Customer obsessed – an Excerpt from Marketplace Bestseller

Customer obsessed

Leaders start with the customer and work backwards. They work vigorously to earn and keep customer trust. Although leaders pay attention to competitors, they obsess over customers.

“Customer Obsession” is Amazon’s first leadership principle—and my time working at Amazon, and later assisting sellers through my consulting firm, has made me completely customer-centric.

I started working at Amazon in 2007 in the Transaction Risk Department and moved to Compliance in 2010 before shifting to Amazon’s Recalls and Product Safety Division. Working with compliance, recalls, and product safety required me to be thinking constantly about customer safety. Every day, I would visit websites for the Consumer Product Safety Commission or Food and Drug Administration or other agencies issuing recalls.

Recalls are typically innocuous, like maybe a custard product missing the proper labeling for food products that contain eggs. But we also had devastating recalls where a product killed or maimed a baby. Those days were the hardest, and they inspired me to write my first book, No Dead Babies: How Amazon Pursued Profit Above Safety and How to Protect Your Family.

I started with the private-label brand AmazonBasics in 2012, after returning from maternity leave. I wanted to do something that was more preventative and proactive than what I had been doing in operations. Managing quality and compliance for Amazon’s private brands meant holding the hand of the development and marketing teams from the beginning to the end of a product’s launch.

That role helped me to see the bigger picture—to recognize how all of these processes worked together. And it helped me immensely in the years after I left Amazon in 2015 to work with sellers directly, and to launch five products myself. 

Of my products, two were successful and three were not . I have failed, too! Multiple times. This book is focused on what has worked and what hasn’t. By working on dozens of product launches for Amazon’s own brands, and guiding a wide range of sellers, and launching products, I’m very familiar with the factors that make a product sink or swim on Amazon.

I have both large corporate experience and startup experience with launching, so I understand launching with a big budget and launching with no budget at all. This book presents a choose-your-adventure approach to launching products—providing you a road map no matter your budget or product type.

Hope is not a business strategy

I see it happen all the time where people are so focused on the marketing side of things that they forget that they’re actually trying to sell a real product to a real customer—the product needs to meet the marketing promise. If you just buy something from a manufacturer without testing it, without trying to figure out how it performs, then you’re basically just hoping that it will work.

And hope is not a business strategy.

It’s something I say all the time, because a lot of people will launch a product and hope for the best without following a tried-and-true process, without following a formula. My goal is to help you avoid the pitfalls that can occur with product launches.

Let me walk you through the process to successfully bring a product from ideation to market, a 30,000-foot view of what it takes to become a marketplace bestseller.

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