Strategy and Planning

We Want to be the Apple and Amazon of…

Strategy and Consulting - The Digital Essentials, Part 2
The Digital Essentials, Part 2

A compelling digital strategy finds a balance between maintaining what you already offer while providing new, disruptive ideas that will get you to next level, hold off competition, and entice new customers. We present five digital essentials to help you rise to the challenge.

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In the course of getting to know many of our clients and their aspirations, we often work with them to get a better understanding of the competitors and companies they admire and are inspired by. Of course, companies are always trying to keep up with and outwit their competitors, but more often we find clients looking outside of their own categories because customers can bring their expectations from anywhere. One of the most recurring responses we get from customers is, “We want to be like Apple and Amazon.”
A tongue-in-cheek reaction might be: “You want to make hip consumer electronics with an awesome in-store experience and sell them in a massively scalable online marketplace?” But we get it. It’s kind of like asking my nephew what he wants to be when he grows up, and he answers, “Tom Brady.” Our job is to get to the heart of what makes Apple and Amazon great, break it down to the parts that matter to our clients’ customers, and leverage their strengths to be better. But are Apple-and-Amazon really the Greatest of All Time brands? According to some recent data…yes! Clients love these brands because their customers love these brands.
There are many reasons why Apple and Amazon are so admired, and not all of them are measured in sales, margin, stock price, or market share. Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a measurement of customers’ collective likelihood to recommend a company and has been proven over the last several years to be a good benchmark of an overall experience. ForeSee recently published NPS data for several retailers and I think the results are an interesting validation of an Apple-and-Amazon effect. But further, it should give companies even more to think about by comparing what they like and don’t like about many other brands and companies they also know.
Sampling the leaders and laggards in each category, the references points start to take shape:

Amazon tops the list, followed by L. L. Bean, Adidas, Toys”R”Us , and then Apple. My first reaction – and I hope others feel the same way – is to understand more about these three in between. What is pushing them ahead of Apple? What makes them different? What is holding back the laggards? We hope clients ask themselves the same questions about the experiences they provide their own customers.
By the way, when I was a kid, someone asked who I wanted to be when I grew up. I said I wanted to be Evel Knievel and less like Cousin Oliver. Be more like Amazon, and less like, well, I’ll let you figure that out.

About the Author

Jim Hertzfeld is Principal and Chief Strategist for Perficient Digital, and works with clients to make their customers and shareholders happy through insanely great digital experiences.

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