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Amazon has launched a new initiative I’m just thrilled about.

The initiative, Frustration-Free Packaging,” is “designed to make it easier for customers to liberate products from their packages.”

Amazon’s press release explains, “Frustration-Free Packaging is being launched in the U.S. with 19 bestselling products from leading manufacturers…In addition to making packages easier to open, a major goal of the Frustration-Free Packaging initiative is to be more environmentally friendly by using less packaging material.” Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, is quoted as saying, “I think we’ve all experienced the frustration that sometimes occurs when you try to get a new toy or electronics product out of its package.”

Woo hoo!  I’m excited about this latest development on 2 levels.  First, as a consumer, I can totally relate to what Bezos is talking about.  Just the other day I had a heck of a time trying to open the clamshell on a new USB hub I purchased (through Amazon, ironically) — I had to hold my frustration in check, though, as my previous hasty encounters with hard plastic and sharp cutting materials have yielded a couple mishaps involving bloodshed.

As a brand person, I’m also delighted to see Amazon take this step because it’s so beyond what is expected from an e-commerce company and yet such a wonderful example of the customer service innovation that the Amazon brand has become known for.  From its launch, the site has consistently developed and delivered innovations that have improved the shopping experience — innovations like advanced filtering technology to make their huge selection manageable and “Search Inside The Book” to reduce the risks of online shopping.

On its own each one of these innovations might be easy to copy, but in aggregate they come together to produce a superior shopping experience.  And in turn, this extraordinary shopping experience has created a brand that has no rival.

Amazon says its mission is “to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices.”  Frustration-Free Packaging is a great example of how this company has made customer-centricity more than just words on a page.  They’ve made it their “brand-as-business.”

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