Amazon’s vertical shift from brand seller to brand owner (and seller)

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Amazon Builds their House of Brands.

New’s this week that Amazon has been advertising for brand managers to create  a private label of Sportswear Apparel is another indicator of the online retail giants ambition to become an owner as well as a seller of brands.

Amazon already owns a number of trademarked brands that are already selling through the e-commerce site, including; Franklin & Freeman, Franklin Tailored, James & Erin, Lark & Ro, North Eleven, Scout + Ro, and Society New York. They have also been active in fashion brand acquisitions lately, scooping up online stores like ShopBop, MyHabit, and EastDane. And in 2015, it sponsored the New York Men’s Fashion Week.

Amazon’s share of the US apparel market is expected to jump from 5% in 2014 to 14% by 2020. This growth in sales will see Amazon as the largest domestic apparel retailer in the US, replacing Macy’s.When taking into account Amazon’s plans for global expansion, their share of category spend around the world will be enormous.

The move makes good business sense. If you already dominate the customer/retail relationship, why not own the brands you’re selling. The challenge though is in transitioning their mindset from a retailer to a brand owner (and retailer). Creating and growing a brand is more than a skill-set, it’s a way of thinking, breathing and dreaming. We’ll watch with great interest as Amazon continues to evolve as a business.

Dave Ansett
David is the founder of Truly Deeply, a brand agency with 25 years experience working with brands to position them for growth. His deep expertise is in the creation of high engagement brands that attract the attention of their audience and stand out from their competitors. David has extensive experience working with corporate, retail, food & beverage and entrepreneurial clients. Find out more here
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