How Brands Win

Consistently Better at the Basics

Let's look at some of the Top 10 Most Trusted Brands as determined in a survey by Entrepreneur magazine and the Values Institute. Did these brands win with exotic marketing and wow factor? Or did they win by being the best at what matters most? Is their advantage that they are distinctly unique through being different? Or are they different because they are consistently better at the basics?


Amazon wins with low prices, free shipping on orders over a minimum total, free shipping and streaming movies to Prime members, an endless selection of almost any product you can think of, knowledge of customers through their past purchases (which enables Amazon to recommend products that they like), quick-shipping options, one-click purchasing, and ease of doing business.

It's that last one, being easy to do business with, that's won me over as a loyal customer. A few months ago, a lightbulb went out in a kitchen undercounter light fixture in our home. It was a tiny, unusual lightbulb, and I anticipated difficulty in finding a replacement. I managed to track down the manufacturer of the bulb and did what I often do when I'm looking to buy any product, especially one that I am unfamiliar with or don't know where I can buy it. I went to Amazon.com.

I put the manufacturer's name and the model number of the lightbulb into the Amazon search engine, and voilà, there it was. Not only did Amazon make this hard-to-find item easy to find, I ...

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