When it comes to selling on Amazon, winning is becoming both more complicated and more important. Amazon has an unpredictable yet highly profitable ecosystem and if you are a small brand looking for big sales and long-term growth, now is the time to leverage the platform to build your brand.
The importance of having a strong brand is well-known in the ever-changing world of Amazon. If you want enduring success as an Amazon seller, branding, labeling, and trademarking are critical. Without branding, labeling, and trademarking, sellers would be infringing on each other’s products, cutting down the profit margin.
Branding and trademarking is the best way to shield yourself financially and legally.
However, it is not easy. Brands need more resources and time. If you ask sellers how they achieved the long-term success, they will likely tell you that making use of the correct keywords, optimizing the listings, and employing a listing professional helped them get on top. However, it was their brand that helped them stay there.
If you love shopping, then you must agree on one fact that “products don’t sell, but brands do.”
When customers form a relationship with your brand/products and connect emotionally and logically to what you are offering, they are bound to stay with you forever.
So, without wasting any time, let’s jump directly into our topic.
In this ultimate guide, we will tell you on how to effectively brand, label, and trademark your Amazon FBA product for generating long-term success on the world’s biggest marketplace.
What is a brand?
Simply putting, a brand is something that is defined by a customer’s general perception of a business.
For a brand to be successful, it has to be consistent in experience and communication across different facets:
- Website and online advertising
- Print, signage, and packaging
- Social media and content marketing
- Sales and customer service
You must understand that you can’t build a brand overnight or even in a month. It is a daunting process that requires thorough research. If you succeed, it will result in forming enduring relationships with your target audience.
This can ultimately lead to word-of-mouth referrals, a steady increase in sales and advocacy of your products.
Building a Brand
Use the following steps for how to create a strong brand.
#1 Determine your Target Audience
It is the very foundation for building your brand. You need to determine your brand’s potential buyers. It is extremely important to remember that your product will not sell to everyone. There is a potential base of buyers who will be interested in your products but not the entire population, so you need to focus on that.
When you are building a brand, you need to determine who exactly you are trying to reach – is it the college students, or gym goers, or the homemakers, adventure lovers, and more.
You need to figure out the lifestyle and specific behaviors of your target audience. Once you freeze an image of your potential customer base, you can try creating a brand identity that your audience can understand and relate to.
Understanding your potential customers for your products is an exercise that will influence all areas of the brand building process. You would want the right people using your products.
Moreover, it will also help support the overall digital brand and marketing strategies. So, this is ultimately an essential first step towards brand building.
#2 Establish a Mission Statement for your Brand
This may sound a little exaggerated given that yours is a small business. But believe us, it will help you create a value that your business provides to the customers.
You need to construct a clear communication of what your brand is most obsessive about. The purpose of the mission statement is to define your brand.
Everything from your tagline to the logo, message, voice, and personality need to be reflected in your mission statement.
You need to start small and only focus on your target audience. It will take time, but your brand loyalty will grow enough to expand your reach.
#3 Research Brands within your Niche
We recommend that you never follow the herd. However, it is extremely important to know where your competitors are doing well and where they are failing.
The purpose of this step is to differentiate from the competition. You need to convince your customers to buy from you instead of them.
Research the benchmark brands and your main competitors and evaluate how they have successfully and unsuccessfully gone about creating a brand name.
Brand names are only valid when they are easy for the customers to remember and recognize.
You can start by creating a competitor research spreadsheet.
It will be beneficial for comparison. You can use MS Excel or Google Sheets.
After that, you need to determine the answers to the following fundamental ques
- In what ways does the competitor market his/her Amazon business?
- Does the competitor have any social mentions about them or customer reviews you can read?
- What is the quality of the products the competitor is offering?
- Is the competitor frequent with visual identity and messaging across channels?
You need to select at least 4-5 competitors for creating a comparison chart. On the other hand, exploring the local businesses of your niche and aiming to benchmark against established brands is also beneficial.
#4 Outline the Key Benefits and Qualities that your Brand Offers
There are brands with more resources and bigger budgets to command their niche. So, you need to explore in depth what your product offer that no other product of the same niche is offering.
Remember, your product and its benefits belong solely to you.
You need to determine what makes your product stand out from others. What are its qualities and benefits that can make your Amazon product branding unique?
Think about providing value to your customers that can ultimately improve their lives. Here are a few examples:
- Saving time on a daily basis
- Offering a more reasonable option with reduced cost
- A better way to support productivity
- More transparent and authentic customer service
#5 Creating Tagline and Brand Logo
Visuals are the first thing that comes to everybody’s mind when thinking about brand building. This is also the step where you may require professional help for proper execution.
Creating a tagline and the brand logo is undoubtedly the most exciting process of brand building.
The logo will become the visual recognition of your promise to your customers; it will appear on everything that relates to your Amazon FBA business – becoming your identity and the calling card.
You may require hiring a professional who can help you with all the creative side. So be willing to invest the money and time to create something extraordinary to reinforce the visual identity of your Amazon FBA product.
The expertise of a professional will make sure that you get a timeless and unique mark for your Amazon FBA business. Moreover, the professional can establish the brand guidelines that will ensure the consistency for any future applications of the tagline and logo along with the color palette.
The following things will be included in a strong brand style guide:
- Brand name
- Web elements
- Image/photography style
- Fonts and typography
- Color palette
- Logo size and placement
Basic guidelines for branding and naming
To effectively promote your product on Amazon, you need to have a crisp yet a vivid description of your product.
- You need to have a name that expresses the nature of the product and services
- You need a brand name that makes sense locally but has the potential to be easily understood if the business extends elsewhere
- You need to make sure that the name you are using isn’t already in use or trademarked. To verify this, you can:
- Look into the yellow pages of your local telephone directory
- Call the necessary government agencies to see if identical names exist
- Look into the online database of applied-for and registered names
- Most importantly, you should not have a name that somewhat resembles an already established name in your local geographical area. This is because your customers may get confused when searching for a product and there is a possibility that the organization with a similar name may choose to sue you
#6 Form your Brand Voice
Your brand voice will depend on your industry, target audience, and the company mission. A brand voice is how you communicate with your audience and how they respond to you. A brand voice could be:
You would want to choose a brand voice that resounds with your customers and make some sense. If you are able to use the right brand voice, your chances of connecting with your customers increases.
This is especially important when you are publishing blogs or posting content on social media. Maintaining a consistent brand voice will help your brand become accepted on multiple channels.
#7 Creating a Powerful Brand Message
In this harried world, we are all over-messaged, bombarded with hundreds and thousands of messages every single day. Hence, it becomes difficult to make your business stand out.
The best way to overcome this aspect is to tell your audience who you are. To be
successful, your branding must be creatively distinctive. Use your brand voice, and your message should be associated with your brand, which can be easily conveyed in 1-2 sentences. That’s what it takes to:
- Deliver a clean and memorable message, and
- Capture the attention of your potential customer base
This part of brand development goes beyond the tagline and logo. This will require you to define the fundamental aspects like:
- Who you are
- What you offer
- Why people should care
A brand message is your opportunity to communicate with your target audience on a human level, making a direct emotional connection.
Your brand message should be laser-focused, and it should achieve-
- Image and branding
- Recognition, credibility, and trust
- Call to action
In a nutshell, a compelling brand message takes:
- Strategizing about what your company is
- Aligning your products with your company’s core values
- Creating an image and campaigning that is unique
- Incorporating all media into a memorable and compelling brand message
When creating a brand message, it is important to address why your product is essential to the customers and not what your product can do.
Read More About Amazon Selling:
- Ultimate Guide to Starting an Amazon FBA Business in 2019
- How to Develop and Create Winning Products for Amazon FBA
- Improving Existing Product Design To Increase Sales of Amazon Products
- Profitable Product Ideas & List of Products Which Has Decent Demand and Low Competition
What is a brand strategy?
Brand strategy is the “what, who, why, where, and how of branding.” A well-designed brand strategy will:
- Capture your brand’s personality
- Create a messaging that resonates with your company prospects
- Establish your brand’s competitive advantage
- Convert prospects’ interest into potential revenue
This was the branding part. You need to stay true to your brand building to be successful in your Amazon FBA business. Consistency is the key unless you decide to change your brand that seems more useful.
We advise you not always to change your branding, as it will confuse your target audience. This will make the process of long-term brand building even harder.
Now, we are moving onto the next phase – labeling, given that you have understood the basics of branding. The steps and points we mentioned in the above section are not only limited to branding Amazon FBA products. You can use the pointers to craft the branding for any business of any platform.
Everything you need to know about Labeling Amazon FBA Products
Whenever you manufacture a product, you would want to communicate the product’s value to your potential customer base. The best way to achieve this is through product labeling. Product labeling acts as the communication medium between the brand and the customers.
Product labeling incorporates all the necessary information printed on the product packaging. Moreover, labeling is essential for identification of the products on Amazon.
It improves the appearance of packaging for promoting the product. Hence, it is extremely important to create an effective label for your Amazon FBA product.
It will help you stand out from the competition, and the best part is, there are no set of rules on how to create product labels. You can choose from many different choices in the size, layout, colors, shape, and more. However, obeying the guidelines will undoubtedly lead to a well-crafted product label that will ultimately drive more sales.
So, let’s get started.
#1 Choose the right software for designing
This is the first step towards creating an awesome product label for your Amazon FBA product. You need to decide the best software you can use to carry out the process. This is a job for a professional and unless you know your way around tools like CorelDraw, Microsoft Publisher, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, Xara Designer Pro, PagePlus, etc. you should consult a professional.
Whichever tool you choose should have the capability to export or save your artwork as a PDF or EPS file. On the other hand, you may also want to convert all the fonts in the design to outlines. This is because, converting the fonts to outlines will save the texts in your artwork to vector images, ensuring the shape and appearance of the texts remain the same as when you see them on the computer screen. Adobe Illustrator is highly suggested for the creation of product label, but you can ask the professional about which tool he/she prefer.
Colors on your product label can directly influence your customer’s purchasing decisions. You need to consider certain factors when selecting the coloring code for your Amazon FBA product label. For starters, you can take into account the color of the product, container, and so on.
Speaking with experience, yellow and red colors are the ones that create an ‘urge’ in customers to make a purchase. So you can start with these colors. We are not saying that these colors are your best option; you are free to look around. With the help of tools like Adobe Kuler and ColorBelnder, you can make the right color choice for your product label. You need to choose the color keeping in mind that your product must stand out from the competitors.
#3 Full Color vs. Spot Color Printing
The next thing you need to consider after selecting the colors is how you want your product label to be printed; that is, full-color printed or spot color printed.
With full colors, it incorporates all the primary printing shades (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black). It is more complex, and all the main four colors are combined to create the final printed piece. This printing method is recommended when you are considering creating a color photo on your product label.
Spot color printing, on the other hand, is limited to using only 1, 2, or 3 single colors. That is, you may have red ink on the product label or blue and black ink, or you can choose blue, black, and red ink, and so on. It is the most cost-effective printing option.
Select fonts that make your product stand out from the competitors’ products. Don’t limit yourself to typical fonts like Calibri, Times New Roman, Arial, etc. Select a font that captures your product’s personality. For example, if your product is peanut butter, try a font that plays up to the salty and sweet aspect of the product.
The most important factor to remember when choosing a font is to determine whether your chosen font is easily readable when used in proper text format. Your font must be easy to read both from a distance and from up close.
#5 Product/Brand Name
You need to make sure that the name of your product and your brand name must be featured prominently on the label design. It should be the first thing that a customer must notice so place it intelligently on the label. Moreover, you need to remain consistent with the appearance and look of the brand, as it will allow the customers to identify your product quickly.
#6 Label Material
Before you even begin the design process, you must first consider the material on which you want to print the label design. The standard label materials include silver, gold, cream-colored, white, or even clear foil. A white foil material can help your label design stand out while preferring a clear label material will allow you to customize your packaging. Only choose gold or silver foil material when your product is extraordinary and can use some bling.
Photographs and drawings can go a long way in drawing customer attention to your product. We are assuming that you don’t have your own product photos. If you want to make it unique, you can conduct a photoshoot else, sites like Bigstock, iStockphoto, and others can provide you with highly professional, inexpensive stock photos of your product.
#8 Bleed or No Bleed
No bleed means that your product label boasts white border around the artwork, whereas bleed means there is no border and the artwork essentially flows off the edges of the label. It is entirely your choice on what pattern you want to go with. Make sure that whatever you choose is visually appealing.
#9 Label Size
The size of your product label will entirely depend on the packaging or the container. You are also provided with the option of choosing multiple labels or single label for your Amazon FBA product. You can have the labels on both the front and back of the container or only on the front. It will depend on the design of the container or packaging.
The sellers mostly prefer front and back labels as it allows them to separate the design and branding. The front label can feature the branding and the product name while the back label can feature the ingredients used, your address, contact information, and more.
It is the most critical portion of the product label as it shows the electronic scanners information about your product. Universal Product Code (UPC) barcodes are also used by sellers to add security to their products.
#11 Label Finish
It is another thing that you need to consider as the label finish can impact the visual appeal of your product. Matte or glossy finishes are the most preferred choices. Moreover, the label finish also adds longevity to the product labels. So you can choose the label finish according to your product type and where it will be stored.
So, there you have it. We have covered the basics of creating effective labeling for your Amazon FBA product. This information will help you when you are designing the label for your product.
Read More About Amazon Selling:
- What to Sell on Amazon: 5 Amazon FBA Product Ideas for 2019
- How to Skyrocket Amazon FBA sales Using YouTube Marketing
Now that you have understood branding and labeling of your Amazon FBA product, we will jump into the trademarking section.
Trademarking your brand and product will protect them against knockoffs on Amazon. You can avail the benefits of the new Amazon Brand Registry Program that is designed to protect brands from counterfeiting and infringement.
Moreover, it also provides an aid against customer confusion by securing your brand in the Amazon search results.
Before Amazon Brand Registry, sellers could easily source similar-looking or counterfeit items by piggybacking on the brand’s listing. This led to the consumers receiving low-quality, similar-looking, fake items instead of the originals.
Buyers are not aware of the authenticity of the product they purchased from Amazon until they make a warranty claim.
This can harm the legitimacy, and the goodwill of authentic brands and Amazon may suspend their accounts.
So, availing the Brand Registry Program from Amazon is beneficial. However, this program is only available to those sellers who have registered their brand for a trademark.
All you need to do is file for an application for a trademark with the USPTO (the United States Patent and Trademark Office) for obtaining a registered trademark for your brand.
There are additional benefits of registered trademark beyond just allowing you to avail the services of the Amazon Brand Registry Program. The advantages of registered trademark include the ability to:
- Bring a federal trademark infringement lawsuit
- Claim up to $200,000 in statutory damages for trademark infringement
- Use the ® symbol letting other sellers know your trademark rights
- Obtain costs, injunctive relief, and attorney’s fees
Moreover, registered trademarks are your most valuable asset as it indicates and guards the goodwill that you have created.
Once you have filed for the trademark application, the examining attorney at the USPTO will review the application in order to determine whether the application contains any substantive or procedural deficiencies. If your application passes through the examining attorney, it will proceed to registration.
However, if there are any issues with your trademark application that the examining attorney finds non-compromising, your application will be rejected upfront. If this happens, you can hire an attorney who will help you draft a brief in support of your registration.
If the examining attorney accepts the arguments made by your attorney, your application for trademark will proceed to registration.
It will take at least 6-10 months to get your application pass. And once you have obtained the trademark for your brand, you can register for Amazon Brand Registry Program.
The Amazon Brand Registry accommodates all those sellers who sell their own branded products or manufacture their own branded products.
By registering for a trademark, you will be the sole owner of that particular that particular brand, and, you can have the sole ownership of the Buy Box.
Consider International Trademark Filings
You need to understand that your trademark rights are only ‘territorial.’ This means that your trademark right will only give protection against infringement and counterfeits in the United States. If you are selling your products overseas, you need to broaden the spectrum of your trademark rights.
Moreover, it even makes sense to safeguard your branding in the manufacturing country. This is because the foreign governments, sometimes, may cease products that are being produced in their country for the defilement of a local trademark – doesn’t matter if that product is not even meant for that marketplace.
You need to understand that international trademark filings are a lot expensive as compared to your territorial trademark registration and it is time-consuming as well. However, utilizing the international protocols and treaties can save you both your money and time when shielding your brand overseas.
You need to apply early and consider slogans, product lines, or other trademarks that are in the works to remain ahead of the game. This will help you reduce the wait time, and the chances of someone else using the same trademark will also diminish.
Amazon has strict laws against sellers who sell counterfeit items. If a seller on Amazon attempts to hijack your listing or Buy Box, all you need to do is report this incident to Amazon to have that item removed. This is only possible if you are a registered seller.
Amazon promises to deal with the counterfeit claim made by the registered seller within four hours. As a certified seller, you will not be required to perform ‘test buy’ before submitting the application for counterfeiting. The seller, who is selling the counterfeit item, has to provide the proof in order to save him/her from Amazon suspending his/her account.
Overall, signing up with Amazon Brand Registry will help Amazon FBA sellers who sell their branded products to keep their brand and products protected against infringement. Registering for a trademark is the first step towards protecting your brand. We recommend you consult a professional attorney who has experience with trademark registration, as he/she can guide you to take advantage of the new Amazon Brand Registry Program.
If you are an Amazon seller looking to make high profits by selling products, you need to understand the importance of branding. The competition on Amazon is becoming cut-throat and to give a healthy competition; you need to think outside the box. Branding is the best way to stand out from the competition. It will give your product an opportunity of being recognized in the industry where are plenty of same niche products.