Now that it looks like Amazon will start opening its own brick-and-mortar convenience stores next year, does anybody remember how it got its start?
As the first online book store in 1994. And for many years, that’s all it was. Even then, it took well over a decade before it became the kind of technology disruptor that would destroy most of the book store chains once in existence.
Today, of course, it offers much more. It was one of the first companies to make cloud computing accessible to large numbers of small companies and now has its own branded apparel labels, snack foods, consumer electronics, television shows and movies.
But, as is clear with the news about the Amazon-branded convenience stores, it is taking another step with this next phase, moving beyond online retailing back – in a way – to an earlier era of retailing that involves personalized, face-to-face customer service with live employees in its own stores.
By the way, in case you missed it, a year ago Amazon opened a … wait for it … brick-and-mortar book store near the University of Washington in Seattle.
So, it has come full circle, from offering an alternative to the traditional book store, to practically destroying that entire business model, to a new version of the old-fashioned book store down the street.
It’s not that Amazon has any deep passion for books either. It’s because Jeff Bezos is always looking for the next opportunity to extend the Amazon brand; this time, it just happens to be back to the past.
Let’s say you started out with a single tradeshow in 1994 and, even though you might not have known what you were talking about, you called it a brand. Twenty-two years later, how far have you extended that event brand?
There are ways to do it, starting today.
Jeff Bezos is no smarter than you and, if he can do it, so can you. Besides, if you don’t extend your event brand, and fast, somebody else will read this and do it for you – and make it their brand.
Michael Hart is a business consultant and writer who focuses on the events industry. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.