Similar to Instagram’s “Verified Accounts” symbol, Amazon has been testing a new “Top Brand” badge for products with established brands to help them stand out from competition. Experts speculate that if this experiment advances beyond a testing phase, brands that are verified by Amazon and receive the Top Brand badge may also rank first in search.
Similar to other changes that Amazon had made to its Search Engine Results Pages (SERP), Amazon did not release information about this badge before it was scooped up by industry experts. Currently the Top Brand badge has been running on select ASINs in the Fashion category as a test. While some argue that the badge is Amazon’s attempt to appease established brands and ensure shoppers are receiving the best quality products, others say that adding this Top Brand badge, could make it harder for new brands or private label brands to compete against established brands on Amazon.
For a long time, Amazon appeared to be trying to disrupt brand-building by creating a flat catalogue where products compete on nothing more than reviews and star ratings. But the recent introduction of “Amazon Choice”, a badge given to certain products that has caused recent scrutiny from lawmakers over how the badge is awarded, and now the potential introduction of the Top Brand badge, suggests that Amazon is moving away from that philosophy.
For years, consumers have had the ability to search by “Top Brands” in the left rail or filters. But with the introduction of the official badge, a shopper could search for something generic, like “winter boots”, and while Amazon will still return a number of different options, now the first options may bear a Top Brand badge.
The issue that many are arguing is that Amazon has made no clear distinction between what qualifies a company as a Top Brand and how the badge would be awarded. Amazon says Top Brands are simply brands that customers love. But the company did not go into any more detail about how that is determined.
On the contrary, if you are an established brand, the Top Brand badge could do wonders for your sales. What do you think? Is it a move aligned with Amazon’s mission to be the most customer-centric company by steering customers to the brands they are most likely to have a positive experience with? Or do you think Amazon is flexing too much influence on shoppers? Comment your thoughts below.