Delivering on the brand promise of customer-centricity

How can one of the world’s biggest enterprises achieve its mission of being “Earth’s most customer-centric company”?

By centering every product or service with empathetic insights and a compelling brand truth that speaks to the hearts and minds of its audiences.


  • Quantitative and qualitative insights
  • Brand strategy
  • Portfolio architecture
  • Naming
  • Verbal identity and messaging
  • Creative campaigns
  • Guidelines and brand governance


In a letter to shareholders in 1997, Jeff Bezos identified what remains Amazon’s top priority: “We’re not competitor-obsessed, we’re customer-obsessed. We start with what the customer needs and we work backwards.”

Maintaining a laser focus on the customer can be challenging as a company evolves. The pace of product and services expansion, increasing audience diversity, and fragmentation across teams can get in the way. But brand can solve growing pains like these, because brand is a business-value multiplier. Given Amazon’s size and reach, brand is an indispensable tool.


Northbound has been a trusted partner to a number of Amazon businesses, providing insight-based approaches to brand strategy that keep the focus on what customers care about, feel, and need. Deeply empathizing with customers is at the core of everything we do. Our in-depth research and methodological rigor are designed to achieve relevance and deep resonance with customers.


Some of the ways our work has elevated our clients’ business:

  • Helping Amazon stake their claim in the growing streaming market by clarifying the relationship between their subscription and Amazon TVOD (transactional video on demand) offerings.
  • Crafting compelling brand strategy, messaging, and voice to attract outstanding Amazon Delivery Service partners—and another to better engage and inspire their drivers.
  • Developing a naming strategy and naming creative for a first-of-its-kind consumer device, Amazon Echo.  
  • Helping Amazon position its freight business to deliver even more value to customers.
  • Naming first-in-category experiences for IMDb and the Amazon marketplace.

By diving deep into customer wants and needs, we found a compelling big idea to distinguish Amazon’s TVOD and subscription digital offerings: People treasure their “me time” with favorite entertainers, shows, and movies. We furthered the strategy through UX and positioning opportunities and a campaign of banners and socials with a playful tone.

To help attract outstanding candidates to the Amazon Delivery Service Partner (DSP) program, we developed a compelling brand strategy, appealing to experienced team motivators with an entrepreneurial spirit who want to launch their own delivery business. And we took things a step further with research, strategy, and messaging to address a key DSP pain point—how to make delivery associates feel seen, heard, and appreciated.

Amazon Freight is an engine of opportunity for shippers and carriers to build and own a regional-haul, freight trucking business in partnership with Amazon. The brand strategy we developed harnessed the universal appeal of the Amazon experience with the innovation and logistics network of the parent brand. From positioning to tone and voice to visual identity to brand guidelines, we helped Amazon Freight consistently convey how they put the power of Amazon behind their partners’ business.

Explore insights & expertise

See all resources
We solve business challenges with brand.