It turns out Amazon sucks so badly that CEO Jeff Bezos donated $98M to charity and still got dragged for it. Even politicians clapped back, with U.K. Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn calling Bezos out for his hypocrisy: “That’s 0.09% of your net worth. Just pay your taxes,” he tweeted.
There’s a good reason why we felt compelled to write an open letter to Bezos, calling him out for tax dodging, shady employment practices, failing to curb the site’s many counterfeit problems and generally being a crappy dude.
People obviously believe Amazon and Jeff Bezos suck, but there are a few things the CEO could do to change his company’s reputation—starting with using a .SUCKS domain.
Everyone Thinks Amazon.Sucks
If bad press and legions of spiteful social media commentators aren’t enough to convince you that Amazon sucks, here are some more fun statistics: the term “Amazon sucks” is searched for an average of 720 times per month; “Amazon delivery sucks” receives 260 average monthly hits; “Amazon Prime sucks” sees 140 average monthly searches; and “Amazon Prime video sucks”, “Amazon logistics sucks”, and “Amazon shipping sucks” are tied at 110 monthly searches.
You might not think the above numbers are astronomical—and they aren’t—but consider this:
- “eBay sucks” is searched for 590 times per month,
- “Etsy sucks” is searched for 110 times per month, and
- “Alibaba sucks” is searched for 20 times per month.
According to search behavior, Amazon sucks more than its top competitors—in some cases, by a lot more. That’s about 1,450 disgruntled searches for some variation of “amazon sucks” every month. Mr. Bezos needs to start getting serious about revamping his company image if he wants to remain relevant, especially in a world where people are increasingly concerned about the ethics of consumerism.
The (Ethical) Future of Business
An Accenture survey of approximately 30,000 consumers across 35 countries found that shoppers judge the value of a business or product based on clear communication of company ethics. And this is becoming more important to consumers than product price or durability—a whopping 73% of millennial buyers said they’re willing to spend extra money on a product if they know it’s ethically made, sourced and sold.
A First Insights study (cheekily titled “Amazon: Past Its Prime”) revealed that the “frequency of U.S. consumers shopping at Amazon is dropping”. Amazon Prime membership rates are declining, users report that they’re more likely to buy from Amazon competitors (Walmart and Target are sneaking into the picture) and the average number of purchases per user has gone down.
Clearly, the tides of public opinion are turning—slowly but surely—and even Bezos is cognizant of the fact that Amazon can and may fail.
Stop Sucking with .SUCKS
There are plenty of ways Bezos et al. could go about fixing Amazon’s haggard reputation. And since we know the CEO extraordinaire loves money, we’re offering our brainstorming work free of charge. Check out these clever ways the brand could have used a .SUCKS domain:
- Homelessness.Sucks: Bezos could turn his controversial donation into a movement. Tossing money around looks like a PR move—building and propagating a whole charitable campaign shows real sentiment. Customers want to see C-level executives step up and do some actual legwork. Instead of just making a donation, Amazon could have turned a custom landing page into a touchpoint for the cause, celebrating charities and companies for doing great work, and putting a name and a face behind the issue.
- Amazon.Sucks: Rather than letting those 1,450+ disgruntled monthly searchers land on unsavory news pieces, Amazon could benefit from directing them to a webpage it designed. It could be used to address pain points (and what the brand is doing to alleviate them), take suggestions or offer a roadmap for improvement. We think people would be pleasantly surprised to type “Amazon sucks” into their search bar, and receive a message from the company saying, “We know, we hear you, and we’re planning to do better”.
When users attack a specific service you offer, you have an awesome
opportunity to make it right. Amazon offers channel subscriptions to
HBO, Starz, CBS All Access, Cinemax and Showtime. So even if users hate
on Amazon, there’s a chance they might be willing to stick around for a
different reason. What if AmazonPrimeVideo.Sucks linked to an offer for a
free month subscription to one of any of the above. “We’re sorry you
hate us, have some free Game of Thrones!” People love free stuff and it could assuage any spite they might feel.
We don’t believe that Amazon is too far gone…but beware, Bezos, you’re getting pretty close. Donating to charity is a great start, but it’s time to wake up and become the company that the world needs right now—not the one that is most likely to line your own pockets one-thousand lifetimes over. Other brands can learn from this, too. Profits come and go, but a reputation is forever.
A bad reputation sucks, but it’s never too late to tackle your image problem. Find your .SUCKS domain today.
Photo Credits: Shutterstock / Russ Vance, Shutterstock / nito, Shutterstock / lev radin