "branded product from the moment it was registered on Amazon" by using the information registered by a third-party retailer, proof of ownership of the JAN code, proof of ownership of the trademark, and consistency with the release date.

In other words, the process is as follows: "Although the product was originally a branded product and required a brand name to be registered, it was mistakenly registered as a non-branded product by a third party. Therefore, it meets the requirements of the regulations that allow for amendments and corrections."

I think it would be impossible to simply say, "Please change the 'no-branded product' to our brand name!" That's how troublesome 'no-branded products' are...

As evidence, we prepared and sent detailed information such as international trademark rights, the date of acquisition of the JAN code, and the date of release registration, and conducted the negotiations while doing so...

This is where the Amazon technical support system trap begins...

In Amazon's technical support, each inquiry is handled as a separate case. Since there are probably a huge number of cases, the system is set up so that you wait for a response from an automatically assigned person.

In other words, the answers vary depending on the person in charge. And the moment you reply, the person in charge changes.

The image is something like this.

Neko: "If I read and understand the terms and conditions here, I think I can change the brand name..."

Person A: "According to the terms and conditions, that's not possible. This concludes the case."

B: "According to the terms and conditions, this is not possible . This concludes the case. "

C: "Could you please submit additional documents so we can investigate?"

Cat: "I'm going to show you these documents. Please make any changes you like."

D: "It's not possible according to the terms of the agreement . This concludes the case. "

Neko: "Mr. C asked me to submit documents for the investigation into the XX case earlier... Could you please investigate it?"

Mr. E: "No-brand items cannot be changed . This concludes the case. "

Cat: "That investigation..."

Mr. F: "According to the terms and conditions, this is not possible . This concludes the case. "

Neko: "Um... Could you please ask C-san to take charge?"

The following is endless.

I don't know if they have the authority to respond like this, but I kept sending emails with a "don't give up" mentality until I found someone who could help me. In the end, I sent emails so often that I received a warning from Amazon headquarters that I was being treated as spam, and I was able to finish the correction just in time. It was tiring.

And there are some traps that, if you follow the instructions, will cause problems later.

for example,

Neko: "What should I do if I can't change the brand name?"

Amazon: "Create a new product page with your registered brand name and merge it with your existing page."

Neko: "I've created it. How do I integrate it with an existing page?"

Amazon: "No , we are closing the case. "

Neko: "Eh? In that case, the product pages would be duplicated, which would violate the terms of use, wouldn't it?"

Amazon: "This is a violation of our terms and conditions. Please delete one of them."


Neko: "I'd like to somehow integrate the new product page with the existing page."

Amazon: "There is an error with the JAN code for this information, so we will remove the JAN code from the existing page."

Neko: "I have had the deletion handled, but could you please merge it?"

Amazon: "Since the JAN code has been deleted, the conditions for integration are not met . This concludes the case. "

Cat: "Huh?"


After much back and forth, we were successful in changing the brand name from "No Brand" while maintaining the number of reviews, and we were also successful in changing the brand name of another product registered under "Nekodamari Kobo."

By the way, even if your reviews disappear as a result of your operation, Amazon will respond by saying that it is "by design." Even if various problems or errors occur, it is almost by design. Let's tackle it well.

The result is A+ content and the use of store pages. There are many different types of products on this product page, but this setting cannot be done unless the brand name matches.

If you are thinking of using Amazon, we recommend that you start making decisions that utilize trademark rights as early as possible.

Advice to my past self: How to use Amazon, reflections, and points to note

In the case of Nekodamari Kobo, we were lucky enough to successfully change it from a generic product, but the official answer is that it is not possible to change it, so it is highly unlikely that it will be possible to do so with a different product.

However, even in the case of non-branded products, if you notice it early, you can create a new product before reviews are posted, and the damage of deleting it will be minimal. If you create the product page properly in-house, it will not be a big problem.

Things got complicated because I left it as a no-brand item and put it off.

If you are selling or making products, I recommend that you at least register with Amazon even if you don't use it. In my opinion, it is as important as opening a social media account.

If incorrect product information is posted due to lack of editing authority, the manufacturer will be held responsible. The manufacturer cannot take responsibility for retailers or people who registered by mistake.

If you think about the possibility of things becoming unmanageable and causing major trouble, I recommend that you take the time to consciously register with Amazon beforehand, as this can be avoided.

The common thread through all the difficult points this time was, "You should have told me earlier." If I knew there would be disadvantages in putting it off, I would take preventative measures and make it a priority.

Unfortunately, Nekodamari Kobo was not able to find out about this in advance. As a result, we had to go through a lot of trouble, but we hope that it will be worth it if it makes readers think, "Oh, so that's how it is."

From a consumer's perspective, "Amazon" has a great influence when it comes to product evaluations. Because it is a product-first operation, it is also true that reviews and other evaluations are one way of expressing product and brand value.

Because trademark rights are involved, it should have been the manufacturers who took the lead in making the arrangements, but the fact is that the management policy was to leave it to the retailers, which was also the reason for the delayed response.

Frankly, my only regret is that I was not very good at discerning what I could leave to others and what I needed to put my effort into. These were things that could have been fixed at an earlier stage.

After reflecting on my actions and trying various things, I've now started operating a system that is a little more difficult than brand registration, so I'll write about it in my notes on another occasion.

Thank you very much for reading this long article. I hope it will be of some help to you.

Nekodamari Kobo Co., Ltd.

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