Tapping into the growing trend for adopting a more understanding brand perspective (see Empathetic Brand Engagement), Amazon has launched two initiatives to bolster its wider ethical credentials.
- Brand Concessions for Consumers On Benefits: Firstly, Amazon is giving users on state benefits a 45% discount on membership to its Prime service. Those eligible can pay £4.70 ($5.99) a month rather than the usual £8.60 ($10.99) in return for free next-day delivery and unlimited streaming of Amazon's films and TV shows. Earlier this year, the company also announced the acceptance of food stamps as part payment for grocery items.
- HQ with a Philanthropic Edge: Additionally, it’s donating space in its new Seattle headquarters to local non-profit organisation Mary’s Place, which provides shelter to homeless women, children and families to help re-establish them within the wider community. The utility bill for the 47,000 sq ft Mary’s Place Family Shelter, which will include 65 rooms and house 200+ people a night, will be entirely funded by Amazon. The venue is due to open in 2020.
Philanthropy appears to be top of mind for Amazon boss Jeff Bezos. On June 15 2017, he tweeted a callout for other ideas with a socially conscientious aspect, saying: “I’m thinking about a philanthropy strategy that is the opposite of how I mostly spend my time – working on the long term.” He added that he specifically wants ideas that are at the “intersection of urgent need and lasting impact”.
See also Brands Take a Stand and Retailers Tap Socially Aware Talent.