Amazon is building the world’s largest bird feeder.

So, here’s the lowdown on this post. If you read it and take the steps it lays out, then you are going to make your local business successful. I know because what I’ve done is lay out Amazon’s success strategy for local businesses. Think of this blog post as a spiritual channeling of Jeff Bezos.
Ready? Let’s start with Amazon buying every business it can that attracts a particular kind of shopper. So far it has gobbled up 128 companies. Amazon owns just about everything . They just bought Pill Pack, the online pharmacy – they want people who buy pills. They bought Ring, the video doorbell company – they want to know when you come and go. Amazon owns Zappos, the online shoe company – they want anyone who wears shoes. Amazon owns Goodreads, one of the most popular websites in the world, and where people who love books congregate. Amazon owns Whole Foods, which is focused on people who shop for healthy foods.

Have you figured out what are Bezos and Amazon up to?

I have. Here’s how I figured it out.

I recently moved into a house I just rented. And there in the backyard was a birdfeeder. Not exactly this bird feeder but one just like it.
I looked at it. There were no birds. Zero. Nada. No feathered friends. You've got to admit a birdfeeder without any birds around is a distressing sight. Ditto for a local business without lots of shoppers flocking around it. I mean who wants to go into an empty restaurant or a deserted mall? Ditto for empty storefronts on the main street of your local town. Main Street becomes creepy when stores are empty.
I wanted wild birds. Birds that I didn’t have to buy. Birds that I didn’t know how to attract to my birdfeeder. So, I did, what we all do, and I searched online. I found that to attract wild birds I needed wild bird seed. Now we’re talking.

But wait!

Not just one of kind bird seed. I needed different bird seeds to attract different kinds of birds. For example, if I wanted to attract colorful birds like Cardinals and Golden Finches, and Woodpeckers I needed TARGETED bird foods for each of them. That beautiful Woodpecker with the blazing red feathers likes to eat suet, which is a high-energy food of animal fat, berries, nuts, corn, and other ingredients. The Cardinals and Golden Finches eat seeds.

Quickly, I got concerned that attracting birds was going to be more complex and time-consuming than I had time for it. I immediately went into denial. I wanted birds flocking around my birdfeeder, but I said, “What’s the big deal about seeing wild birds at the feeder?”
Reality can be tough on denial and self-lies. When I looked in the back yard and saw the desolate bird feeder I didn’t like it. The reality was this: I truly did want to see birds flocking around the bird feeder.

Wild Birds and Local Businesses

So, here’s the painful reality - local businesses are under threat from Amazon, the online giants and the retail chains. Either local businesses learn from Amazon or they will continue to silently go out of business.

The Tipping Point of Main Street

In every local community when enough local businesses fail, a tipping point occurs – the community falls apart because tax revenues fall; there are no jobs; local governments don’t have money for basic community services; and Main Street becomes desolation row. Suddenly, seeing Amazon boxes on all those porches doesn’t seem like such a good idea.

Follow the Advice of Jeff Bezos

It turns out a successful backyard birdfeeder attracts all kinds of different birds IF, and only IF, you set out the right foods. Take for example, Orioles, which are brightly colored birds that on sight blow your mind and aesthetic sensibilities. It has a BRIGHT orange chest. Just what attracts Orioles? Not seeds. Not suet. Orioles like oranges and grape jelly. Look at the picture below. Put out oranges, and when those Orioles are flying over, they'll see ORANGE and drop in for a visit. Yes, I have attracted Orioles.

So, what’s with the birdfeeder analogy?

Now if you are like me, you want to know, “What the hell does attracting and feeding wild birds have to do with attracting new shoppers and bringing loyal customers back for more?” The answer is EVERYTHING.

Amazon has built the world’s biggest birdfeeder

Here is the answer to what Bezos and Amazon have been up to. They have built the world’s biggest bird feeder. Their entire business is built around their bird feeder marketing strategy.
Amazon doesn’t have to spend on advertising, because their shoppers are coming back over and over on their own. The Amazon bird feeder marketing strategy is totally different than advertising. The typical business owner has come to believe that he or she must continually advertise. They spend 7-15% of their gross revenues on advertising.
Amazon figured out advertising was a WASTE of money. Amazon is a $232.8 billion a year revenue company that does almost NO ADVERTISING . Research shows Amazon spends less than 2% ($3.4 billion) of its gross revenue on advertising and promotions. Amazon saves at least $10 billion a year on advertising.
Amazon is NOT doing what everyone else is doing. You should learn from them. Instead of spending on advertising, Amazon sends the 105 million birds (shoppers) on its customer list TARGETED information that attracts that particular shopper. NO ADVERTISING can match that.

The Amazon Strategy in One Sentence

Here’s the Amazon strategy in one sentence – “if you build a bird feeder for shoppers, then you don’t have to spend on advertising to bring them back.”

Amazon and Bezos KNOW that bird feeders are the most important tool in marketing today because they are in sync with shoppers who are walking around with their cellphones 24/7. Here is an Amazing statistic; it is estimated that 66% or 197 million US shoppers visit Amazon EVERY MONTH.
If you want to survive in the Amazon world, then you have to compete everyday AGAINST Amazon by following the My Local Bee - Five Retail Success Commandments.

The Five Commandments of Retail Success
  1. Copy Amazon. Stop trying to figure out what to do to bring new shoppers to your local business. Start doing what Amazon does by making your #1 focus building your customer list. Amazon has done this better than any company in the world. Local business owners need to understand that their survival and success depends on building their own customer lists. Every communication you do must be built around building your customer list, and every employee in your business must be 100% committed to it. My Local Bee gives you the tools build your own bird feeder and shows you how to attract shoppers.
  2. Attack Amazon Directly. . Build your list and then give the shoppers on your list an Amazon Beating Price on at least 1-2 great products or services every day. Wake up to this reality – Amazon has convinced shoppers that it has the best prices. This is simply and absolutely NOT TRUE.
    If you want to win against Amazon, you need to show your customers that you offer Amazon Beating Prices. Your local business doesn’t have to have better prices than Amazon on everything, but every local business MUST HAVE a few GREAT and HIGHLY DESIRED ITEMS or SERVICES at a better price than Amazon. Make this change and shoppers will totally change their view of your business.
  3. Communicate something new EVERY DAY. Nobody wants to communicate with your business if you don’t have something interesting, exciting, or informative to say. To beat Amazon, you need to communicate something new EVERY DAY. It could a new arrival, a unique product, the story of a great customer, a fantastic event, an employee idea, and of course “Today’s Amazon beating deal.” My Local Bee gives you this tool.
  4. Communicate to your in-store customers. Follow Commandments 1, 2, and 3 and more shoppers will show up in your store. Use Amazon’s strategy to bring shoppers into your store and then use Trader Joe's strategy to get shoppers to spend more. Trader Joe’s sells three times more per square foot than Amazon’s Whole Foods stores because it uses absolutely fantastic in-store signs. Trader Joe’s in-store signs tell stories and offer unexpected savings. They are works of story-telling art. Tell shoppers in-store stories and they buy more. My Local Bee gives local businesses the tools to create great in-store signs.
  5. Turn Your Employees into Marketers. The Four Seasons Hotel is one of the most successful hotel chains in the world. They attribute their success to their employee training. Trained people are a powerful anti-Amazon advantage. Turn your employees into EXPERTS on customer savings, your special deals, and personal attention. You beat Amazon by training your employees to TALK. Amazon doesn’t TALK to anyone.

The big BUT is that local business owners need to face reality - Amazon is growing bigger every day. It is 100% focused on attracting every kind of shopping-bird there is. They want pill takers, book readers, shoe wearers, grocery shoppers, homeowners, pizza buyers, and everyone else. Amazon wants you, me, your brother, the guy next door, and your friend who lives with her girlfriend in Atlanta. Every local business needs to copy Amazon’s singular focus on building its bird feeder.

Set this RADICAL GOAL for your business

Amazon is a radical success. No other business is even remotely close. Amazon has figured out how to attract 76% of all online shoppers. This is an Amazing statistic. Again, it is estimated that 66% or 197 million US shoppers visit Amazon EVERY MONTH.
Set the RADICAL GOAL of attracting 66% of the shoppers in the surrounding communities to shop at your business EVERY YEAR. To reach that goal you need to build your bird feeder and use your in-store signs. Implement and use these two tools, and you will grow your business in spite of what is a completely rigged local business playing field .
My Local Bee is helping local businesses build bird feeders that are better than Amazon’s.
As of today, my backyard bird feeder is attracting over twelve different species of birds. It has become my go-to entertainment. The birds come back day after day because their view of my backyard has been changed. Every day these birds are watched by other birds.

One Final Thought

Amazon, the tech giants, and the retail chains have a chokehold on local businesses and local communities. But they can be beaten by any local business owner who decides to change.
When two local businesses in the same community change, then the fire is started. When 30% of local businesses change, then they become the new local Amazon. When 50% of local businesses change, then local shoppers have a reason to stop making Amazon their first shopping stop. Suddenly, local shopping means amazing prices, great local people, and the feel-good of shopping local, making their community stronger.

  • Companies Amazon owns.
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