Do you have a brand that you have invested so much time and effort in? Are you worried about how you are going to protect it? If you are reading this article then chances are that you answered yes to both questions. It is difficult to convey to non-entrepreneurs just how difficult it is to maintain a brand, let alone to build it. You start by creating a product that serves a particular niche. You ensure that the quality of the product never dips. And you study the market to find out which promotions are most likely to catch the attention of your customer base. And that is just the initial stage. Afterwards comes the hard part. You have to make sure that your product not only stands out but you have to ward off other people from trying to make money off of your hard work. From here on out, it will be a bloodbath and you only have your instincts and experience to rely on. Or so you thought until the introduction of Amazon Brand Protection services.
Every seasoned entrepreneur knows the value in content and marketing. It is a valuable investment that is integral in differentiating your product from the rest of your competitors. However, in the online market, you will be faced with a new challenge. And that is the intraband competition.
Amazon Brand Protection against Intraband Competition
Basically, intraband competition is a threat to your brand. This threat is unique to the online marketplace. And, of course, it involves the greatest online marketplace of all: Amazon. The online behemoth lets sellers battle amongst themselves on a virtual shelf. As with the shelves in a normal brick and mortar shop, the virtual shelves are basically where products are being placed. But that is where the comparisons end. The products placed on a virtual shelf can encompass products coming from multiple sellers and includes other product information like product reviews along with it. Here, competitors are pitted against each other in the eyes of the online shopper.
Pricing in the online marketplace can get tricky. Customers have to choose a brand from a generic product. And then, they have to choose a specific seller. While you can argue that this is for the best interest of the customer, chaos will ensue if there are illicit vendors in the mix. This problem is amplified because of the customer’s power to view all product offerings of a certain generic item. Should the customer choose to do so, he or she may sort all of the items by price and choose the one that comes up on top regardless of which seller it is. This is a normal consumer response and this is what unauthorized sellers and counterfeiters are trying to take advantage of.
Necessity of Amazon Brand Protection
There are a lot of negative impacts to your brand if counterfeits start to erode it. The most obvious of which is the loss of trust to you as a seller from two important parties to your business – your suppliers and your customers. From a supplier standpoint, a seller that has had their products diluted with counterfeits will become a liability. It is assumed that counterfeits will be of lesser quality than that of the original. Because counterfeit sellers normally will not care about the brand as it is not their own, they will not make an effort to protect it by ensuring quality. Suppliers can easily spot diluted brands by simply reading the reviews of your products as a seller. Customers on the other hand, may reject your brand altogether if they buy it from a counterfeit seller. It can take just one poor quality item to make a customer lose trust in your brand.
Brand dilution is what happens when too many counterfeits of your brand are already in the market. This means that customers looking to buy your product will have a significant chance of buying a counterfeit regardless if they were looking for a bargain or not. The negative reviews, despite being on the counterfeit seller’s product entry can still affect your own as customers tend to get opinions from multiple sources.
Finally, intraband can harm your profit and sales margins. Of course, businesses will normally lose money while in operation. However, the danger that counterfeits pose goes beyond that. When your brand dilution has advanced too far, your business as a whole may be affected to the point that you have to give up your brand. Far too often do businesses end up reimaging themselves after counterfeits have taken hold of their product’s brand.
Getting Started with Amazon Brand Protection
Growing your brand’s presence on the Amazon platform is no easy task. You have to get serious about it and market your product like never before. And, more importantly, you want the quality of your product to be as good as possible. What you need to do is to make sure that your customers will get the same quality that they would get if they, instead, bought the product from a big box store or a brick and mortar store.
Think of your profit as a function of your brand reputation. The more reputable your brand is, the more chances of you raking in the lion’s share of profits. You want to get ahead of your competitors but you cannot ignore the lurking danger that intrabands pose. In the short term, you can start slow by ensuring that you have the necessary tools to fight the big fight once it arrives. What this means is to have your products trademarked and registered. And if you feel like your product deserves a patent, and that you can afford it, it won’t hurt to get that extra protection. If the patent is successful and is good enough, you can start earning royalties from it. And, it will be a big weapon on your side once the intrabands come. If online marketing meant one thing, it is to ensure that your products maintain a satisfactory review grade.
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