What magic combination of products, services and population is going to turn Amazon's head to choose them as their next Second City? How do you position a whole city to be worthy in a fiercely competitively creative way that weaves just the right amount of magic, vision, potential and drive to a bohemoth like Amazon, that holds such immense power over the future of that city?
Starting with the RFP from Amazon, it's down to twenty possibles across NorthAmerica who have been vying for consideration to become Amazon's Second Headquarters.
Amazon's outline of requirements on paper is straightforward and simple. The impact on the city
finally chosen will be anything but. As politicians, city leaders, businessmen, city planners, educators,
estimators and projectors for the future of the chosen city runs the gamut from complete resuscitation and revitalization to complete compromise of the already established business models and directions cities have chosen to be known for. This new headquarters does not even begin to mention how it will undoubtedly redraw political lines with proposed new executive level hires alone somewhere in the 50,000 range.
Never in the history of the U.S. has one company had such power or impact on deciding the fate of a city. Never in the history of the U.S. have people scrambled to woo and cut deals and taxes and offer incentives and who knows what else to get a company to move there.
First we look at Philadelphia. Considered the northern arm of the famous D.C. Beltway of Philly,
DC and Baltimore it offers great access to government where undoubtedly Amazon already has an army of high placed executives working to expedite legislations and making deals both nationally and internationally for import/exports.
One of the big areas Amazon is looking at needing to fill is logistics. Airports, roads, water shipping how to get stuff moved fast.
Another big box that needs to be ticked: talented manpower. What does the city have available in its gene pool and creative brainpower in the areas of software development, stable and business-friendly environment to move Amazon beyond being the U.S.'s biggest warehouse of STUFF to finding new and innovative ways to warehouse and move more STUFF.
And the third big consideration is: How Amazon fast and how Amazon ready can this city be to meet Amazon's invasion.
So here is Philly's video pitch. And it is all a testimonial. Plain meat and potatoes right down the list of what they see as Amazon's immediate needs and how Philly can and will supply them. It's a straight up business pitch to this Captain of Industry.
Is it inspirational? No. Is it creative? No. Does it seem 'visionary'? No. Would it make Jeff Bezos want to live there? Well, it is close to one of his newest acquisitions: The Washington Post.
And Bezos seems more business focussed than concerned about aesthetics or
ambiance or how his employees will take to the city. He is known for viewing employees as an "expendable resource." And Amazon has one of the worse employee retention records of any employer. Perhaps Philadelphia knows Bezos doesn't care about anything other than business
and sees this as their chance to push Bezo's straight-business brain buttons.
In any pitch for business there is usually always at least one boring, straight down the line kind of approach no matter what that business might be. And Philly opted to grab that position. It's sad really because Philadelphia is a beautiful, historic, and vibrant city that decided not to play up those great qualities.
As my criteria is a strictly creative pitch for positioning a city, I give this a 3 out of 10.