Amazon Alexa is a “colossal failure,” on pace to lose $10 billion this year, and has started layoffs within the division. If that’s not bad enough, Amazon’s “approval” rating has dropped substantially among customers. It’s a classic textbook case of trying to be everything to everyone.
Alexa was a good idea, but the device’s failure to integrate with smartphones, including email and social media, is a crucial reason why people don’t want to spend money on a device that turns off the lights and lets them know the forecast.
I’ve been an Amazon customer for a long time and noticed that deliveries are taking longer and that prices for some items have gone through the roof. A case of Smart Water, 12 bottles, on Amazon is $40, whereas, in my local store, they are on sale for a dollar a bottle.
People are finding out that Amazon.com does not always mean the lowest price, and although it’s still the number one e-commerce platform Wal*Mart.com is stealing share in the grocery category. Today when I order something on Amazon, it comes either through UPS, USPS, or their delivery service.
Since I love music, I often buy old jazz CDs online, but on Amazon, they can run from $40 to well over $300, depending on the title. Some books that are advertised are less expensive at my local bookshop.
The lesson of this is simple; your brand can’t be all things to everyone. Expansion can be a good strategy, but it should never come at the expense of your core business.
Today it’s not good enough to be a profitable brand; you have to be a growing brand because that’s what Wall Street wants. Expansion means more customer service people and more investment in your infrastructure, but that costs money when economists warn of a possible recession.
The newly elected Republican House has only one goal: to disrupt the current administration as much as possible and get revenge. This will affect business and consumers, and most brands are reluctant to invest money with so many unknowns.
Amazon expanded too much and tried to do too much too quickly. It’s a lesson for every brand.