Real Brand Storytelling: Mitch Joel Interviews Bryan Eisenberg for the Twist Image Podcast

spos_lowres_rgbWelcome to episode #446 of Six Pixels Of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast. I have known Bryan Eisenberg forever. Back when I first started publishing music  magazines on the Internet (in the mid-nineties), there were few people writing about the power of the Internet from a business and marketing perspective. There were message boards and email lists… and that’s where I first started reading the work of Bryan. Now, Bryan Eisenberg is the co-author (along with his brother, Jeffrey Eisenberg) of the bestselling books, Call to Action, Waiting For Your Cat to Bark? and Always Be Testing. We have also shared the stage on numerous occasions, because Bryan is a professional marketing keynote speaker as well. He’s done much than that. He is also the co-founder of the Web Analytics Association (now the Digital Analytics Association), serves as an advisory board member of Search Engine Strategies, the eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summitand several venture capital backed startup companies (like Bazaarvoice, Monetate,Nomi, TagMan, and more). Most recently, he launched a new startup called,IdealSpot, and a fascinating new book called, Buyer Legends – The Executive Storyteller’s Guide. Enjoy the conversation…

Here it is: Six Pixels Of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast – Episode #446 – Host: Mitch Joel.

  • Running time: 46:59.
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Retail Legends: Amazon’s Trojan Horses And Their Customers’ Story


Back in June Amazon released its first smartphone and we wrote this 

While it may be true that Amazon is attempting to become a profitable consumer electronics manufacturer with a new smartphone venture, make no mistake that what matters most to Amazon is its ability to leverage those devices to improve the customer experience by reducing friction, and creating more buying/selling opportunities.

Turns out it was an epic flop and now Amazon is sitting on $170 million in unsold phones.  But if you think that is going to deter Amazon, you would be wrong.  

Blair Hanley Frank at Geekwire writes

Jorrit Van der Meulen, the head of Amazon’s device division in Europe, told The Guardian in an interview that the company is “undeterred” by the Fire’s poor consumer reception, and is taking feedback from the device’s introduction under consideration for future forays into the same space.  “We certainly read everything that’s written from customers to journalists and take note, so might the second step be slightly different than our first step, sure. I suspect that it will be,” he said.

With their goal of being the most customer centric company in the world, Amazon most certainly will release an improved Fire phone that will sell better.  But keep in mind, Amazon’s eye is on a bigger prize than just selling more phones, they want to sell more of everything.  Fire phone is likely only one piece of a comprehensive strategy that Amazon is hatching to create their own shopping ecosystem in the story of our daily lives. 

So almost on cue, Amazon introduces the Echo.

Echo is a tube shaped cloud device that recognizes your voice, answers questions and basically acts like an always-on Siri on steroids.  At a glance it looks like it has the potential to be a supremely useful device to have in the home.  

Of course, we think the Echo is Trojan horse, and Greg Kumparak of TechCrunch agrees.

Amazon is in the business of selling you things — and that is why Echo exists.

For now, Echo’s shopping-centric functionality is limited to helping you add things to your shopping list.

Need some pickles? Cool. Just say “Alexa, add pickles to my shopping list.” (Note: Echo listens for the word “Alexa” by default. You can pick a different name, it seems.) It won’t order them for you yet. It’ll just add them to a list for you to look at later.

But if Echo sees any sort of success, just watch how fast that will change.

You’ll be able to say “Alexa, order me a copy of Kung Fu Panda 2,” and it’ll be done.

“Alexa, order me some dope-ass high thread count egyptian cotton sheets.” Bam. Done. Sheets are on the way.

One-click purchase becomes no-click purchase. Your entire house (or at least, anything within earshot of Alexa) becomes the impulse-buy candy shelf from the grocery store’s checkout lane.

While other online retailers scramble to optimize their shopping carts, Amazon continues to do that too. Amazon is also innovating methods to take their shopping cart offline and embed it seamlessly in our day-to-day lives.  

So while Amazon weaves themselves into the fabric of their customers’ life stories, will other retailers be able to keep up?

Probably not without working just as hard as Amazon does to understand its customer.

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Obsessed with Amazon’s Obsession

amazon-fire-phoneAll of us here at Buyer Legends are obsessed with Amazon, specifically, we love their obsession with the customer and watch with fascination and admiration how Amazon ruthlessly leverages everything at it’s disposal to improve the customer experience.

Bryan has often discussed his belief that in the not too distant future we can own an Amazon branded refrigerator.  This high tech appliance would determine if you were low on milk, eggs, or anything in your fridge and would automatically place an order for said items.  It’s also easy to imagine Amazon them dropping of a package at your door step a few hours later using Amazon Prime Air.  This type of product fits perfectly into the Amazon ethos of doing business, and I, for one, would be first in line to purchase one.

So it shouldn’t be a surprise that Amazon introduced the Fire Phone , an android based smartphone that features Firefly, a technology that allows Fire phone users to point their phone at almost any product, movie, song, media and find useful information about it.  You can price compare, and easily buy those products on Amazon. Fast Company calls it the ultimate busy Mom phone.

While it may be true that Amazon is attempting to become a profitable consumer electronics manufacturer with a new smartphone venture, make no mistake that what matters most to Amazon is its ability to leverage those devices to improve the customer experience by reducing friction, and creating more buying/selling opportunities.

In fact, if the numbers from their Kindle line hold true for the Fire phone, Fire phone owners will spend 55% more on Amazon than non Fire phone owners. With Firefly technology that number might be even higher.

If you are trying to build a legendary brand, you would be wise to study Amazon.  Amazon’s business model has made them online customer experience pioneers.  While your company maybe just trying to figure out how to get the initial sale Amazon is already finding ways to get me to happily spend more than that 55%.



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Four Pillars Ongoing Support

After our workshops, we work with only a few select clients. Your business must be committed to the Four Pillars (as described in Be Like Amazon) on a long-term basis .


We kick-off the workshop with a two-day onsite visit. We help you create the Four Pillar foundation for your organization. The entire process takes between 4-8 weeks and the typical investment is $30,000 – $100,000.

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We can speak at your event. Our fees are $20,000 in North America, and that includes travel. International fees are $20,000 plus business class travel, from Austin, and lodging. Contact us to discuss your event  

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