Peter Fader is the Frances and Pei-Yuan Chia Professor, Professor of Marketing, The Wharton School, and Co-Director, Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative - In the wake of Amazon’s disappointing Q4 results, the Kindle Fire has ignited a veritable firestorm of debate.
Lackluster reviews and suspicions that the tablet device is being sold below cost have led analysts to anxiously eye the company’s dwindling cash reserves. But amidst the heated debates about functionality and pricing, one concern has received relatively little attention: should Amazon be competing in the tablet market in the first place?
From my perspective, the Kindle Fire represents a dispiriting move away from Amazon’s historical focus on customer centricity. In my book Wharton Executive Education Customer Centricity Essentials: What It Is, What It Isn’t, and Why It Matters, I argue that a customer-centric strategy aligns a company’s development and delivery of its products and services around the needs of a select set of customers in order to maximize their long-term financial value to the firm.