I want to talk to you about a small detail that sellers often overlook that is extremely important.

The brand name is different for different products.

Check out these two listings:

How does this happen? It’s caused by random sellers creating listings to sell products via retail or online arbitrage (more on arbitrageurs here). These sellers are clever, and they know that the customer feels more secure when the product and brand are the same company. So they trick buyers into thinking this is the case.

Gross, right? But it’s more than just gross: it’s dangerous for your brand. When a customer clicks that fake brand link, it takes them to a fake brand page, one the arbitrageur created. This page was not created by you or your team (or even someone who knows something about your brand!). Furthermore, it typically only shows the products that particular arbitrageur has listed.

In the example above, here’s where you end up if you click those brand links:

  • Here's Jarrow Formulas's ACTUAL brand page. Beautifully put together and exceptionally informative, it represents the brand accurately and professionally. It includes tag lines, highlights brand focuses, and has a comprehensive list of other products:
  • Here's the fake "JARROW" listing, just a page filled with this particular arbitrageur's other products. Customers get no information about the brand's ethos or the full range of products the company offers:

If you’ve done a lot of work on your primary brand page, it’s a real bummer for customers to be taken somewhere else. But even if you haven’t spent time and attention creating a brand page, you don’t want potential customers taken to a brand page made by an arbitrageur.  

This is hard to change once it’s already been done. Don’t fret; it’s not impossible, and we can definitely help to make these changes. But I just want to put a fine point on it: it’s WAY better to make sure these brand names are uniform when the listings are created, preferably from your brand’s own Seller Central account (more info on that here).

It’s complicated, but I’ll try to simplify it as much as possible. To fix this, go to “edit listings” in Seller Central. If this doesn’t work, you’ll need to upload a flat file with the updated brand names. Even after that, Amazon will often require proof that the brand should be changed, usually a picture of the product showing a UPC (that matches the one on the listing itself) or a link to a webpage showing the product with a UPC. Amazon often refuses to make these changes, so again, it’s better to get it right the first time.

For healthy listings on Amazon, you must decide early on exactly how you want your brand name to read, and stick with it throughout all listing creation.

Are you currently dealing with this problem? Have you not yet started listing things, and you want to talk through it with someone? I'm Matt Bussey, founder and CEO of Grand Portage Trading Co. I find the whole world of business fascinating, and I love to talk to people about it. Send me an email, and we can set up a free consultation.

And make sure you check in next week, when I’ll be talking about the second thing to look for to make sure your listings are healthy!