By Jeffrey Gitomer
How deep is your brand?
You can say anything you want about Amazon.com, but you cannot doubt the power and the depth of that brand—they own way more than their name in the marketplace. The brand name you know best is “Amazon shopping” when you’re comparing a price at a bookstore or an appliance store, or a hardware store, or for that matter, any store. You take out your smart phone and you compare Amazon pricing to whatever you’re thinking about buying. And at that moment in time, you make a snap decision to either buy at the store or buy with your phone.
Note well: Amazon shopping is just the tip of their brand iceberg. The depth of the brand goes way beyond the name, because when you purchase from Amazon, you refer to it in one of two ways: You either “one-click it” or you “Prime it.”
“1-click” means you purchase with your credit card, no need to enter anything or do anything other than click your smart phone. “Prime it” means you get it in two days, freight free.
Think about that for just a second: You don’t even say the company’s name. Amazon is known by the services it provides: One-click for my credit card, and Prime for two-day free shipping.
That is the definition and the power of brand depth. They have created services that are so powerful that their company is literally known by the name that they have attached to the service.
OK, so much for Amazon. What are you known for? What name is attached to your brand or your business that you have or are creating a reputation for?
You don’t have one? So my next question is, what could you become known for? Could it be same-day shipping? Could it be a better guarantee? Could it be free freight? Could it be a live person answering the phone 24/7? Could it be one-hour service response time?
Whatever it is, it has to be something that sets you apart—far apart, from your competition.
Amazon’s brand is so deep that someone would have to spend billions of dollars to compete, and even then, there would be no guarantee of success.
There’s a new company on the horizon, jet.com, trying to compete with Amazon. They have a huge budget, but Amazon owns one-click and Amazon owns prime. It will take years and billions to dent that marketplace. Amazon also has very low margins, making it even more difficult for someone to build profit and equity to market enough to gain a sizeable share.
And regardless of who enters the market against Amazon, they have a customer comfort level in dealing with them and social ratings to prove it. You feel safe and secure; they are 99.9 percent reliable, and it’s likely that you have received dozens, perhaps hundreds, of their packages. Even their boxes are branded.
So for you, Amazon is a great brand to study. A great company to use as a model for services that you’re trying to provide to your customers in order to secure their long-term business, their genuine loyalty, and help build your reputation by posting positive things about their experience with you, your products, and your services. And, oh yeah, make a buck.
More than a hundred books have been written on branding. I wonder if Jeff Bezos has read any of them.
If you look at other dominant brands, like Apple, or Google, or eBay, they own their spaces and their keywords, because they have consistently provided products and services that people know and trust, and have sophisticated their on-line presence to a point where they can claim ownership.
Whether it’s iTunes, or buy it now, or Google it, they own the phrases and words that connect with and create rec-ognition of their brand.
What words, phrases, and services are associated with you that disassociate you from your competition? Major clue: If you’re still fighting price, it means there’s little or no differentiation.
The best thing you can do right now is take a close look at every aspect of your business, your products and your services, and determine at least one area where you have the potential for recognition and market dominance.
Then focus on that with every ounce of your social power.
Jeffrey Gitomer is author of The Little Red Book of Selling and The Little Red Book of Sales Answers.
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