Brand Protection with Amazon Sponsored Ads

The competition is not sleeping. To succeed on Amazon, brands must focus on a goal-oriented marketing strategy. This also includes protecting your brand and countering competitors’ offensive Sponsored Ads campaigns.

The use of defensive campaigns for brand protection is often neglected on Amazon. It happens time and again that competitors occupy relevant ad spaces and influence users in their buying process. How can you arm yourself against this and protect your brand on Amazon? We will give you answers to this and other questions:

  • What do I need to look out for in defensive Sponsored Ads campaigns?
  • Why is brand protection such an important issue in Amazon Advertising?

Protect your brand with defensive Sponsored Ads campaigns

To drive a successful defense strategy on Amazon, you should leverage the potential of Sponsored Ads and run defensive campaigns with all three possible ad formats. Only an all-encompassing approach can ensure the best possible protection of your brand.

Defensive approach to Sponsored Ads campaigns

  1. Keyword Research: First, get an overview and research all brand-relevant keywords for your products. These search terms contain the brand, the product name and/or the product-specific number. Examples: “bose headphones”, “safari ultrasharp binoculars”, “leer toolbox STST1-71197”, etc.
  2. Populate the brand- & product-relevant search terms: You should place Sponsored Brands (SBs) and Sponsored Products (SPs) specifically on product- and brand-relevant keywords so that your competition does not use advertising spaces based on your brand. At the same time, your brand presence increases in the search results.
  3. Target your own products: In addition, you should also use your own ASINs (Amazon Standard Identification Numbers) with Product Display Ads (PDAs) and Sponsored Products with product targeting. This is the only way to protect your product detail pages from competitors.
  4. Cross- & up-selling: In addition to brand protection, defensive campaigns help with cross-selling and up-selling. By placing advertisements on product detail pages, you can offer both substitute and complementary products. The probability that the value of the shopping basket will increase, grows in this way.

Why is brand protection on Amazon important?

Particularly the manufacturers of established, well-known brands need a sophisticated defense strategy for brand protection. Competitors place offensive campaigns on your brand and/or product keywords especially when customers think of your brand as a synonym for an entire product segment.

For example, the search term “hoover” is generally used for a vacuum cleaner. Other vendors advertise with Sponsored Brands to draw attention to their cheaper brand on the search results page.

Example of a competitor SB on the search results page
Example of a competitor SB on the search results page (Source: Screenshot amazon.co.uk)

 

In addition to SBs, brands should also focus on Sponsored Products: Many users do not perceive Sponsored Products as such but classify them as the best natural result of their search query.

In combination with positive reviews and a reasonable price, substitutive items of your competitors can quickly arouse buying interest and attract your potential customers.

The keyword “hair dryer babyliss” shows a competitor Sponsored Brands ad and immediately below it, the Amazon user is confronted with two competitor products. The first organic search result, a BaByliss dryer, appears only afterwards.

Example of an offensive competitor SB and SP campaign
Example of an offensive competitor SB and SP campaign (Source: Screenshot amazon.co.uk)

 

In order not to take any risks, you should create both SB and SP campaigns and target brand-specific search terms. This is how you prevent your customers from paying attention to other brands and buying from your competitors.

Example: Brand Protection un Amazon
Example of a defensive campaign with Sponsored Brands and Sponsored Products (Source: Screenshot amazon.co.uk)

 

Contrary to the assumption that SBs and SPs are sufficient to protect one’s brand, the use of SPs with product targeting and PDAs is also essential.

Note: Don’t forget that competitors may not only run keyword-based campaigns but also target other ASINs.

What are the benefits of using Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands if the customer jumps out shortly before the purchase is completed? In our example, potential buyers are made aware of a competitor’s item on the manufacturer’s product page.

Example of a competitor PDA on the product detail page
Example of a competitor PDA on the product detail page (Source: Screenshot amazon.co.uk)

 

Users looking for Bluetooth headphones might be swayed by the PDA on the detail page. They are diverted away from the actual product and the competitor, in this case, Stoga gets the sale. Such a purchase can have two negative consequences:

  • The advertising budget is given away.
  • Increased sales through PDA may have a positive impact on the placement of that product in organic search results.

In order to prevent such offensive campaigns by your competitors, you should place advertisements on your own ASINs. Ideally, Amazon users stay within your own product portfolio and purchase their desired product there.

Targeting your own product detail pages is particularly well suited for cross-selling and up-selling. You can advertise supplementary items to the main product as well as higher-priced, substitutive products. The shopping basket value can increase thanks to both variants.

Of course, you can also make use of offensive campaigns and target competitor ASINs and keywords. However, such measures should be carefully considered.

The three ad types for brand protection on Amazon

In summary, here is an overview of how targeting with SBs, SPs and PDAs works together and what goals can be achieved:

Ad format Targeting Intention / effect
Sponsored Brands (SBs) Brand- and product-relevant keywords

Competitors should not occupy brand-specific search terms

Brand presence is increased on search result pages

Cross- & upselling

Sponsored Products (SPs)

Brand and product relevant keywords

Product-targeting your own ASINs

Competitors should not occupy brand-specific search terms

Brand presence is increased on search result pages

Customers should not decide in favor of a competing product shortly before the purchase is completed

Cross- & upselling

Product Display Ads (PDAs) Product-targeting your own ASINs

Customers should not decide in favor of a competing product shortly before the purchase is completed

Cross- & upselling

Conclusion

Strengthening and defending your own brand and position is indispensable for success on Amazon. In practice, brand protection on Amazon is usually neglected and valuable potential wasted. A carefully prepared and thought-out strategy that includes all three Sponsored Ads types can provide effective protection.

Defensive campaigns are based on a comprehensive research of brand- and product-specific keywords. Well-prepared campaigns can be used in a goal-oriented manner and lead to an increase in sales.

Further information on Amazon Advertising can be found in our whitepaper on Amazon Sponsored Ads. factor-a supports you with a successful marketplace strategy for your Amazon business. Contact us!


Nils Zündorf

Nils Zündorf
Managing Director
news@factor-a.de

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