December 21, 2013 brandlogik

The Everything Store – inside the digital disruption mindset

A few days ago my wife and I decided we needed to add an extra oven to our kitchen. No big deal – with the festive season and Chinese New Year approaching we needed to have some more cooking options.

This is the sort of purchase that would normally make couples take a trip to their local electrical or department store, try out the options and decide and maybe have an argument or two.

With both of us busy, my wife’s first reaction was to forward me a few options from Amazon and, as I’m the main cook, help her decide which one was best for us. We made a decision based on a few simple criteria, agreed on the one we wanted and bought it.

It was only when I got the tracking email telling me our new oven was on it’s way from Italy, that I realised how friction free, relationship enhancing and transparent the Amazon buying process had been. You see, for little more than the cost of a London restaurant meal for two, we had bought a top-of-the-range Italian designed oven that would have been impossible to source locally.

We had made a purchase that in an off-line era would have involved sourcing a supplier in Italy by phone, agreeing carriage and delivery charges, assuming my Italian was up to the negotiation and waiting for a delivery company to eventually ship it to us in Ireland – a time-consuming and prohibitively expensive process.

A similar process occurred, but we did it all transparently and easily online and with the Amazon algorithms and brand promise to make everything easy for us. So we now have a reasonably priced, swanky new oven, delivered without fuss or argument from Italy in a matter of days.

Amazon disruption graphic


You may have strong views one way or another about Amazon and other large disruptive companies, but this is what it’s like being a customer inside the ecosystem and mindset of a disruptive company. When it works, customers not only get what they want, they get the best possible experience at the most reasonable price possible and everything from payment to delivery to after sales service is easy and transparent.

Here’s what Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has to say on the process: “If you want to get to the truth about what makes us different, it’s this. We are genuinely customer-centric, we are genuinely long-term oriented and we genuinely like to invent. Most companies are not those things.” Quoted in The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the age of Amazon, Brad Stone, (Page 12).

So is this post nothing more than an advertisement for Amazon? No, this is about the processes of doing business, of being inventive and disruptive. This is about understanding how brands and companies can win in a disruptive world, where everyone is your competitor in one way or another. This is about getting inside the digitally disruptive mindset of The Everything Store, crudely exemplified by our purchase of a simple, everyday household appliance.

You see I have long understood that people buy design and branding services not companies. I have learned that people, whether they know it or not, have grown to expect the same level of friction-free experience from me and my company that they would expect from the The Everything Store of Jeff Bezos, no matter where they are in the world, and I’m selling services and consultancy, not products. Technology is best when it is transparent and business processes are best when they are transparent too.

This is what it’s like inside the digital disruption mindset, rather than outside worrying about when your next trailblazing competitor is going to arrive and eat your lunch, probably cooked in a swanky new oven.

Disruption is not easy and it’s perhaps a never-ending journey, but it has its rewards.

Eugene Burns


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.