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Amazon Brand Registry: Key Benefits & How to Apply



Amazon Brand Registry: Key Benefits & How to Apply

If you’re selling on Amazon, you may experience counterfeit issues or situations where your product content is changed by a third party seller.

Luckily, Amazon Brand Registry provides a necessary set of tools to help sellers avoid these issues. In this post, we’ll cover how Amazon’s Brand Registry works, how to enroll, and other brand protection programs that you can use to prevent third-party sellers from counterfeiting your products on the Amazon marketplace.

Let’s dive into all things Amazon Brand Registry.

Table of Contents:


What is Amazon Brand Registry?


Protection from day 1. Amazon Brand Registry is a program that enables verified brand owners to protect their intellectual property, combat counterfeiting, and have more control over their products’ presence and listings on the Amazon marketplace. This tool also gives brand owners access to enhanced reporting tools and more control over their brand across Amazon’s ecosystem.

Amazon designed Brand Registry to help brand owners protect their registered trademarks and create an accurate and trusted experience for customers by providing access to proprietary text and image search, predictive automations, and reporting tools. 


“Amazon Brand Registry helps you protect your intellectual property (IP), manage your listings, and grow your business, regardless of whether you sell in our store – for free. You know your brand and intellectual property the best. Simply enroll in Brand Registry and share information about your brand. We will give you peace of mind by activating proactive protections that help stop bad listings and bad actors.”

— Brittany Bellardino, Sr. Specialist, Brand Services, Retail Operations at Tinuiti


Today, Amazon Seller Brand Registry unlocks a powerful suite of programs and features for verified brand owners to not only protect intellectual property but also build their brand presence on Amazon and grow their business. It provides various tools and services to registered brand owners, including Transparency by Amazon, the Project Zero program, the Counterfeit Crimes Unit and IP Accelerator. These are considered Amazon’s Hub of Protection. Let’s take a closer look at each… 


Transparency by Amazon


Transparency by Amazon allows brands to apply unique codes or serial numbers to their products, which are then scanned and verified by Amazon before they are shipped to customers. This helps ensure that only authentic products reach consumers and helps protect against counterfeits. Customers can also use the Amazon mobile app to scan these codes and verify the authenticity of the products they receive. It’s important to note that products cannot be listed on Amazon or shipped without valid Transparency codes.


Project Zero Program


The Project Zero program is an initiative within Amazon Brand Registry that empowers brand owners to proactively remove counterfeit listings of their products from the Amazon marketplace. It combines automated protections with self-service tools, enabling brand owners to identify and remove counterfeit listings without needing to involve Amazon’s support team. The program utilizes machine learning algorithms to continuously scan and detect counterfeit listings based on the information provided by the brand owners.


Counterfeit Crimes Unit (CCU)


The Counterfeit Crimes Unit is a dedicated team within Amazon that works to prevent counterfeit products from being sold on the platform. This team includes former federal prosecutors, experienced investigators, and data analysts. They collaborate with brands, government agencies, and law enforcement to pursue legal action against counterfeiters and hold them accountable for their actions. The Counterfeit Crimes Unit also assists in the development and improvement of Amazon’s anti-counterfeiting programs and policies.

These three components of the Amazon Brand Registry work together to provide brand owners with enhanced tools and services to protect their intellectual property and combat counterfeiting on the Amazon marketplace.


IP Accelerator 


Sidestep trademark registration pitfalls by accessing our network of trusted IP law firms and get high-quality services at competitive rates. This tool helps your brand obtain quicker access to the protection and building features available to brands in Brand Registry, even while your trademark application is pending. This can also help your brand in establishing IP in other countries with trusted experts as you expand your brand’s footprint in new marketplaces.


Why Was Amazon Brand Registry Launched?


Amazon Brand Registry was launched to address the growing issue of counterfeiting and intellectual property infringement on the Amazon marketplace, providing brand owners with tools and resources to protect their brands, enhance their control over product listings, and maintain customer trust in the authenticity of products sold on Amazon.


What’s New and Changing in Amazon Brand Registry?


Amazon is constantly making updates to improve the Brand Registry program. Most recently, Amazon added a new feature called the Impact Dashboard. This dashboard provides data on how Amazon has provided brand protection based on the intellectual property information provided to them when registering the brands. Data includes the number of infringing ASINs removed, invalid new ASINs prevented, and invalid existing ASIN modifications prevented. These can be broken down at the marketplace, brand, and category level.


Who Can Enroll in the Brand Registry?


Various types of brand owners are eligible to enroll in Amazon Brand Registry. This includes:

Registered Trademark Owners: Brand owners who have an active registered trademark for their brand can enroll in the Amazon Brand Registry. Note: The trademark should be issued by a government trademark office that recognizes the brand in the marketplace where the brand is registered.

Manufacturers: Brand owners who have their products manufactured and want to protect their brand and intellectual property on Amazon can also enroll in the Brand Registry. They may need to provide additional documentation to demonstrate their association with the manufacturing of the products.

It is important to note that each enrolled brand requires a separate application and must meet the eligibility criteria set by Amazon. The specific requirements and documentation may vary depending on the country and region.


The Benefits of Using Amazon Brand Registry


According to Amazon, more than 700,000 brands around the world have an Amazon brand registration and more than 8 billion listings updated scanned everyday. While those are impressive stats, there are many more advantages to consider.

Let’s dive into the top benefits of using Amazon Brand Registry. 


1. Protections for Your Brand Representation


Amazon Seller Brand Registry gives you more control over Amazon product pages that use your brand name, so customers are more likely to see the correct information associated with your brand.

In addition to Amazon’s standard proactive measures to protect customers, the Brand Registry uses information that you provide about your brand to implement additional predictive protections that attempt to identify and remove potentially bad listings.

The more you tell Amazon’s Brand Registry team about your brand and its intellectual property, the more Amazon can help you protect your brand, for example:

  • Product listings that aren’t for your brand and incorrectly use your trademarked terms in their titles
  • Images that contain your logo, but are for products that don’t carry your brand name
  • Sellers shipping products from countries in which you do not manufacture or distribute your brand
  • Product listings being created with your brand name when you have already listed your full product catalog on Amazon


2. Powerful Search and Reporting Tools


Amazon simplifies the process of finding cases of potential infringement with custom features designed specifically for brands:

  • Global search: search for content in different Amazon stores from the same screen without ever having to navigate away
  • Image search: find product listings on Amazon that match your product(s) or logo(s) using images
  • Bulk ASIN search: search for a list of ASINs or product URLs in bulk to explore and report potentially infringing content fast (plus enlarge image thumbnails in this tool for easier identification of infringers)
  • Sort view of average customer ratings of ASINs to gauge popularity

After you complete your search, the Brand Registry provides you with simple and guided workflows to submit a report of potential infringement that Amazon can review and take appropriate action on.


3. Access to A+ Content


When you utilize Brand Registry, you are also eligible for additional brand programs like Amazon A+ Content. A+ Content enables you to showcase your brand’s unique story and educate customers about your product’s distinctive features. With its ability to showcase enhanced product images and customize text placements on the product detail page, A+ Content empowers you to highlight what sets your brand and products apart from the competition. 


4. Sponsored Brand Ads


An additional feature of Amazon’s Brand Registry program to take advantage of is Sponsored Brand Ads. Amazon Sponsored Brands Ads are banner ads that include a brand’s logo, message, and products in Amazon’s search results. Sponsored Brands are an effective way to build top-funnel awareness by allowing your brand to show your offering for specific shopper search queries. They can be used to drive shoppers to a specific product category, a product listing, or your Store on Amazon.


5. Understand Customers with Brand Analytics


Brand Analytics is yet another tool you can use within Amazon’s Brand Registry program that allows you to understand your customers on an even deeper level. Brand Analytics offers sellers a wide range of reports. These reports enable users to gain insights into their current and future product performance, gather information on customer demographics, identify popular search terms, explore advertising opportunities, and much more.


6. Host Live Shopping Sessions with Amazon Live 


When you enroll in Amazon’s Brand Registry Program, you’ll also be eligible for Amazon Live. Amazon Live gives you the opportunity to engage with customers in real-time with live shopping events. With Amazon live you can not only showcase your products in real-time, you can also share your brand story to further connect with your customers.


Amazon Live example


7. Create an Amazon Store


Within Brand Registry, you’ll also have access to Amazon Stores. Amazon Stores allow brand owners to design and create multipage stores to showcase their brands, products, and value proposition on Amazon. The main benefit of Amazon Stores is providing customized content to potential customers while introducing them to your brand.

See examples of Amazon Stores here.

For a full list of the brand building products you can utilize when you sign up for Amazon Brand Registry, click here.


Amazon Store Example


8. Improve Customer Experience


Better manage content and photos on detail pages for your products to help ensure your customers see accurate information. We will combine your information with our automated protections and machine learning to prevent inaccurate updates. This provides trust with your customers and will keep them coming back. 


Amazon Brand Registry Eligibility & Application Requirements


Amazon has a unique set of Brand Registry eligibility and application requirements. To see if you meet the eligibility requirements of Amazon brand registry application, keep reading.


Step 1: Ensure You’re Eligible


The first thing you need to have is a Seller Central Account. If you don’t already have one, you can register for one on Amazon’s official website. Accounts with a vendor relationship with Amazon can enroll in Brand Registry, where they will be asked to provide their vendor code associated with the brand they want to register.

Next, you have to create an account through Amazon Brand Registry. Amazon will ask for your registered Trademark Number as well as one form of social media. Your brand must have an active registered trademark in each country where you wish to enroll.

The trademark for your brand must be in the form of a text-based mark or an image-based mark with words, letters, or numbers. Depending on where your trademark is registered, eligible trademarks can have different classifications based on their issuing trademark office.

Below are examples of trademarks that Amazon is currently accepting for enrollment:


example of text-based and image-based trademarks for Amazon Brand Registry

Source: Amazon


Amazon currently only accepts trademarks that have been issued by government trademark offices in the United States, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Australia, India, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Turkey, Singapore, Spain, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, Egypt, Sweden, Poland, Benelux, the European Union, and the United Arab Emirates.

If your trademark is pending registration, don’t fret. Amazon Brand Registry will accept pending trademarks from certain trademark offices. For U.S. brands, this means your trademark must be pending registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).


Step 2: Sign into Amazon Brand Registry


If you meet the eligibility requirements, the next step is to sign into Amazon Seller Brand Registry. If you are a Vendor or Seller on Amazon, use your Vendor or Seller Central credentials to sign in.

Using the same username and password will enable you to access the features and benefits of Amazon Brand Registry that are linked to Vendor and Seller services. If you don’t yet have an Amazon account, you can create one for free here.


Step 3: Enroll your brand


To qualify for an Amazon Brand registration, you will need to provide the following information:

  • Your brand name that has an active registered trademark
  • The associated government-registered trademark number
  • A list of product categories (e.g., apparel, sporting goods, electronics) in which your brand should be listed
  • A list of countries where your brand’s products are manufactured and distributed

You can find a full list of Brand Registry eligibility requirements here


Amazon Brand Registry Costs


As of now, there are no Amazon Brand Registry costs. However, you will need to have a registered trademark in order to qualify for a Brand Registry application.

Registered trademark fees typically range from $225 to $400. However, these fees can vary depending on the class of protection you want to buy.


How to Get a Trademark for an Amazon Brand Registry Application


 A trademark number is the number assigned to a pending or registered trademark. This number is issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Pending trademarks are given serial numbers, and registered trademarks are issued registration numbers. 

How to Get a Trademark

You can apply for a trademark online by going to and completing a TEAS form. The process can take up to 9 months. Application costs vary based on the filing type selected and the class of goods or service being registered. You can read more about the fees on the official site.

Submitting Your Trademark for the Brand Registry

Once you’ve submitted the Brand Registry application, Amazon will then send an email to the person or address connected to the Trademark account. This email will contain a case number code.

When you receive this case number code, go to your Seller Central application and paste it into the required field. The Trademark can be pending or active to work. 

Once all the pieces are in place and all the information completed, the Brand Registry will be completed relatively quickly. Some people have even reported overnight turnaround times; however, this may vary from person to person. 


Key Takeaways


Amazon Brand Registry provides enhanced tools and services to protect intellectual property, combat counterfeiting, and maintain control over your product listings on the Amazon marketplace. It not only safeguards your brand reputation but it ensures a trustworthy shopping experience for your customers. For more information on Amazon Brand Registry or for any additional questions, contact us today.

Learn more about our Amazon Strategy and Services.


Source: Amazon

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Intro to Amazon Non-endemic Advertising: Benefits & Examples



Intro to Amazon Non-endemic Advertising: Benefits & Examples

Amazon has rewritten the rules of advertising with its move into non-endemic retail media advertising. Advertising on Amazon has traditionally focused on brands and products directly sold on the platform. However, a new trend is emerging – the rise of non-endemic advertising on this booming marketplace. In this article, we’ll dive into the concept of non-endemic ads, their significance, and the benefits they offer to advertisers. This strategic shift is opening the floodgates for advertisers in previously overlooked industries.

While endemic brands are those with direct competitors on the platform, non-endemic advertisers bring a diverse range of services to Amazon’s vast audience. The move toward non-endemic advertising signifies Amazon’s intention to leverage its extensive data and audience segments to benefit a broader spectrum of advertisers.

Endemic vs. Non-Endemic Advertising


Let’s start by breaking down the major differences between endemic advertising and non-endemic advertising… 

Endemic Advertising

Endemic advertising revolves around promoting products available on the Amazon platform. With this type of promotion, advertisers use retail media data to promote products that are sold at the retailer.

Non-Endemic Advertising

In contrast, non-endemic advertising ventures beyond the confines of products sold on Amazon. It encompasses industries such as insurance, finance, and services like lawn care. If a brand is offering a product or service that doesn’t fit under one of the categories that Amazon sells, it’s considered non-endemic. Advertisers selling products and services outside of Amazon and linking directly to their own site are utilizing Amazon’s DSP and their data/audience segments to target new and relevant customers.

7 Benefits of Running Non-Endemic Ad Campaigns


Running non-endemic ad campaigns on Amazon provides a wide variety of benefits like:

Access to Amazon’s Proprietary Data: Harnessing Amazon’s robust first-party data provides advertisers with valuable insights into consumer behavior and purchasing patterns. This data-driven approach enables more targeted and effective campaigns.

Increased Brand Awareness and Revenue Streams: Non-endemic advertising allows brands to extend their reach beyond their typical audience. By leveraging Amazon’s platform and data, advertisers can build brand awareness among users who may not have been exposed to their products or services otherwise. For non-endemic brands that meet specific criteria, there’s an opportunity to serve ads directly on the Amazon platform. This can lead to exposure to the millions of users shopping on Amazon daily, potentially opening up new revenue streams for these brands.

No Minimum Spend for Non-DSP Campaigns: Non-endemic advertisers can kickstart their advertising journey on Amazon without the burden of a minimum spend requirement, ensuring accessibility for a diverse range of brands.

Amazon DSP Capabilities: Leveraging the Amazon DSP (Demand-Side Platform) enhances campaign capabilities. It enables programmatic media buys, advanced audience targeting, and access to a variety of ad formats.

Connect with Primed-to-Purchase Customers: Amazon’s extensive customer base offers a unique opportunity for non-endemic advertisers to connect with customers actively seeking relevant products or services.

Enhanced Targeting and Audience Segmentation: Utilizing Amazon’s vast dataset, advertisers can create highly specific audience segments. This enhanced targeting helps advertisers reach relevant customers, resulting in increased website traffic, lead generation, and improved conversion rates.

Brand Defense – By utilizing these data segments and inventory, some brands are able to bid for placements where their possible competitors would otherwise be. This also gives brands a chance to be present when competitor brands may be on the same page helping conquest for competitors’ customers.

How to Start Running Non-Endemic Ads on Amazon


Ready to start running non-endemic ads on Amazon? Start with these essential steps:

Familiarize Yourself with Amazon Ads and DSP: Understand the capabilities of Amazon Ads and DSP, exploring their benefits and limitations to make informed decisions.

Look Into Amazon Performance Plus: Amazon Performance Plus is the ability to model your audiences based on user behavior from the Amazon Ad Tag. The process will then find lookalike amazon shoppers with a higher propensity for conversion.

“Amazon Performance Plus has the ability to be Amazon’s top performing ad product. With the machine learning behind the audience cohorts we are seeing incremental audiences converting on D2C websites and beating CPA goals by as much as 50%.” 

– Robert Avellino, VP of Retail Media Partnerships at Tinuiti


Understand Targeting Capabilities: Gain insights into the various targeting options available for Amazon ads, including behavioral, contextual, and demographic targeting.

Command Amazon’s Data: Utilize granular data to test and learn from campaign outcomes, optimizing strategies based on real-time insights for maximum effectiveness.

Work with an Agency: For those new to non-endemic advertising on Amazon, it’s essential to define clear goals and identify target audiences. Working with an agency can provide valuable guidance in navigating the nuances of non-endemic advertising. Understanding both the audience to be reached and the core audience for the brand sets the stage for a successful non-endemic advertising campaign.



Amazon’s venture into non-endemic advertising reshapes the advertising landscape, providing new opportunities for brands beyond the traditional ecommerce sphere. The  blend of non-endemic campaigns with Amazon’s extensive audience and data creates a cohesive option for advertisers seeking to diversify strategies and explore new revenue streams. As this trend evolves, staying informed about the latest features and possibilities within Amazon’s non-endemic advertising ecosystem is crucial for brands looking to stay ahead in the dynamic world of digital advertising.

We’ll continue to keep you updated on all things Amazon, but if you’re looking to learn more about advertising on the platform, check out our Amazon Services page or contact us today for more information.

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How Does Success of Your Business Depend on Choosing Type of Native Advertising?



How Does Success of Your Business Depend on Choosing Type of Native Advertising?

The very first commercial advertisement was shown on TV in 1941. It was only 10 seconds long and had an audience of 4,000 people. However, it became a strong trigger for rapid advertising development. The second half of the 20th century is known as the golden age of advertising until the Internet came to the forefront and entirely transformed the advertising landscape. The first commercial banner appeared in the mid-90s, then it was followed by pop-ups, pay-by-placement and paid-pay-click ads. Companies also started advertising their brands and adding their business logo designs, which contributes to consumer trust and trustworthiness.

The rise of social media in the mid-2000s opened a new dimension for advertising content to be integrated. The marketers were forced to make the ads less intrusive and more organic to attract younger users. This is how native advertising was born. This approach remains a perfect medium for goods and services promotion. Let’s see why and how native ads can become a win-win strategy for your business.

What is native advertising?

When it comes to digital marketing, every marketer talks about native advertising. What is the difference between traditional and native ones? You will not miss basic ads as they are typically promotional and gimmicky, while native advertising naturally blends into the content. The primary purpose of native ads is to create content that resonates with audience expectations and encourages users to perceive it seamlessly and harmoniously.

Simply put, native advertising is a paid media ad that organically aligns with the visual and operational features of the media format in which it appears. The concept is quite straightforward: while people just look through banner ads, they genuinely engage with native ads and read them. You may find a lot of native ads on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – they appear in the form of “in-feed” posts that engage users in search for more stories, opinions, goods and services. This unobtrusive approach turns native ads into a powerful booster for any brand.

How does native advertising benefit your business?

An average Internet user comes across around 10,000 ads a day. But even physically, it is impossible to perceive this amount of information in 24 hours. So, most of them use adblockers, nullifying all efforts of markers. Native ads successfully overcome this digital challenge thanks to their authenticity. And this is not the only advantage of native advertising. How else does your business benefit? Here are just a few major benefits that prove the value of native ads:

Better brand awareness. Native ads contribute to the brand’s visibility. They seamlessly blend into educational, emotional, and visual types of content that can easily become viral. While promotional content typically receives limited shares, users readily share valuable or entertaining content. Consequently, while you incur expenses only for the display of native ads, your audience may go the extra mile by sharing your content and organically promoting your brand or SaaS product at no additional cost.

Increased click-through rates. Native ads can generate a thrilling click-through rate (CTR) primarily because they are meticulously content-adaptable. Thus, native ads become an integral part of the user’s journey without disrupting their browsing experience. Regardless of whether your native advertising campaign is designed to build an audience or drive specific actions, compelling content will always entice users to click through.

Cost-efficient campaign performance. Native advertising proves to be cheaper compared to a traditional ad format. It mainly stems from a higher CTR. Thanks to precise targeting and less customer resistance, native ads allow to bring down cost-per-click.

Native ads are continuously evolving, enabling marketers to experiment with different formats and use them for successful multi-channel campaigns and global reach.

Types of native advertising

Any content can become native advertising as there are no strict format restrictions. For example, it can be an article rating the best fitness applications, an equipment review, or a post by an influencer on a microblog. The same refers to the channels – native ads can be placed on regular websites and social media feeds. Still, some forms tend to be most frequently used.

  • In-feed ads. This type of ad appears within the content feed. You have definitely seen such posts on Facebook and Instagram or such videos on TikTok. They look like regular content but are tagged with an advertising label. The user sees these native ads when scrolling the feed on social media platforms.
  • Paid search ads. These are native ads that are displayed on the top and bottom of the search engine results page. They always match user’s queries and aim to capture their attention at the moment of a particular search and generate leads and conversions. This type of ad is effective for big search platforms with substantial traffic.
  • Recommendation widgets. These come in the form of either texts or images and can be found at the end of the page or on a website’s sidebar. Widgets offer related or intriguing content from either the same publisher or similar sources. This type of native ads is great for retargeting campaigns.
  • Sponsored content. This is one of the most popular types of native advertising. Within this format, an advertiser sponsors the creation of an article or content that aligns with the interests and values of the platform’s audience. They can be marked as “sponsored” or “recommended” to help users differentiate them from organic content.
  • Influencer Advertising. In this case, advertisers partner with popular bloggers or celebrities to gain the attention and trust of the audience. Influencers integrate a product, service, or event into their content or create custom content that matches their style and topic.

Each of these formats can bring stunning results if your native ads are relevant and provide value to users. Use a creative automation platform like Creatopy to design effective ads for your business.

How to create a workable native ad?

Consider these 5 steps for creating a successful native advertising campaign:

  • Define your target audienceUsers will always ignore all ads that are not relevant to them. Unwanted ads are frustrating and can even harm your brand. If you run a store for pets, make sure your ads show content that will be interesting for pet owners. Otherwise, the whole campaign will be undermined. Regular market research and data analysis will help you refine your audience and its demographics.
  • Set your goals. Each advertising campaign should have a clear-cut objective. Without well-defined goals, it is a waste of money. It is a must to know what you want to achieve – introduce your brand, boost sales or increase your audience.
  • Select the proper channels. Now, you need to determine how you will reach out to your customers. Consider displaying ads on social media platforms, targeting search engine result pages (SERPs), distributing paid articles, or utilizing in-ad units on different websites. You may even be able to get creative and use email or SMS in a less salesy and more “native”-feeling way—you can find samples of texts online to help give you ideas. Exploring demand side platforms (DSP) can also bring good results.
  • Offer compelling content. Do not underestimate the quality of the content for your native ads. Besides being expertly written, it must ideally match the style and language of the chosen channel,whether you’re promoting professional headshots, pet products, or anything else. The main distinctive feature of native advertising is that it should fit naturally within the natural content.
  • Track your campaign. After the launch of native ads, it is crucial to monitor the progress, evaluating the costs spent and results. Use tools that help you gain insights beyond standard KPIs like CTR and CPC. You should get engagement metrics, customer data, campaign data, and third-party activity data for further campaign management.

Key takeaway

Summing up the above, it is time to embrace native advertising if you haven’t done it yet. Native ads seamlessly blend with organic content across various platforms, yielding superior engagement and conversion rates compared to traditional display ads. Marketers are allocating higher budgets to native ads because this format proves to be more and more effective – content that adds value can successfully deal with ad fatigue. Native advertising is experiencing a surge in popularity, and it is to reach its peak. So, do not miss a chance to grow your business with the power of native ads.or you can do digital marketing course from Digital Vidya.

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OpenAI’s Drama Should Teach Marketers These 2 Lessons



OpenAI’s Drama Should Teach Marketers These 2 Lessons

A week or so ago, the extraordinary drama happening at OpenAI filled news feeds.

No need to get into all the saga’s details, as every publication seems to have covered it. We’re just waiting for someone to put together a video montage scored to the Game of Thrones music.

But as Sam Altman takes back the reigns of the company he helped to found, the existing board begins to disintegrate before your very eyes, and everyone agrees something spooked everybody, a question arises: Should you care?

Does OpenAI’s drama have any demonstrable implications for marketers integrating generative AI into their marketing strategies?

Watch CMI’s chief strategy advisor Robert Rose explain (and give a shoutout to Sutton’s pants rage on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills), or keep reading his thoughts:

For those who spent last week figuring out what to put on your holiday table and missed every AI headline, here’s a brief version of what happened. OpenAI – the huge startup and creator of ChatGPT – went through dramatic events. Its board fired the mercurial CEO Sam Altman. Then, the 38-year-old entrepreneur accepted a job at Microsoft but returned to OpenAI a day later.

We won’t give a hot take on what it means for the startup world, board governance, or the tension between AI safety and Silicon Valley capitalism. Rather, we see some interesting things for marketers to put into perspective about how AI should fit into your overall content and marketing plans in the new year.

Robert highlights two takeaways from the OpenAI debacle – a drama that has yet to reach its final chapter: 1. The right structure and governance matters, and 2. Big platforms don’t become antifragile just because they’re big.

Let’s have Robert explain.

The right structure and governance matters

OpenAI’s structure may be key to the drama. OpenAI has a bizarre corporate governance framework. The board of directors controls a nonprofit called OpenAI. That nonprofit created a capped for-profit subsidiary – OpenAI GP LLC. The majority owner of that for-profit is OpenAI Global LLC, another for-profit company. The nonprofit works for the benefit of the world with a for-profit arm.

That seems like an earnest approach, given AI tech’s big and disruptive power. But it provides so many weird governance issues, including that the nonprofit board, which controls everything, has no duty to maximize profit. What could go wrong?

That’s why marketers should know more about the organizations behind the generative AI tools they use or are considering.

First, know your providers of generative AI software and services are all exploring the topics of governance and safety. Microsoft, Google, Anthropic, and others won’t have their internal debates erupt in public fireworks. Still, governance and management of safety over profits remains a big topic for them. You should be aware of how they approach those topics as you license solutions from them.

Second, recognize the productive use of generative AI is a content strategy and governance challenge, not a technology challenge. If you don’t solve the governance and cross-functional uses of the generative AI platforms you buy, you will run into big problems with its cross-functional, cross-siloed use. 

Big platforms do not become antifragile just because they’re big

Nicholas Taleb wrote a wonderful book, Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder. It explores how an antifragile structure doesn’t just withstand a shock; it actually improves because of a disruption or shock. It doesn’t just survive a big disruptive event; it gets stronger because of it.

It’s hard to imagine a company the size and scale of OpenAI could self-correct or even disappear tomorrow. But it can and does happen. And unfortunately, too many businesses build their strategies on that rented land.

In OpenAI’s recent case, the for-profit software won the day. But make no bones about that victory; the event wasn’t good for the company. If it bounces back, it won’t be stronger because of the debacle.

With that win on the for-profit side, hundreds, if not thousands, of generative AI startups breathed an audible sigh of relief. But a few moments later, they screamed “pivot” (in their best imitation of Ross from Friends instructing Chandler and Rachel to move a couch.)

They now realize the fragility of their software because it relies on OpenAI’s existence or willingness to provide the software. Imagine what could have happened if the OpenAI board had won their fight and, in the name of safety, simply killed any paid access to the API or the ability to build business models on top of it.

The last two weeks have done nothing to clear the already muddy waters encountered by companies and their plans to integrate generative AI solutions. Going forward, though, think about the issues when acquiring new generative AI software. Ask about how the vendor’s infrastructure is housed and identify the risks involved. And, if OpenAI expands its enterprise capabilities, consider the implications. What extra features will the off-the-shelf solutions provide? Do you need them? Will OpenAI become the Microsoft Office of your AI infrastructure?

Why you should care

With the voluminous media coverage of Open AI’s drama, you likely will see pushback on generative AI. In my social feeds, many marketers say they’re tired of the corporate soap opera that is irrelevant to their work.

They are half right. What Sam said and how Ilya responded, heart emojis, and how much the Twitch guy got for three days of work are fodder for the Netflix series sure to emerge. (Robert’s money is on Michael Cera starring.)

They’re wrong about its relevance to marketing. They must be experiencing attentional bias – paying more attention to some elements of the big event and ignoring others. OpenAI’s struggle is entertaining, no doubt. You’re glued to the drama. But understanding what happened with the events directly relates to your ability to manage similar ones successfully. That’s the part you need to get right.

Want more content marketing tips, insights, and examples? Subscribe to workday or weekly emails from CMI.


Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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