A brand is not a logo


In full design thinking mode, Amazon is taking baby steps as it explores with constant iterations of concepts the world of brick & mortar.



The question is no longer digital vs brick & mortar. Brands that are doing it well are providing a unified experience for the customer to buy off-line, on-line and through social media platforms 24/7

Look at the logo. Simple and straightforward, some may even call it meek. Look closer; notice the arrow. Notice where it stems from and where it lands: from A to Z, the whole shebang. Now turn your attention to the name of the company, called after one of the greatest natural treasures of our world, as well as one of the largest rivers. two natural reserves shelter, nurture and provide much of our natural resources and, as the most biodiverse areas on earth, contain an unfathomable amount of trees and wild animals, some of which are on the verge of extinction.

The company we know as Amazon today was born under the name Cadabra as in Abracadabra in 1994. Bezos decided to change it after a lawyer misheard the world “cadaver” – He chose the river name, for two reasons: the scale and the fact that back then websites where listed alphabetically. Which proves my point that successful brands practice the science of intentionalism.

Doesn’t seem so humble anymore, does it? When closely analyzed, the company looks like a laxly dressed goliath, ready to take over the world with a retailing solution that is always a decade ahead of its time.

Think about it. While others online retailers are doing what Amazon did in its early years, the company is branching out into intangible properties like digital spaces (in the cloud) and content (music and movies).

Amazon purchased IMDd, the world’s most popular and authoritative source for movie, TV and celebrity content in 1998, long before the term streaming became a household name and content became a driver for Amazon Prime.

While Walmart and Target and other major retailers are barely catching up with their on-line stores, Amazon is already creating all kinds of experiments using the what is known in Stanford & Silicon Valley as design thinking: Nothing is final today, you can launch a prototype, learn from your consumer and build again until you get it right, that is if you believe there is a final version of something nowadays

While others offer next day delivery, Amazon continues exploring same day delivery with fresh food retailing via the infamous drones, and most lately is bridging the digital divide and for the first time targeting a specific audience “by acquiring Whole Foods literally “rich” database of customers.

With that acquisition Amazon is not only accelerating it’s brick and mortar footprint but what is more interesting, is conducting a fascinating experiment on how to make its class agnostic brand (Amazon) to appeal to a very niche group of affluent consumers. In that journey Amazon has discovered that the modern shopper, conscientious of the impact of his or her purchase, is eager to support small and local businesses. And this year announced two initiatives to support small retailers in their omni-channel strategy by being the partner of choice.

Amazon’s remarkable trajectory is based on one vision: The most convenient way to buy…anything. This is as complicated as managing their gargantuan inventory and the logistics machine to fulfill this promise. Its core, though, is actually quite simple: everything Amazon revolves around the consumer..

Hand Made at Amazon and Shopping Local are just two of the most recent initiatives of the giant retailer to appeal to the affluent, sophisticated and very conscientious millennial shopper.

All advances in technology, information and innovation are driven by one single objective: satisfy customers. From its early start, when the purchase of a couple of books helped the company profile reading preferences so they could offer recommendations, to the futuristic view in which the pantry, the closet, and the bookshelves will be filled by one retailer in the most efficient and convenient way, including the smart Alexa taking your order while you cook. The success of Amazon lies in understanding the problem that it solves and curating every action towards building the brand Amazon will make up to 50% of All U.S. E-Commerce by 2021

Will the future of Amazon be sending you your shopping list 24 hours before you need it? That doesn’t sound too far-fetched to me. While some see this as a creepy big brother scenario, they fail to see that Amazon is gathering information not to sell it to third parties or to invade your privacy, but to simplify your life; to let you know that you are probably running out of printer ink and paper before you even notice; to give you a heads up that there’s a new novel by your favorite writer. When all attention is focused on one objective, the possibilities are endless.

Bravo, Amazon, for understanding that a brand is only successful when it has a mission that satisfies the needs and desires of consumers. Bravo Amazon because you understand that the science behind managing a brand and that I call intentionalism, is visible in every action you do, from acquisitions to logos and everything in between. Bravo Amazon for asking your brand if this or that move is going to fulfill your promise: To be the earth’s most customer-centric company