So, is Amazon a good brand or a bad brand? And what does that matter for #HRTech?
Remember when Amazon’s culture was criticized?
Back in August 2015, The New York Times published an “expose” on Amazon’s culture, entitled “Wrestling With Big Ideas In A Bruising Workplace.” The article got a bunch of attention and still gets mentioned/discussed even now (it was published basically a half-decade ago).
The biggest tenet of the article is that people at Amazon work long hours and managers can be intense. People were, for some reason, up in arms about this.
But consider: in Q4 2019, their revenue was over $87 billion. Their founder is ostensibly the richest guy on the entire planet.
Wouldn’t you assume that people work hard?
When you use Amazon, and the experience of getting stuff is pretty frictionless (minus during #coronavirus), wouldn’t you assume that involves a lot of work and managers raising voices on the back-end of the operation?
Of course. And the branding of “bruising workplace” and “long hours” attracts many people. It’s been an employer branding position for hedge funds, for example, for years.
That’s all an introduction to saying …
… every organization has brand attributes.
They appeal to different people.
There is no one size fits all in this whole “trying to figure out your career” and “trying to figure out who you want on your team” intersection.
Some places are fully-remote (like Automattic, the parent of WordPress) and do great work, but have a more relaxed vibe. Some places you regularly put in 80-hour weeks building something massive.
Each brand has features, benefits, and attributes. Consumers and clients do respond to those, and those are reflected through the marketing you put out, the way your sales team approaches people, what you do in the community, the colors you use in branding, etc. It’s a giant ecosystem.
And in the same vein…
Every product that your brand puts out has features, benefits, and attributes. A lot of those features may be similar to your competitors.
Do you have an onboarding suite? Cool. So do 40 other companies, and some of them might even focus there.
It’s a bit harder than we openly admit to differentiate on features and benefits alone because so many of them overlap — and as people (devs, marketers, etc.) move between similar companies within an industry (#HRTech), the product features end up overlapping even more.
So, in a way, your biggest point of difference might be the features, benefits, and attributes of your brand, as opposed to your legacy product.
Not everyone always understands this.
Ryan Leary and William Tincup discuss that, and more, in this episode.