Are your resellers increasing the size of the pie or just freeloading? Are your resellers building your brand or riding your coattails? Is anyone advertising your products on Amazon or are you just leaving money on the table?
First up: Do a search for the name of your brand. Do you see an ad for YOUR BRAND across the top of the page? Check out what happens when you search for one of our clients, Graftobian, a brand that sells stage makeup:
Hey, look! It’s Graftobian, right there at the top. This is GOOD NEWS! When you search your brand, if your products come up like this, congratulations! Someone is running ads for your brand, building your brand on Amazon, and increasing your market share. (If you don’t see this, fear not, there’s still hope. Some resellers won’t run ads for brands in general, but they will for specific products of those brands. Try searching some of your specific products and see what comes up.)
What you DON’T want to see is another brand’s advertisement showing up when you do a search for your own brand. Yup, this happens, and it’s just as crummy as it sounds. Check out what happened when we searched for another company, Maggie’s Organics, on Amazon:
OH NO! If this happens when you search your brand name, it means that another company is running brand ads and using your brand’s name as a search term! (Jerks!) They are stealing market share from you. This is legal but frustrating (and a huge bummer!). What you need to do is start running Sponsored Brands PPC campaigns and bid on your own name. (In the PPC advertising section, you can bid on individual search terms. For example, one of our clients, DudeRobe, bid on "robe for men.") Sometimes, when I search for the name of a company or brand, lo and behold, a different company shows up with a sponsored brand ad at the top of the page, and once again we are on a ride to Bummertown.
Of ALL the searches where we want to bring up our own brand in the top spot, the ACTUAL NAME of our brand is #1.
Sure, a reseller might not want to run a Sponsored Brand campaign for your brand; that’s understandable. However, if your resellers aren’t running Sponsored Products PPC ads, then I absolutely recommend having a chat with them.
If you don’t run Sponsored Products PPC ads, you are, no question, leaving money on the table and giving away market share to your competitors.
Some people think that if the brand is running ads, they don’t need to expect their resellers to run them. BUT! The problem with this is that any given PPC ad will only run when the seller who is running it is in the buy box. If the brand is running ads but the resellers are not, the ads only show up for the percentage of time that the brand’s offer is in the buy box, not 100% of the time.
To gain the most market share, you want your product ads running 100% of the time, regardless of who is in the buy box.
To check if any of your resellers are running PPC ads for your products, do a search for a specific product and see if any of the first results are “sponsored listings.” If they are, at least one of your resellers is advertising that product. Click the link, and see whichever seller is in the buy box is the one running the ads. (Don’t do this too many times, however, because whoever is running those ads has to pay each time someone clicks on it!)
It’s best to have both sponsored brands and sponsored products PPC ads running 100% of the time.
The more sellers you have, the harder it is to be certain that this is the case. This is why I recommend either selling your products yourself or having between one and three vetted and carefully chosen sellers (which you can read more about here).
Are you currently dealing with a problem related to this? Have you not yet started running ads, 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 our last blog post, which talked about the first thing to look for to make sure your listings are healthy: your brand name.