I am often asked about brand gating on Amazon. While having a gated ASIN seems like a dream, it is not the key to developing a successful brand. Instead, gating promotes short-term thinking at the expense of real brand promotion. Here’s why.
Amazon is an Open Catalog platform. Ever since Amazon allowed third-party sellers on its platform, being ungated has been the rule. It is still the norm. In summer 2016, Amazon began experimenting with brand gating. The experiment has been haphazard.
While gating remains rare, I have had clients get gated, ungated, partially gated, partially ungated, and rogue sellers finding ways to work-around a gated ASIN. For all but the biggest brands, all of this occurs randomly at the whim of Amazon.
The program has never been uniformly applied or administered. Amazon has never published any official information about how, who, when, or why certain brands are gated. There is no application process. If you’re lucky enough to have a gated ASIN, don’t neglect to develop your brand.
There is a lot you can do to differentiate your product and protect your listings – but you have to use good branding practices. In my experience, sellers whose listings are gated tend to get lazy about branding their products. Being sheltered from competition, they don’t see the need to develop a protectable brand. When Amazon ungates their listings, they suffer a painful lesson. Sellers who develop a brand properly – using best practices – do not worry about being gated or ungated. They can protect their brand either way, both on and off Amazon.
I help my clients enjoy long-term success by developing a protectable brand. We use best practices specific to the client’s targeted market, their products, and a multi-channel ecosystem. We take full advantage of Amazon’s rules and the protections afforded by the law. There are no instant solutions – just smart branding. When enforcement is necessary, my clients appreciate having the full resources of an attorney to get things done.