February 15, 2013
Americans Love Amazon
One of the great and puzzling things about science and research is its desire to put real, tangible numbers to commonly accepted and universal truths.
For instance, just this week one doctor released the results of a study wherein it was scientifically proven that couples are simply happier when they look for what they want in a mate rather than look for what someone else wants them to find in a mate.
In other words, looking out for our own interests in a relationship makes for a happier couple as opposed to trying to look like another couple, maybe a couple like that monster from Canada and Chad Kroeger.
Personally, I would have thought that to be an area where no science was needed. Then again, I’ve never been a bored researcher eager to apply the scientific method to anything that moves.
Another study was released this week that also proves something that we all knew already: Americans are inconsistent nut jobs.
According to Harris Interactive, Americans trust Amazon more than any other “visible” company, even more than Apple, Disney, Google and Johnson & Johnson, the company that likely makes their baby’s shampoo.
The fact that Amazon is highly regarded among the American people is not what makes us partially insane, of course.
After all, the company has been aggressively giving Americans what they want for years; the ability to bargain shop surrounded by empty pizza boxes whilst in our underwear or, for the more advantageous set, on smartphones while comparing the prices of those large, big box chains. It’s not that we love saving money so much as we love feeling like we’re saving money and making a big show about it.
“Oh, don’t mind me, I’m just looking for a better deal!” we seem to say every time we stand dumbly in front of a bar code in an actual physical store, tapping away furiously at our iPhones as we look to save $2.
What’s more, Amazon’s Prime service delivers next day for only $3.99 and 2-day at no charge at all! Nothing says “America” like instant gratification.
Robert Fronk, executive vice-president of reputation management at Harris, believes there’s another important reason why Americans love Amazon.
“Amazon is predominantly a virtual company where you don’t get to see the people. You don’t see brick and mortar,” said Fronk in an interview with CNN.
“For them to first of all have the highest reputation, but more importantly to be the company with far and away the highest emotional appeal, is amazing.”
This is where American’s start to look a bit off our rockers.
We may love Amazon because we don’t have to actually talk to a person (other than the UPS guy or gal) to buy our stuff, but we also don’t ever have to talk to someone to head over to Google.
And yet, we don’t love Google as much as we love Amazon, Apple and Disney, in that order.
Google also offers instant gratification, is also accessible damn near everywhere, and also offers goods and services. Yet, for some reason (and we may never know why) Amazon just really tickles our special areas.
There are plenty of people who hate Apple, of course. I’d say a good 90% of all Android users who actually know what they’re doing with their phones are self-described Apple haters. Yet, America can’t break free from their love of Apple, a company with plenty of brick and mortar on the ground.
These physical locations are more often than not stuffed to the gills.
So we love Amazon for instant gratification and no humans, yet we love Apple more than Google, a company who offers us the same (if not more) than Amazon.
Oh, and we hate Facebook. We hate it with 8 a’s. According to the report, Facebook scored a 42 on a scale of 1 to 100, just between Best Buy and T-Mobile. Americans think of Facebook in the same way they think of a large, faceless corporation and a struggling cellular provider.
Think on that one.
“Facebook suffers badly from lack of trust,” said Fronk. Do you get it yet? We hate Facebook.
Yet, no matter how much distrust we have towards Facebook, 67 percent of Americans over the age of 16 use it.
Most of these 67 percent say they’ve even thought of leaving the site, yet we’re still there, as if we’re being forced against our will.
We stay either because we think we’ll miss something good if we leave or because we think that’s just where we should be, like a home repair store on a Saturday. Facebook offers us nothing except damaged emotions and a threat to our evolutionary paths, yet we remain, angry as ever.
We accuse Facebook of misusing our personal information (a completely valid claim) even though we willingly and gleefully handed over this information in the first place.
And Amazon? Facebook has wet dreams about what Amazon knows about you. One slip up in security and Amazon users will be in for a world of hurt, just ask Mat Honan.
Yet we trust them implicitly. We get excited when an Amazon package shows up at our doorstep. We brag about our Amazon conquests at family dinners, hoping our in-laws will respect our frugal mentalities.
My prediction? The only way to make Americans trust and love Amazon more would be if they were run by an adorable cat and shipped deep fried goods with every package.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a phone call to place to Mr. Jeff Bezos.