Walking the path of true innovation was a far-fetched notion to many entrepreneurs during the 90s, and up until the early 2000s. In fact, the world has come a long way since the inception and proactive implementation of e-commerce websites and its many attributes. And what makes Amazon, a brain-child one of the most innovative leaders in our present scene, Jeff Bezos, a company most besotted for its unique work culture, the most innovative company of not only 2020, but even for the years to come is because it is a true amalgamation of services, customer-profiling and of course, technology
But, this is only highlighting ‘how’ the company came to be, what made it all possible was the initial thought that the CEO honed for years. It was to build a business that had a global outreach and would enable its consumers, though the power of the internet, to be able to acquire said goods, directly at their doorstep.
We noticed how earlier on, Amazon was completely dependent on not only on its online presence, but also the whole logistics of it. And here too, we will notice how much Amazon was concerned about how its consumers were reacting to its services. Of course, they hadn’t got it right the first time, but what is notable is that the individuals at Amazon ‘wanted to’ understand its patrons not only to sell their services but also to create and satisfy their needs.
So, in the current times, we can arrive at an understanding of where Amazon’s deeply embedded writing culture came from. It was derived from the need to understand a consumer’s said needs and to invest in it accordingly. Amazon’s consumer-based analysis was conducive to understanding the customers’ needs even before they realized it themselves.
Amazon deep-dived into consumer behavior using demographic variables like income, age, sex, etc. not to mention leveraged technology to study online consumer behavior and attracted potential customers with relevant content. Well researched FAQs, press releases, blogs, were tools that Amazon used to a great extent influence customers, etc.
Today, Amazon is noted to have over 130 million visitors each month.
Amazon Prime, Amazon Go, Amazon bookstore, Amazon whole foods, Amazon 4 star, these are all extensions that sprouted only because the ‘need’ was understood and catered to. Though they did also understand that partaking in innovation was going to be a series of trials and a lot of errors, yet with a vision to create and advance, Amazon came up with Alexa. We can all agree how convenient this AI made all our lives, and to witness the magic firsthand with its interactive interface was a new-age development all across the globe.
Another initiative by the e-commerce giant Prime Air could be a real game changer. It will aid customers to get their orders delivered in 30 minutes or less via drones who drop them at your doorstep. This wing is still under-development, and the Corona crisis only reinforces the need for such a modern-day delivery alternative.
Amazon places an asset value on ideas, and Bezos is the ‘ideator in chief’. His zest for enabling technologies, unconventional concepts, and for better ways of operating, is infectious.
“I could fill this whiteboard in an hour with 100 ideas,” Bezos had once boasted to an interviewer.
He firmly believes that a continuous inflow of ideas is what fuels actual growth. He sees his function as creating an augmented environment to value and respect ideas at all levels, and act with a sense of urgency to expedite their implementation. Three maxims have been a part of their working culture from the beginning: think longer term, obsess over the customer, and be willing to invent.
Let’s first comprehend that Amazon’s marketing strategy is to keep providing exceptional services that create positive word of mouth, their interactions focusing preemptively on SEO & PPC. They keep their budget for advertising less compared to the size of the company, yet we observe that they focus on word-of-mouth being an essential part of their success. But Amazon has spent millions on strengthening its SEO game and has ventured deep into the realms of digital marketing. Therefore, in 2015, Over 90% of Amazon’s marketing budget was focused on both SEO and PPC. It is noted that Etsy is the only other large brand that spent more of their budget on search marketing.
We can all agree that every successful company today innovates differently. Google likes to integrate several innovation strategies. Apple has a passionate approach towards design. IBM is committed to deep scientific research, which definitely has given it a competitive edge. So, what works for one company would likely not work for another, a fact that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos highlighted in a recent letter to shareholders. He states that they aren’t claiming that their approach to innovation is the right one, but it is the path that many of his employees freely choose to believe in their own accord.
In all fairness, the truth is that there is no one “true” path to innovation because innovation, at its very core, is all about finding a solution to problems and every enterprise chooses different problems to solve.
So, where Google gladly allows its employees to pursue pet projects, IBM might be happy to have its scientists work for decades on some arcane technology. Their work culture styles may not necessarily fly for the e-commerce titan that has carved a niche for itself in a world driven by innovation.