Started back in 1994, during the period of internet infancy, Amazon was an online platform that offers a wide range of books and literature products worldwide. Amazon’ success as one of the pioneers in the e-commerce industry could be attributed to extraordinarily successful management as well as an unorthodox marketing strategy. This article will discuss how Amazon was managed as well as the inspiring marketing strategy adopted by Amazon that has brought them to become one of the leading e-commerce company worldwide.
Leadership: As leader that drove Amazon to its success, Jeff Bezos is one of the key figurehead in the history of his own company. Often referred as an unconventional leader, Bezos’ leadership is one of the facets that distinct set Amazon aside from other companies. Known by his almost obsessive customer centric management or leadership style, Bezos placed his customers at the top of Amazon’s priority. He tried his best to understand his customers’ preferences and dislikes and build his business strategies on that ground.
Bezos is known to ensure that there are no delays in every aspect of customer experience (from website through product delivery). Bezos leadership style reflects his customer centric values with the intense 500 measures of performance related goals and high expectations of employee’s performance. Despite being a reportedly happy person, he is also a leader that put emphasis on almost every single aspects of how the company was run; from the size of each team and their productivity (take a look on the two-pizzas-or-less policy), office furniture and waste management. The reportedly intense and high work demands might have led to a high turnover rate at Amazon; however, Bezos high expectations and demands for their employees have also pushed Amazon to be efficient and also receptive to constant changes and innovation that is not uncommon in today’s market.
Open System Management. Throughout its journey, Amazon has evolved from an online platform that only provided books into a giant chain of diverse products such as web development platform, book review platform, audio books services, and a platform that offers customers with a wildly wide range of products (from groceries to the recently released gadgets). Amazon’s innovation and exploration of new ideas has yet to stop or slow down. Over 20 years, half a million (employees in US alone), 75 countries and US$ 100 billions later, Amazon continues to explore new ideas, such as getting your products delivered by a man-less drones!
Bezos encourages data driven innovation and rigorous testing of an idea prior to deployment. With customer satisfaction as its ultimate goal, Amazon employees are encouraged to continues to integrate and create new ways of servicing customers better and faster. Adapting Open System Management, feedback from customers and other departments is taken seriously in the process of project development and after. Products and their features are adapted to meet the market demands and beyond, not the aspirations of the developers and innovators alone.
Here are some key points we can take from Amazons’ success in change management and innovation:
1. Acknowledge the importance of innovation, because “what’s dangerous is not to evolve.” - Jeff Bezos
2. Focus on what your customers and market are asking
4. When the targets and aspirations are high and employees are not as motivated to strive for the common goal, the management at times might need to nudge (or maybe shove) evolutionary ideas onto the organization.