Brand building made simple by Jeff Bezos

by Nigel Hollis | April 01, 2019

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, has grown one of the most valuable brands in the world and earns more in a minute than most of us earn in a year, so he must be doing something right. And he is not shy about telling us how he became successful. My favourite quote sums up his recipe for success.

“You, the product or service owner, must understand the customer, have a vision, and love the offering. Then, beta testing and research can help you find your blind spots.”

Let me break the quote down into its constituent parts to highlight three really important points.

“You must understand the customer.”

The biggest problem we have today is that for all the data we have, we are losing touch with our customers, who they are, what they want, their fears and desires, why they buy our brand or not. Whether it is big data, neuroscience or traditional surveys and focus groups, we have to use all the data available to understand and empathise with our customer before we do anything else. We need data and insights because if we act only on gut feel then we will likely only appeal to people just like ourselves.

“Have a vision.”

Data alone will not tell you what needs to change. Even with the power of artificial intelligence to identify what is happening someone still needs to identify the big, new growth opportunities. Artificial intelligence may even learn to drive a car on its own but without someone to tell it where to go, all the power of AI is useless. You, the brand owner, must create a vision for what could be, a vision for how your brand can make more money.

“Then, beta testing and research can help you find your blind spots.”

Once you have a vision you need to create a plan to get there and implement that plan effectively. And this brings us back to testing and consumer insight. We all have blind spots. If we do not have a system that helps us identify those blind spots we will be in trouble. The biggest blind spot is how consumers will respond to our brand and marketing initiatives. Consumer insight focused on innovation, creative development and pre-testing can help reduce the blind spots before launch but there is still the big unknown: what will the competition do and how will affect your brand?

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To me this quote highlights exactly how consumer insight can help generate brand growth. Great consumer insight finds that common theme that will appeal to a wide audience and create desire for a brand. And consumer insight can also help identify our blind spots, the things we simply did not know or expect, how potential buyers respond to our brand and the effectiveness of our marketing compared to competitors. But unless the brand owner takes the time to really understand where the opportunities lie then the money will be wasted, and growth hard to come by.

But what do you think? Please share your thoughts.

1 comment

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  1. riefa budiman, April 04, 2019

    To me, it is crystal clear that the quote is from 'design thinking' view which coming from the human-centered problem while a brand-building initially driven by a vision of brand owner that want to approach their consumer with their brand-which might not 100% pure human needs. The blind spot means here to me is 'the jobs to be done' that always be tested to the consumer to get acceptance and generates innovation-like Amozone did. In the other side, the brand owner always seeks to run a trial and error to propose (communicate) their 'signature' to their 'targeted' consumer. So in my opinion brand building cannot approach directly with the perspective of design thinking discipline, especially in gaining insight since the start is already different.

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