Is a registered trademark a must for an Amazon entrepreneur?
In this post I will try to explain you the actual importance of having your trademark thoroughly thought-through and registered. I decided that the best example is an example from real life, so I will remove companies’ names, but leave details.
Why you need your trademark be created and registered?
Amazon is a platform where many sellers buy products from the same suppliers. Those who know disadvantages of the products of their competitors usually try to improve their product to solve the problem. This is very important for any seller, who wants to be successful and increase their BSR. The customer usually knows that maybe some of sellers sell the same product. It is more obvious, when the product is not labeled. But when you have created your trademark you make a statement «I am different from all those no-name products. This is my name and I assure you that this product is better».
Well built brand generates sales
Real life story:
We had a client who wanted to produce his own camera stabilizer (gimbal). He is a videographer and at that point of time he had a strong understanding that such type of products will become popular soon. He was right. We were helping him to obtain a license for the patent from one Chinese manufacturer, so my role was in no way accompanied with trademarks. 2 months after that my client started selling exactly the same gimbal as many other sellers already did. He told me that he became very successful with them.
The reason of his success was quite simple and genius at the same time - he worked not on the product (it was already quite good and was being sold by many other sellers), but on the brand. Customer service + wise marketing policy changed customers' decisions in favor of his brand, while the product itself was very similar to the competition.
The brand itself can earn money
Some time after that I saw a video on YouTube where one mountain biker compared two exactly same gimbals and one of them was my client’s. Reviewer had an understanding that it is very likely that both gimbals are made on one factory or are licensed products, but the company which stays behind one brand offers more than another one (US based call-center, more loyal warranty policy, additional customer service etc. ), so there is a reason even to overpay for that.
As I know, at the moment almost 30% of his income is generated by licensing third parties to sell under his brand. This could not be possible without registering a trademark in the country, where the products under this brand are sold
Once you have «packed» your business and created logo, catchy name and invested some money into your brand’s reputation, the brand starts to work for you. Not only top brands as Coca-Cola or Apple form customer’s decisions. On the stage when your mark is created 10 minutes ago and you labeled your product 5 minutes ago the main role and value is predetermined by the trademark’s distinctiveness, its meaning and how easily it is remembered by the customer. The trademark can be given these features only on the stage of its creation/registration and usually rebranding costs a lot of money and effort.
As you see, trademarks are something more than just «A requirement to be able to have Amazon Brand registry 2.0». Every serious businessman with serious plans for future development considers creating original, really catchy yet effective trademark for the product or business, registering it and then protecting his rights, and business on Amazon is not an exception.