Yes, I need to talk about Amazon.com again. In recent 100 Best Global Brands chosen by Business Week (September 28th issue), Amazon is ranked 43, rising 13 spots from the previous year. If compared to top of the list brands like Coca-Cola, IBM, Microsoft, GE and Nokia in sequence, Amazon is still far behind. Why the interest in Amazon.com when the stock is not my concern?
Amazon.com and Bezos, the boss
Because the world’s best known companies typically spend hundreds of millions of dollars a year on advertising and marketing to build their brands. But it’s not the case for Amazon.com. The giant online retailer has created one of the world’s strongest brands by eschewing conventional tactics. Business Week quotes, instead of shelling out big bucks for lavish trade shows and TV and magazine ads, Amazon pours money into technology for its website distribution capability, and good deals on shipping. The result: a smooth shopping experience that burnishes the company name.
“It is pretty unprecedented that their brand has ascended so quickly without large marketing budget,” says Hayes Roth, chief marketing officer at brand consultant Landor Associates. “It’s not about splaying their logo everywhere. They are all about ease of use.”
And Amazon declined to take part in providing their success branding-story to Business Week. I suspect if branding ever existed in Amazon’s dictionary. “By investing back in the user experience, you get high loyalty and repeat usage,” says Sebastian Thomas, head of U.S. technology research for RCM Capital Management, and investment firm with a stake in the company.
So, what shall we call such a “no-branding” branding strategy?
I fancy Practical Branding.
“Practical branding? This is the first time I heard of it. Please elaborate.” This is the very first question an official from Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation had asked me after I wrapped up my presentation for our application for Brand Promotion Grant last year.
C.I.F. Shipping for FingerTec
When I explained, it bore certain similarities to Amazon.com.
Our tagline says it all. With FingerTec, everything is easy. We allocate our budget to improve details of our system to provide good customer experience, regardless whether you are a reseller or end-customer. The budget poured to provide better quality products and more user-friendly software to minimize technical problems. The money went to our websites that are equipped with all types of tool and material for users and partners to refer to and download. The expenditure allows us to keep fine-tuning our support system that built on Salesforce.com platform to efficiently handle all kinds of inquiries. And, ……
Our latest marketing and support kit that compiled everything useful in one CD, is expected to bring an ear-to-ear smile from our resellers.
Big smile, all-in-one marketing and support CD
All these efforts encircled around users and resellers, to smoothen their experience in using with our products and in dealing with us. Just like Amazon.com, they don’t claim how good they are through advertising dollars, but the brand speaks for itself through users’ experience.
So, can I claim the origin of “Practical branding” term?
by Teh Hon Seng, CEO, FingerTec HQ