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Monday 18 May, 2015

A few weeks ago, Amazon launched the Amazon dash button. Received with much scepticism, the reaction of most of the public to this somewhat unbelievable invention was – really?

Put simply, the dash buttons are USB-sized, Wi-Fi enabled gadgets that allow consumers to instantly reorder grocery items like coffee pods, toilet paper, breakfast cereals and washing detergent. With just the press of a dash button, each of which is individually branded, consumers can order their favourite products with literally one touch. pointed out Amazon “is merely taking the model of instant, reflexive consumption… and embedding it into the very architecture of our lives”, but is it for the better?

As convenient as groceries delivered straight to your door without the need to use a computer, let alone visit a store, sounds, it means something entirely different to marketers, advertisers and PR professionals.

By allowing customers to repeat-buy certain brands without thinking about it, in their own home and without any competitors, the Amazon dash button enables consumers to be passively loyal to a brand because of availability and lack of choice, rather than because they LOVE their toilet paper or Tide dishwashing liquid.

For marketers and advertisers, this means competition is no longer confined to supermarket aisles or broadcast advertising. If consumers buy the same brand of washing powder because it’s the only brand of dash button available at their fingertips, how will competing brands cut through? Do they have a chance?

Probably not, says Mumbrella “If the buying situation occurs at the point of usage, i.e. in front of the washing machine then the brand that was last used, and the brand on the button becomes the most salient by default. No other brand is in it.”

Consumerism at its peak? It may well be.

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