Last week in my post “A coffee culture repackaged” I shared the story of Starbucks as one of the most visible examples of a company successfully driving lifestyle trends. Following up on that post, today I share yet another compelling example.
Let’s consider Amazon.com. This is a company that soared in annual revenues from $4 billion in 2002 to nearly $20 billion in 2008. What is the philosophy that enabled such growth? “If you want to continuously revitalize the service that you offer to your customers, you cannot stop at what you are good at,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos told BusinessWeek. “You have to ask what your customers need and want, and then, no matter how hard it is, you better get good at those things.”
When you ask such questions regarding consumer relevance continuously and intensely enough as an organization, you will start to infatuate consumers to the extent that they will recognize you as one of their favorite brands, and willingly follow you across market segments. Just look at the progression of Amazon. First, it was selling new books online, then the company expanded to providing a marketplace for used books, then all kinds of consumer goods, and in 2007, Amazon jumped from the services platform to a product-service hybrid with the Kindle e-book reader. Along the way Amazon has been transforming the very essence of the book industry as well as its own business in pursuit of the most broadly relevant consumer offerings and lifestyle enrichment.
More on the perspective of lifestyle enrichment in my book Slingshot: Re-Imagine Your Business, Re-Imagine Your Life.
[Image via cnet.]