October 8, 2019

Amazon Brand Defense Campaigns: Why You Should Bid For Your Own Brand

Create a unique brand experience by bidding on your branded keywords.

One of the most frequent questions that we get asked from sellers is, “Why should I pay for ads if my customers are searching directly for my brand and will buy through my organic listing?”

It is a great question! Let’s break down why we recommend bidding on your branded keywords and setting up Brand Defense campaigns.  

Reason #1: Expanding Your Brand Presence 

Bidding on your own brand allows you to expand your brand presence, like cross-selling your own products or upselling your products. If a product within your brand is underperforming and getting fewer impressions, setting up branded keywords targeting this specific product can help to boost impressions and thus increase sales over time.


Melissa & Doug is an established children’s toy brand. When reviewing search results for “melissa and doug,” you initially see two ads. They own the Sponsored Brands space as well as the first Sponsored Ads listing, which is then followed by organic listings. Melissa and Doug has a wide catalog of products and in this case, they may see it beneficial to bid on branded keywords for new or underperforming products, while leaning on the organic listings of their powerhouse products.

Reason #2: Protecting Loyal Customers From Competitors  

While as advertisers and sellers, it is easy for us to identify ads on Amazon, this is usually not the case with shoppers. Many shoppers are not aware that there are ads on Amazon and cannot differentiate between an advertised listing and an organic listing.

This is not an accident by Amazon. Having ads that blend into the page can help improve the shopping experience and lead to better conversion rates on ads. Better ad conversion rates mean that ads have a better return, which results in advertisers spending more on ads and Amazon making more money.

As a seller, your goal is to own the top placement on the search results page. Shoppers usually click on the first few listings (whether organic or paid) if the product closely matches their search term. Therefore, owning the top placements can result in high clicks and high sales.

Using data directly from Amazon, Search Engine Journal reported that 35-percent of customers click on the first product listing on a page and that the top three product listings account for 64-percent of the clicks. If the top two listings are usually Sponsored Ads, these ads incur a considerable amount of the total traffic.

It is a common strategy for advertisers to bid on their competitor’s branded keywords. For instance, according to data directly from Amazon – in the Health and Personal Care category, a very brand-loyal segment, 30-percent of branded searches result in a purchase of a different brand. If you are not bidding on your brand, you could lose top placements to your competitors and therefore lose sales.


Competitors Degree and Dove bid on “native deodorant,” resulting in ownership of the top two ad placements and affectively knocking the Native brand products down the page.

Reason #3: Organic Rankings Can Be Impacted By Not Advertising Branded Keywords

One of the critical factors for ranking for specific keywords is your conversion rate and sales history for those keywords. If customers search for your brand but end up purchasing from your competitor, it can improve their organic rankings for your brand’s search terms, further diluting your brand on Amazon. Maintaining organic rankings on Amazon is a long-term play and giving up momentum by not running ads can give ground to your competitors that can be difficult to get back.


When searching for “Neutrogena hydro boost sunscreen” on Amazon, the first result is a competitor ad followed by Neutrogena organic listings. That same competitor has an organic listing just a few rows down suggesting they are converting shoppers while bidding on Neutrogena keywords and improving their organic rank.


If you are still not convinced why bidding on your own branded keywords is important, we’d recommend doing an analysis by setting up a Brand Defense campaign. Allow this campaign to run for two weeks and then review the level of increase or decrease in sales versus your advertising spend. While it might come at an extra cost, brand bidding on Amazon is a winning strategy for most brands.

Want to learn more? Checkout our podcast episode on the topic, The Ad Project: Amazon Branded vs. Non-Branded Campaigns.