Advertising and marketing has been around for thousands of years, in some fashion, but it has grown into an impressive industry in the past century, and companies now rely on getting the word out about their company in a variety of different ways. Billions of dollars are spent every year just to make sure that the right people are seeing a company name in a favorable light. A much less expensive approach that some of the more successful companies in the world rely on is quite ancient in itself – word of mouth. A great company that delivers top quality products and services can always count on people telling friends, family, and even strangers on the street about notably extraordinary service and reliability. Logistics, customer service, and a truly outstanding relationship with customers is something that most companies would beg, borrow, and steal for, but by putting those qualities at the forefront of company strategy, certain businesses get that irreplaceably valuable advertising for free.
Amazon is the largest and most respected online retailer in the world; there is no argument about this fact. Yet, despite the stereotype of huge, sluggish companies dominating an industry because no competitors can survive against them, Amazon has thrived in the spotlight of pressure as it has continued to grow. It began in humble fashion, focusing on a few product industries and excelling in the logistics that were required. They developed a reputation as a reliable online retailer with excellent return policies, easy interfaces for shopping, and a competitive price structure that made them an ideal choice for millions of people. Then, after protecting their niche corner of the market through various economic fluctuations, they expanded rapidly and became a dominant force in dozens, and then hundreds, of online retail markets. They relied on their humble beginning to test a strategy, develop a positive reputation, and then offer those same loyal customers a much wider range of products. The result was the peak position in a highly competitive and desirable market – Ecommerce as a whole. Due to their hedged bets early on, and their trial and error method of establishing the best possible customer service and purchasing interface that they could, Amazon became the dominant name in buying things on the Internet.
This is the sort of strategy that results in massive levels of success and influence in the modern marketplace, and it is a result of happiness, but in a way that most companies overlook. Company happiness is not only relegated to employees, but it should also affect consumers. The level of excellence that is expected of Amazon results in nearly infinite amounts of free marketing from their satisfied customers. This focus on customer satisfaction is only one of more than a dozen happiness strategies that I delve into in my book: