Steps You Can Take to Avoid MAP Violators: Brand Enforcement
Protecting your Brand on Amazon requires some steps, including brand enforcement. It is one of the strategies a brand can use to protect itself from counterfeit products, MAP violation, trademark infringement, and other challenges and other challenges.
There are several ways you can protect yourself as a brand from possible attacks on Amazon (see how to protect brand on Amazon). Amazon went ahead of Walmart to be one of the world's largest retailers. Every brand wants to be on Amazon because of its popularity and success.
However, to survive as a brand on Amazon, you have to know how to protect your products. You will have to deliver value and be consistent to thrive on amazon and be a sought-after brand.
Value and consistency are not negotiable when it comes to thriving as a brand. The products should satisfy your customers all the time. Users should be able to trust in your brand and place orders without thinking twice. You must remain original and authentic and maintain a good reputation.
However, there are some threats to a brand's originality and authenticity. Two of the most vicious threats to brands' expansion and success are counterfeiters and MAP violators. You should be able to monitor your brand on Amazon to overcome this challenge.
Why Must Retailers Police their Brands on the Amazon Marketplace?
There are several reasons why retailers must police their brands on the Amazon marketplace, including that counterfeit products, are pervasive on Amazon. There are several counterfeit products on Amazon.
These products can overshadow your genuine products and tarnish your reputation as a brand. Even if you have original products, your products can be mixed up with counterfeit products due to Amazon commingling.
Amazon pools inventories together so yours can mix up with other sellers on the Amazon fulfilment center. So, if somebody places an order for a product, even if the product is genuine from you, the person might be shipped a counterfeit product.
It leads to poor consumer experience and will make consumers lose faith in that particular brand. This problem is one reason why a brand's reputation and performance in the market are threatened.
If such a customer reviews that product on Amazon, it will reflect their poor experiences and not the efficiency of the genuine product. According to Walker, "poor consumer experience leads to poor Amazon review - Amazon reviews avenue consumer report." A single poor review can go a long way in impacting your reputation as a brand with genuine products.
Amazon does not take responsibility for fishing out counterfeit products. It is a brand's responsibility to know the counterfeit replica of their products and report them to Amazon. One way to do that is to buy counterfeit products and test them.
Amazon will remove the seller from the platform if the brand is counterfeit and refund the purchase price because Amazon commingles inventories; only they know who provided the product.
Eliminating counterfeit products is essential for the growth of genuine products and brands. You have to be familiar with Amazon's legal department to get counterfeit products and give room for your products to thrive.
MAP Violation: Failure to Control Distribution and Retailers Sellers
Premier projects should have a MAP policy that retailers must abide by. If the manufacturers of the products use distribution, distribution should be limited, and each distributor should provide evidence of agreement with a retailer who sells that product.
In addition to agreeing with the retailer, the brand should ensure that the retailers adhere to the MAP. They should also ensure that the retailer does not share the same product on Amazon or other platforms to avoid competition.
The issue with MAP and restricting retailers from selling on Amazon is that Amazon does not enforce MAP. Therefore, retailers can register under a different name and sell the same product as competitors to the brands.
The solution to this situation is for brands to serialize their products. They will buy a product to test if it is theirs and trace it to the original purchaser. Then they can take the appropriate steps to remedy the situation.
Three Reasons Why Brands Must Enforce MAP
- To retain premier status among other brands
MAP will enable a brand to retain its premier status and price instead of selling at discounts to survive the market.
- To maintain equity among retailers
If MAP is not maintained, retailers who follow the MAP policy will feel cheated and develop ill feelings.
- To remain in Big-Box retailers
Retailers who comply with the MAP policy will lose their spots as big-box retailers to those who do not. So for brands to keep selling to big-box retailers, they have to maintain the MAP policy.
Tips on Brand Enforcement
According to Walker, some companies specialize in MAP enforcement using the software. This software can scan the web daily to fish out offenders.
Also, companies like ThornCrest specialize in brand protection through various programs. They perform test buys and attack counterfeit producers in China.
To successfully money to your brand, you have to:
- Thoroughly review all distribution and retail agreement
- Constantly monitor the web for violators; if possible, do it daily.
There are several ways to monitor MAP as a brand, including:
- Monitoring the web
- Serializing your products
- Buying and testing products
- Reviewing your contract
- Intellectual property registration
In addition to creating a MAP policy, you should adequately enforce it. Be careful of retailers you authorize to sell your product. If a retailer approaches you to be a reseller of your products, it is advisable to check their store on Google map.
If their location has pictures of a street or a warehouse, it shows that they're just online resellers. It is not advisable to authorize such resellers.
What are the Common Hindrances to Brand Enforcement?
One common hindrance to brand enforcement is the inability to continue the enforcement program. Sometimes this is due to a clear-cut designation of responsibility. The departments within a manufacturing firm may not want to take responsibility for protection programs.
It ought not to be an issue, but the manufacturers should clearly state each department's responsibility. If the sales, legal, or marketing department handles the Protection program, it should be clearly stated in their job descriptions.
Brands should not just narrow down their counterfeit tracking to Amazon alone. They should target other B2B areas like alibaba.com, dhgate.com, and others. The same attention should be given to all these platforms. If they broaden their reach, the number of counterfeit products on Amazon will be fewer.
Final Takeaway on Brand Enforcement
In protecting a brand, the manufacturers must be ready to try several options rather than restricting themselves to one. Strategies like restricting distribution, serializing the products, test buying, and monitoring counterfeits on several platforms will keep a brand safe.
Campaigns and other efforts to keep the brand safe will portray it in good light before the buyers and help maintain its reputation. Legally enforcing a brand's trademark is also essential to keeping it safe.
Don't Have the Time to Do It Yourself?
Let us Take Care of Your Monitoring & Enforcement
The first step in removing unauthorized sellers is spotting them on your listings and that is exactly what the Brand Alignment Monitoring Dashboard will do for you. With price updates every 3 hours and inventory totals for every seller on every listing, you will get the most complete picture possible of your brand on every major online marketplace.
Of course, the most important step in removing unauthorized sellers is prevention and enforcement. This is where Brand Alignment is leagues above the competition when it comes to map policy enforcement software.
- 1Clear over 80% of unauthorized sellers: Brand Alignment will make a custom strategy for your brand reputation to ensure the highest rates of removal
- 2Control Your Authorized Channels: Daily emails informing you of authorized channel violations and price cascading events
- 3Risk-Free Guarantee: Brand Alignment is so confident in their removal rates, that we will create a custom guarantee for every brand. We will remove x% of sellers or you have the option to terminate the contract early
100% Satisfaction Guaranteed
Free Marketplace Evaluation
Will Enforcement Solutions Work for My Brand?
In short, the answer is Yes.
We have had our 80%-90%+ enforcement rates in every single industry we have worked in. That includes the following:
- Consumer Electronics
- Apparel and Shoes
- Health & Beauty
- Sports & Outdoors
- Mobile Phone Accessories
- And More
As you are already aware, each industry has their own bells and whistles. Please contact us if you have any specific questions about enforcement in your industry.
Are There Any Risks Involved With Enforcement?
Brand Alignment gives the brand the option of using their own personal cease & desist letters or the option to customize Brand Alignment's proven high performance Cease & Desist letters. These letters were crafted by Intellectual Property lawyers with a full focus on minimizing liability.
Any infringement complaints filed by Brand Alignment are done with the utmost care and transparency. We do not file counterfeit complaints without test buys and approval from the brand. Our trademark complaints are done with caution and all bases covered.
Finally, in this world, anybody can sue anybody for anything. But it does not mean it will stand up in court. There is nothing we can do to prevent frivolous lawsuits from disgruntled sellers. However, we do everything we can to prepare you to have any case against you quickly dismissed. After two years in business, we are proud to say that neither us or any of our brands have had any legal issues of any kind related to our service.
Brand Alignment vs The Competition
If you are new to shopping for a brand protection provider, it might be confusing to tell the difference between companies. It might sound like everybody offers the same type of monitoring and enforcement. This could not be further from the truth.
How Much Money Are You Losing By NOT Switching to Brand Alignment?
How Much Money In Sales Are You Losing Each Year Due to a Lack of Quality Brand Protection?
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Free Marketplace Evaluation
100% Satisfaction Guarantee
You are fully protected by our "Brand Alignment Enforcement Guarantee". If we don't reach the custom benchmarks that we agree upon during negotiation, we will give you the option to terminate the contract and you will not be charged any further.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Does It Take to Get Started?
Our on-boarding period takes between 1-2 weeks depending on the amount of custom work required.
I Have More of a Counterfeit Problem Than a Grey Market Problem. Can You Help?
Currently, our specialty is grey market sales. If you are dealing primarily with counterfeits or knockoffs, we recommend speaking to a IP Takedown service instead. If you are interested in both, our services compliment IP Takedown software very well.
Do You Work With Third Party Vendors or Only Directly With Brands?
In the past we worked with 3rd party vendors, however due to liability concerns we now only work directly with brands. We do offer a referral commission so please feel free to contact us if a brand you work with needs help with brand protection.
What Are Your Enforcement Rates on Other Marketplaces Besides Amazon?
We do not offer removal guarantees for other marketplaces, however it is not uncommon to see removal rates on Walmart or Rakuten in the range of 50%-90%
My Grey Market Problem Extends Outside the USA. What Can You Offer?
We LOVE investigating international grey market trade. Contact us about the countries you would like to monitor and enforce, and we will be glad to help.
I Had a Bad Experience With My Last Brand Protection Provider, Why Will You Be Any Different?
We understand your concerns. We are aware of many unhappy brands who have worked in the past with our competitors.
We can talk all day about how we are different, but instead we would like to show you with our Brand Alignment Enforcement Guarantee. Contact us to learn more.
P.S.: Due to the constant changing nature of online marketplaces, our Enforcement Guarantee is a limited time offer.
Please contact us now to ensure you are locked in with your guarantee.
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