Most Connected Brands – Amazon (1st)

Amazon delivers the goods for a third year in a row

Staying true to its mission to be the world’s most customer centric company, Amazon has secured its place at the top of our Most Connected Brands Index for a third year in a row.

Amazon’s success is down to its wholehearted obsession with transforming the customer experience, a pursuit which has taken the brand from being the nation’s favourite, to the brand we can no longer live without.

Last year, 70% of UK online consumers said they started their online search on Amazon (1), enriching the brand with a wealth of first party shopping data and turning the attention to a promising revenue stream for the brand, Amazon Advertising. Digital advertising sales were undoubtedly not in the pipeline when the brand first launched its online bookstore back in the 90s, and yet in Q1 of this year Amazon Advertising has been recorded as the fastest growing arm of the business (2).

But it’s not just Amazon’s customer focussed attitude that has kept it at the top of our MCB Index. Amazon’s fearlessness to push industry boundaries and enter new markets is what keeps it top of mind. This year, Amazon is set to open its first own branded convenience store in the UK. Concerned that it may not survive in the competitive UK grocery sector, Amazon has already made plans to sell its innovative cashless technology to other supermarkets, in an ingenious move that will ensure it takes a share of the sector regardless of the store’s success. If Amazon cannot beat its competitors, it will make them its customers.

Social Responsibility is Amazon’s lowest score in our MCB Index for a third year, falling below average for the first time in the series. This indicates that, despite efforts to appear to be acting to benefit wider society, perceptions of the brand as having poor ethical standards have not yet been shifted.

However, things could finally be changing for the better. Since the recent outbreak of Coronavirus and as Amazon reported making USD$11,000 a second as a result, pressure mounted from the public for Amazon to provide better treatment of its employees, an issue that has been under the spotlight long before the pandemic. Not wanting to be remembered as the brand that didn’t support key workers, a group now becoming known as heroes in the UK, Amazon has accelerated its response to pressures, including providing its London warehouse staff and delivery drivers with a GBP£2-anhour pay rise. If this type of behaviour continues for the rest of the year, Amazon might have a chance at being at the top of all our Most Connected metrics in 2021.

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