Amazon effect

As segmented as the modern marketplace has become, one lone retailer has impacted nearly every facet of commerce, no matter the industry – Amazon. What started in books has now exploded to reach its ever-expanding tentacles into everything from cloud storage to grocery delivery, and nearly every possible point in between.

In fact, Amazon has grown to the point where it has taken almost mythological proportions, enamored and envied by some, detested and reviled by others. No matter what your personal opinion on Amazon might be, as a business owner or entrepreneur, you cannot deny the fact that what started as a little online bookstore in a Seattle garage has become the stuff of legend.

To that point, Amazon is a living, breathing example of what innovation, tenacity, and a forward-looking point of view can do for any company, including your own. The Amazon Effect is very much real and ready to help guide you down your own path if you’re willing and able to follow its lead.

We’ve taken lessons gleaned from concepts like the Amazon Effect to heart at Paragon Honda. However, as intimidating, frustrating, or overwhelming as today’s dynamic marketplace might be, I assure you of this – something like the Amazon Effect should motivate and inspire you to accel, not fill you with terror.

The Amazon Effect and Reinvention

While the Amazon effect might have started as a case study in supply chain logistics, it has become more of a catch-all to a way of operating or even looking at the market in a way that refines, redefines the status quo. In short, the Amazon Effect is about intelligent disruption, refusing to accept things as impenetrable or immovable but just in need of a new perspective.

To give the concept the proper context, think about what the supply chain was like just a few decades ago. It was big and cumbersome, inflexible and lacked any semblance of agility. Historical sales figures exclusively informed product shipments and inventory levels so any shift in consumer preferences would inevitably require months for distribution analytics to catch up.

Now think about the modern supply chain and how it has evolved over the last 20 years, primarily due to Amazon and its revolutionary distribution model. The marketplace is now almost entirely pliable, able to instantly bend and contorted self according to the ever-shifting demands of a fickle consumer base with interests that change by a stiff breeze.

Rather than waiting four to six weeks for an order to arrive, customers now expect deliveries to be sitting on their doorstep hours from the time of the initial order. This concept, in a nutshell, is the Amazon Effect – a complete reinvention of standard business practices, changing the customers very definition and perception of “good service” across every vertical.

Learn, Don’t Shy Away From the Best

You might be asking yourself what the Amazon Effect has to do with you and your own ambitions. Don’t look at the concept is something strictly about the supply chain but, instead, about a different way of looking at modern business. There are always going to be competitors that are bigger, faster, with more capital and for more resources available, but that doesn’t mean that your best response is to run in the opposite direction.

Instead, follow Amazon’s lead and make the absolute most of what you have at your own disposal to carve a niche out of the market. Just as Amazon did in the 1990s, leverage the benefits of readily available technology to maximum effect. Amazon didn’t invent the internet, nor did they create Federal Express/UPS, instead Amazon leaveragered the stuffing out of these existing technologies/platforms to provide unheard of service for their clients across multiple business models.  Automate your marketing message across social media, email campaigns, and any other distribution channels you think beneficial to establish brand identity and a unique, compelling narrative.

The point is this – take Amazon’s lead and never stop innovating, disrupting, and reaching. Make the most of the tools available to maximize impact. And most importantly, always take direction from the best in class, bending their innovative thinking, practices, and procedures to suit your specific needs.

running a business

Running a business can be difficult and stressful, especially if you aren’t sure if it’s doing well. There are many ways to run a business, but all of them have a few things in common. If you aren’t doing each of those things constantly, then your business won’t survive for very long. Here are the three keys to keeping your business alive.

Focus on Innovation

There are many companies out there that focus on the same services and products. However, the only companies that make their way are the ones that focus on innovation. When your company finds a new method for providing a proven service that your customers need, you develop a unique value proposition that draws in customers and promotes customer loyalty.

For example, grocery stores offer the same basic service — providing a source of quality food products and related services. You can go to any grocery store and buy the food items that you need. However, the grocery stores that are successful are the ones that differentiate themselves through a unique experience. Publix, Whole Foods, Fresh Market, Piggly Wiggly, Food Lion, ShopRite, and Kroger all offer similar products but through unique experiences that customers use to decide which store they prefer.

You have to look for new ways to innovate so that your company stands out from all of the rest. Home delivery is the latest innovation. Customers are looking for ways that make the shopping more convenient, and home delivery eliminates the shopping cart entirely.

Market Your Innovations

When you find a set of innovations that make your company unique, you need to find ways to market your innovations. Every company must invest in marketing to build a customer base. Marketing helps you reach potential customers and teach them about your innovations and value propositions, which lets them decide if they want to take advantage of your business. When they do, your company begins to generate profits and brand loyalty.

Marketing doesn’t have to be complicated to be effective. Advertising on social media sites like Facebook can be effective ways of reaching a large number of potential customers with manageable financial and time costs. Grocery stores use email marketing, social media marketing, and advertising every week on their specials, which helps customers understand what new items and sales are available. Your company must find a way to let your customers know what new innovations you’ve come up with in order to encourage them to return to your store.

Start with your store database. There are many customers who want to hear from you. Learn how to extract your data in order to communicate with your clients more effectively.

Listen to Your Customers

One thing that all successful companies do is listen to their customers. Your customers are often the best source of information about how your company could be better. They’re deeply involved in your company’s customer experience and have insights from a unique perspective. By listening to what your customers have to say, you can find innovations that your customers will appreciate.

There are many ways to talk to your customers. The easiest method is to approach them when they’re in your store. Another common method is to send out questionnaires and surveys through an email subscription list. The results can be collected when your customer is ready and you can use technology to analyze the data quickly. There are plenty of technologies like Survey Monkey that can help you connect with your customers.

You’ve put a lot of time and effort into starting and growing your business. However, you have to start working toward ways of maintaining it since your competitors are constantly looking for ways to capture your inactive clients. Make, find, serve, and keep your business’s mantra, as well as use these tips to refine your company’s operations and ensure that it can survive.

Can you imagine the day when your customers can ask their Google Assistant to schedule their car for service? Or if their car is ready to be picked up from your service department? Well, that day is here for Brian Benstock, Vice President add General Manager of Paragon Honda who’s group has developed this exciting new technology.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.

We had an incredible night at the Classic Car Club Manhattan (CCC) earlier this week. Paragon Acura was able to deliver a new black 2017 NSX to the Classic Car Club Manhattan using Paragon Direct, a completely online purchase process where customers never need to visit a dealership to purchase a vehicle.

We celebrated with a gathering of 100+ Classic Car Club members last week. CCC members were able to get a personal look at several Acura NSX’s an Acura TLX GT in a beautiful facility set on the Hudson River, and NSX designer Michelle Christensen was on hand to mingle with the crowd and answer questions.

Thank you to the Classic Car Club Manhattan for their partnership, Chuck Kendig for moving mountains to get the TLX GT to the facility in time, and Ms. Christensen for helping to make this event a memorable and unique experience for the Acura brand.

 

Photo Aug 09, 8 51 46 PM IMG_9651 IMG_9633 Photo Aug 09, 6 24 16 PM

ChuckKendig.JPG copy

I had the privilege and honor of speaking to a group of Honda folks who often go unrecognized yet are a pivotal and critical part of our industry. The logistics and transportation operators do the heavy lifting of transporting our product from the factory to the showrooms and I was honored to be able to spend a few hours with them last week. 

A big thanks to Honda for their kind and generous hospitality.

Pictured: Assistant Vice President of American Honda Chuck Kendig and I at the Logistics Conference.

 

 

CBT News

Last month I had the priveldge of joining CBT News to discuss how dealerships can transition for the future of the auto industry.  The future is here.  Dealers need to accept the reality that the old business model is dead.

Change is not going to happen overnight so it is important to keep supporting the current business model while slowly adopting the new one.  I am proud to work with some of the best minds in the industry to introduce Paragon Direct – a dealership without walls.  Anything customers can do in the store can now be done from the comfort of their homes.  The new business model is all about brining the product to the customer, and the sooner we realize that the better off we will be.

Click Here to watch the full interview. 

Paragon DIrect

Paragon is proud to introduce our new program, Paragon Direct.

We provide our customers with unmatched levels of convenience and flexibilty by allowing them to test drive, purchase, or service their vehicle without ever leaving their home.  There is nothing more valuable than time, and we are pround to offer superior service to our Paragon family.

For more information, click the videos below.

PD Service    PD Sales

 

“Think Amazon Alexa, a bot. I can order coffee on Alexa, and know those boxes of Starbucks K-Cups will be in my office at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow. They come from six or seven different sources. Amazon doesn’t care what it takes to get that order to the customer. They get it here. That’s a perfect transaction.

The marketer in me wonders, “If we duplicate that, how many more transactions can we do?”…

Click Here To Read More

2016 Honda President's Award

This is our 4th time receiving the Honda President’s Award and 2nd time receiving the Honda President’s Award Elite and we are honored by the recognition.  This would not be possible without the incredible team at Paragon Honda.  Every time we learn more and grow and it is only possible with their hard work and relentless pursuit of greatness.

HondPro Jason joined us for the award presentation and helped us celebrate our accomplishments.  It was humbling to see Jose Peralta, New York Senator, present the Senate Proclamation, honoring a dealership with a multicultural team at the leadership helm and proud to serve our diverse community.

This has been an incredible journey and it’s only the beginning.