There's nothing more important than safeguarding what's yours and preventing another company from rushing in and profiting off of something that you've built. Not only did you work so hard for it and deserve all that comes with that kind of commitment, but a counterfeit product could also misrepresent your brand—lessening the quality and value consumers expect to receive from you.
So, what is Walmart doing to protect you and your brand?
Much like the Amazon Brand Registry program, the Walmart Brand Portal is your one-stop-shop for managing your property rights via tools that are designed to safeguard your brand and help you respond quickly to any unusual activity.
While it's still in its early stages and steadily improving, this step by Walmart reassures sellers that their brands will be protected while selling on the popular marketplace.
Read Also: How to Sell on Walmart Marketplace
Top Benefits of the Walmart Brand Portal
As time goes by and Walmart's Brand Portal evolves from its early stages, it has the potential to blossom into a safer, more secure and efficient seller experience we've all been looking for in the marketplace.
It's already a valuable sales channel for many sellers (not to mention that its vetting process is already strict), but the added protection and hands-on brand management will ensure that your property rights are safe, your response to unauthorized resellers is quick and your business is free to grow exponentially on the platform.
This isn't to say that the brand portal doesn't already add significant value to your brand experience. In fact, the following benefits are exactly why you need to know more about it, so you can start getting familiar and immediately start benefiting.
1. Manage all of your brands in one location
The Walmart Brand Portal is centered around giving you a unified experience while managing your brands and claims. This means that in one location, you will be able to:
- Add as many brands as you want to (with an active trademark registration with the USPTO)
- Submit intellectual property claims
- Track intellectual property claims
- Receive updated reporting
- Manage authorized representatives
2. Keep your brands protected
The portal’s claims submission system is designed to safeguard your intellectual property rights and help you easily submit and track any claims on suspicious activity that may warrant investigation and further action. This will allow you to keep your brand protected by submitting claims yourself or using an authorized third-party representative.
In just a few clicks, you can file for any four of these claims:
3. Use a single dashboard to track claims
Filing a claim doesn't just stop at submitting it. Instead, you will also enjoy easy access to all your submitted claims so that you can monitor their status and progress. Each claim is organized in order, with more detailed information available via a click of a button.
Be maintaining one dashboard for all of your claims, you never have to worry about reaching out to the support team to find out what happened to your filed claim and what's been done about it so far..
The Walmart Brand Portal currently only accepts trademarks registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). This is in line with its U.S.-only requirements for applying to sell on its marketplace.
Eligibility is dependent on whether you are the:
- Rights owner(s) with registered trademarks
- Or, authorized third-party brand protection agencies
- Or, authorized legal representatives
For sellers who are not currently eligible for the Walmart Brand Portal program, Walmart also offers file claim assistance in their publicly available webform, where you will need to report the alleged IP infringement by:
- Selecting the claim type
- Filling out your contact information
- Proving details about your report
- Giving a digital signature
How to Enroll
Aside from having an account already set up with Walmart Marketplace, you will need the following to get started:
- Contact and company information
- Your active trademark registration number (only USPTO is accepted)
- A verifiable email address
After you submit your application, it will be up for review and sent back to you as soon as possible. You can access the progress of your application via your new Walmart Brand Portal account.
Walmart Brand Portal vs. Amazon Brand Registry
The Walmart Brand Portal is the early equivalent of Amazon Brand Registry. This is a big deal for brand owners selling on Walmart Marketplace who have reason to fear counterfeiters or unauthorized resellers. While the brand portal is not as robust as Amazon's Brand Registry, it is a step in the right direction. Here are some major similarities and differences between the two services to note:
Both brand-protection services aim to keep your brand and products safe from resellers trying to profit from your hard work through fraudulent activities on their marketplaces.
The major difference right now is that Amazon's tool is more advanced in brand-building capabilities in addition to its protective measures.
The Walmart Brand Portal helps you manage brand registrations via USPTO and easily file and track claims, allowing you to quickly defend against bad actors.
Right now, Amazon does offer more extensive protection against hijackers and counterfeiters, such as:
- Protection from brands altering your title, description, etc.
- Proactive protections against inaccurate or infringing listings, even before they’re published
- Amazon Transparency — customers can authenticate your product via a unique code that they can scan through their Transparency app
Differences in Maturity
The Amazon Brand Registry has expanded into a widely trusted experience since its launch in May 2017. This is one key difference to keep in mind: the brand registry was established four years before Walmart Brand Portal, so it has had more time to grow. Similar to other differences that sellers have noticed about Walmart versus Amazon, the two brand-protection services should not be expected to look or behave exactly the same. It will take time for Walmart’s Brand Portal to catch up to speed
Predictions for How Brand Portal Will Evolve
The ongoing neck-and-neck race against the industry giant, Amazon, alongside the public fight against online counterfeiters make us think that this is only the start for the Walmart Brand Portal. It’s only a matter of time before the portal is more integrated into Seller Center and expanded into a more robust solution. Here are some features we see being added soon.
Preventative Safety Measures
To recap: the idea behind the Walmart Brand Portal is to support your brand and prevent it from being misrepresented, stolen and sold elsewhere without your permission. Towards that end, we predict that Walmart will install more preemptive protection services and tools. This may include measures like identifying potential fraudulent activity based on terms, logos and other brand-specific details within product pages that don't line up with the information provided in your Walmart Brand Portal (e.g., manufacturing outside your area or using your trademarked words and phrases to trick consumers).
Better Brand Building
To compete with Amazon's seller experience, The Walmart Brand Portal will likely evolve into a more centralized place to build your brand(s) as well. This means more access to tools that can improve the relevancy and ranking of your Walmart listings, plus make them more structurally sound according to Walmart’s algorithm. This could be an expansion or integration of Walmart’s Listing Quality Dashboard and similar services.
Building a Strong Defensive Plan for Your Multichannel Brand
The Walmart Brand Portal is just one core ingredient to a strong multichannel defense strategy. There are many other steps you’ll want to take as you grow your online presence. Take, for instance, the importance of these 6 strategies for marketplace merchants:
- Register your brand: As we covered above, registering your brand allows you to have complete ownership over your listings, better protects your brand from unauthorized resellers as well as any kind of misuse of your enrolled brands and gives you access to more advanced branding and marketing tools.
- Amplify your brand: This entails taking extra measures to help you stand out from other sellers on the marketplace so that customers can differentiate your products from similar products (i.e., brand your product images, expand your brand content in your listing, brand your packaging and packing slips).
- Serialize your products: These unique identification codes will protect your brand reputation among customers, help you to trace your product sales and thwart counterfeiters through authenticity checks.
- Rein in resellers: This can be done by creating product lines that are exclusively sold by your brand, offering online exclusives and being clear with resellers about minimum advertised pricing (MAP). Keep tabs by monitoring product authorizations, ensuring their product listings are accurate and up to date—and ensuring resellers are adhering to your MAP guidelines.
- Practice price parity: This means keeping your pricing consistent throughout all of your channels. Without consistency, you can run into pricing problems that pit your brand against itself.
- Create an operations management strategy: Having an organized, automated way of managing multiple sales channels at once can prevent order defects, overselling, listing errors and other costly pitfalls.
Need an Extra Hand?
Got more questions about how to safeguard your Walmart or overall multichannel business? Give us a holler to see what an automated solution like Zentail can do for you.