When Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, was looking to name his online bookstore he wanted something catchy that started with the letter “A”. The letter would help the website appear early in an alphabetic order, which seemed literally like a good place to start. Also, the fact that the word he came up with included both the letters “A” and “Z”, helped the logo designers to visualize the vast catalog of books (from A to Z, get it?) with a curved arrow that looks like a smiley.
As technology evolved and rival companies began to spread their arms to multiple fields of expertise, Amazon found itself hanging around the party where “A-Z” was the theme. Apple ruled the mobile music players industry with their iPod (and that’s before someone was even thinking about mobile phones with a touch screen), Google’s search engine was just the beginning for Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Microsoft got into the consoles, and none of them intends to stop anytime soon. The same is true for Amazon – With their own e-book reader, app store, collection of remote computing services (known as AWS), streaming media player, its own mobile device, the recent acquisition of Twitch, and testing a drone delivery service. Let’s not forget that Amazon holds huge amounts of data on user purchases, which could make it a powerful player in online ads. In fact, with its smart scanning feature on their mobile device, learning more about its customer’s behavior will be easier. All Amazon needs to do is…well, sell devices.
Regardless, the field Amazon is part of is all about the data, and it has lots of it. That data can be used to directly challenge Google’s dominance of the online advertising market. Google already remade product ads on its site to look more like Amazon’s (with images, prices & ratings) so it means Jeff Bezos baby is doing something right in that field. Furthermore, Apple CEO’s (Nice smart-watch by the way!) recent interview in which he claimed he doesn’t consider Amazon as neither a competitor nor a partner, is also a statement that should be taken as a positive thing. After all, if Tim Cook drops your name in an interview then every PR from him is a good PR.
It appears Amazon’s master-plan includes building a broad platform that will rely on their main expertise – e-commerce. For the company not to find itself heading the “Microsoft way” – spreading its arms in all directions, being fairly average with most of its products and services – the next letter in the alphabet for Amazon should be a game changer. While Microsoft has the privilege to “blame” its strategy on different CEO’s different visions, Amazon has one man in charge from day 1, and he’s about to run out of letters.
Boris Shurp is Marketing Executive at dmg.