"With the Amazon launch into the Australian market, many retailers are bracing for the impact that it will have on local business. But retail owners can fear-less if they that stay on top of three activities in their business.

Building a brand has never been more relevant than right now and building high profile product brands, that you or your business can 'own', will continue to draw shoppers to your store.

Make sure you control the traffic to your brand.

Be careful of joining aggregators like Amazon. aggregators will add your product to a bargain bin of similar items, turning your product from a high-value brand to just another commodity item where cost is the only comparison.

Brand is an experience. You probably already offer value, service and delivery. In today’s market, if you don’t have those, you’re already on the way out. But a high-quality brand experience is just that little bit more. Dedicated shoppers aren’t looking for handbags, they’re looking for Louis Vuitton. You’ll notice there are a lot of comments in forums where people talk about authenticity and whether the items in Amazon store that are coming up in the searches are really fakes. Who can be sure?

A colleague and I recently asked Alexa (Amazon’s version of Siri) to find us a product on the Amazon store. It responded with three white label Amazon products as the best match. Is Amazon the jungle you want to get into?

Ditch the SEO

Search Engine Optimisation has been all the rage for over a decade now and savvy brand managers understand that getting a brand to the top of it’s category in Google is inviting price competition and tire kickers. True buyers will find you if you create brand loyalty. Own your brand names in search, but ditch the SEO when it comes to product categories. Again, those searching for generic handbags are not looking for Louis Vuitton.

Be the expert

There is a third option for those dedicated and passionate about product categories. You can become the go-to expert in your product industry or niche. You can own a product category if you are the most relevant game in town. This means, having an opinion, speaking on the subject and ensuring that when people think of your product category, they think of you first.

Who knows, you might become such a thorn in the side of a juggernaut like Amazon, they might want to buy you out. It happened for Zappos Shoes back in 2009. A $1.2 Billion pay-day. It happened for them and if you do the hard work it could happen for you.

So before you give up in the face of the Amazon 'jungle' of products, and join their ever-growing product list, think twice. You have options. Will your brand take a hit? Will selling your product on Amazon reduce its value, potentially transforming it into a commodity? Would it make more sense to focus, build your brands, your audience and own your product category.

Wouldn’t it be nice to challenge the big boys? Make them look up from their coin counting only to find that brand-loyal, dedicated customers are shopping directly with you. Not only are you surviving, but you’re thriving. Owning product sales and owning product categories, not because of your size, but because of your heart, thought and focused hard work.

Don’t get caught up in the Amazon hype. There is plenty of opportunity out here with the rest of us."

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