| June 07, 2017
Amazon has powered up another three places in the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands Ranking (you can find the latest ranking here). This rise required the brand’s value to grow 41 percent over last year, making the e-commerce giant the third fastest growing in brand value in the last year. Bezos’ Day 1 strategy really does seem to be paying off.
The Day 1 strategy focuses on the customer, not just responding to stated needs, but anticipating how the brand can serve people better. Since we first created the BrandZ Top Most Valuable Global Brands Ranking in 2006, Amazon has been perceived as meaningful – meeting people’s needs in a way they like – and different. These attributes have helped power the brand’s success. Amazon is not alone in this regard, of the 86 brands that were valued both in 2006 and in 2017 the top third by meaningful difference in 2006 grew five times more than the bottom third.
However, maintaining a brand’s meaningful difference requires a continued focus on pleasing the consumer. Bezos’ Day 1 strategy means innovating and investing in multiple growth opportunities. Amazon is investing in new fulfillment centers, new data centers, an air hub in Kentucky, entry into India, and new technology in the form of Echo and Alexa. For me, however, it is the return to bricks experimentation that is most interesting. Amazon’s foray into physical bookstores has been going since 2015 and is positioned as simply a better way to discover books, but for a more radical approach we must look at its grocery business.
In 2016, Amazon launched its Amazon Go store in Seattle which represents an interesting twist, as the major e-commerce player experiments with a grab and go format. Shoppers use the Amazon Go app to enter the store, take what they want and simply walk out with it. The technology keeps track of what has been taken and bills the shopper’s Amazon account. Talk about frictionless shopping! And then, of course there is Amazon Fresh Pickup. Order online, drive up and get your groceries. Check out this review of the Amazon Fresh Pickup experience. And rumors that Amazon will sell prescription drugs continue to circulate, impacting the share price of CVS and Walgreens.
Even if these initiatives do not prove successful they signal Amazon’s intent, to make even greater inroads into the world of retail. Amazon is already the most valuable retail brand in the world, worth US$139 billion, more than the next three largest retailers combined (Alibaba, The Home Depot and Walmart), and clearly has its sights set far higher.
I am intrigued to know what you think of the Amazon bricks and mortar initiatives. Please share your thoughts.