My web browser has been full of stories about the Amazon Fire Phone. Jeff Bezos’s name was all over the news outlets and even NPR had a featured story on the new phone. What did not surprise me was that all of the stories centered on the phone’s features and price point. No one looked into the secret to a successful launch.
When Amazon launched the Kindle a century ago (or so it seems), it was not only the best tablet reader at the time, it was alone in the category and had the Amazon electronic book library’s content to back it up. Kindle was the brand that consumers bought when they rushed to own the Kindle, not Amazon.
I don’t believe the buying public cares a jot about the 3D features of this new smart phone. Those that review them (and many find the features lacking) are missing the boat. They are not looking at the reasons consumers buy the devices today. They buy phones that they can identify with.
So the Samsung owners identify with size and value, iPhone loyalists buy simplicity and design, Google owners buy avant guard and connectivity, Blackberry owners buy nothing, and now Fire Phone is for people who identify with Amazon? Are you kidding me?
Most of us shop at least occasionally on Amazon but do we have any high emotional intensity with the self-definition of being an online shopper? Is that the cool factor that we want to lead with when we pull out our new phone?
Amazon does not own any emotional intensity with the target audience it serves other than that of an aggregator. What is interesting is that because Amazon launched the phone, it has become worthy of examination by technology folks and not branding folks or marketing experts. The hurdles for Amazon with its phone is not to be found in its bells and whistles because I doubt very much that the ability to shop instantly from anywhere on my phone is an emotional need strong enough to drive purchase preference.
So, unless the phone drops its price point to under $100 bucks and becomes a cheap entry point of upgrade to smart phone technology this “news” will fade from importance. Does Amazon want to attract the penny pinching discount buyer as its prime audience? I don’t think so. While Amazon plays in the price comparison market, it needs buyers with discretional spending to drive its core business.
I think Jeff Bezos should be downplaying the link with Amazon. His is a house of brands and not a branded house.