The Story Behind the Amazon Smile 2023

Written by SEO-team
May 31, 2023

Amazon Smile

Our world is full of stories that inspire us to think, evaluate, and discover the impact. While many stories motivate us to adopt certain practices, some stories end up in ways we never imagine. It is of great value to explore such possibilities capable of solving issues. A famous story of a boy throwing back fish that washed ashore gives a valuable lesson. Someone told the boy he couldn’t save them all, and his reply was brilliant. He said, “I know I can’t save them all, but I just saved this one” (throwing a fish in the sea). A logo design company can explain why it is crucial to empower your brand sign as a simple sign like the Nike Swoosh to attract and retain customers.

The Amazon Smile

The famous brand started a charity campaign through an online platform. It allowed people to select an alternate online shopping platform, enabling a charity of 0.5% of the total consumer spending. Amazon was the one paying the charity with no cost addition to the customers. It was a game-changing technique that gained international recognition and positive comments. The charity-giving store displayed the Smile of the Amazon logo as its logo. Deserving people could visit it to use charitable funds for shopping without paying anything. You don’t need to be a logo designer or a logo design company to appraise such an intelligent move.

The idea was simple and brilliant; customers could choose between the two platforms. Although they were not paying extra, more and more people were using the Smile platform. The brand generated a positive image and public support, attracting customers from other platforms. The 0.5% charity supported many different charity organizations apart from deserving buyers. All the big players in the industry were praising this move, and Amazon was getting huge appreciation.

The Beginning of Amazon Smile

Businesses invest in different corporate social responsibility programs to benefit from the two major outcomes. Firstly, the CSR activity creates a buzz that helps promote the brand and acquire new customers. Secondly, reducing societal issues helps in developing the market in which the business is operating. Both benefits positively impact the brand’s revenues in the long run.

Many charities worldwide receive proceeds from such programs and help shape a better future for deserving people. The most famous brands worldwide have CSR initiatives and personnel for managing such programs. Amazon also has a list of CSR programs with many initiatives for social, economic, and environmental improvements. One was Amazon Smile, a great place to bring customers and charity recipients together.

Different organizations shared the program on their websites to raise awareness, asking visitors to shop at Amazon to support. Public groups also supported the cause for more significant benefit, promoting the Amazon Smile. The program started in 2013 and lasted a decade, giving away around $449 million in charities before the company closed it down in 2023. The following charity websites still display the program, which was a ray of hope to many deserving people.

The Closure of Amazon Smile

Although the closure of Amazon doesn’t mean Amazon is ending all CSR activities, many charities still claim that they were left away. The reference image marks the closure of this great era, and the brand quoted a simple reason for the closure. Amazon didn’t get the impact as significant as expected from this program. Critics argue over the decision while the company has all the authority to start, modify or end any CSR activity. Its website lists various other programs that support other charities for different objectives. Some of them are:

All these programs host a list of charities continuously working for society’s greater good. Still, the gap left by the closure of Amazon Smile is saddening. The program’s campaign was powerful, using the logo smile as the logo empowering an iconic emblem. We shall support and praise the other programs with the same enthusiasm, but it is also necessary to analyze the potential of Amazon Smile as a case study. Even if the financial impact is insufficient, it was still a powerful marketing campaign. We highlight research on the subject matter and explain some benefits of returning the Smile.

Potential Benefits of Returning the Smile

Amazon’s decision to discontinue the service might be the right thing to do. However, the difference in opinions requires us to understand the potential benefits of restoring it. In their Harvard Business Review, Samatha, Jillian, and Maryam provide meaningful insight into “why shuttering Amazon Smile was a mistake”. The authors provide research-based arguments on the decision while also addressing the indirect benefits of the program.

We provide a list of the most significant benefits that the program can give in case Amazon restores it. We will also discuss some suggestions that might improve the impact of the Smile. The sole purpose of highlighting these benefits and suggestions is for learning purposes for entrepreneurs and businesses. It is requested take the suggestions and potential benefits as positive and constructive for the greater good.

Potential Benefits

The potential benefits of restoring the program are qualitative and subjective. Review the following advantages that have high weightage in our opinion.

1.      Cognitive Impact

Consumers perceive a brand based on its image, value proposition, and purpose. It is the basic reason brands spend millions on surveys inquiring consumers to measure the brand’s perceived value. Perceived value differs from brand value in that the latter calculated the monetary value, while the former refers to the cognitive impact. It also influences consumers’ buying decisions to the point that they even agree to pay premium prices for a product.

Amazon would have invested in studying the cognitive impact of the brand. The online community clearly shows dissonance over this decision, so the reputation might get hurt. Even highlighting the other community support programs was a better strategy, but it wasn’t enough.

2.      Social Impact

Brands are not just businesses; they have an image that allows consumers to relate to and associate with. The reason for having a brand image is to attract consumers based on their interests and preferences. Brands also need to establish authority by gaining respect and admiration from the audience. It helps in influencing decisions and shaping habits lasting forever.

The social impact of restoring the Smile is way greater than its financial impact. The study also indicates that giving away by proxy increases contributors’ willingness to give. Amazon can influence billions of its audience from all business divisions to organize and make a powerful social impact. We learn by observing, and Amazon can inspire us regardless of age, gender, ethnic, regional, or racial background.

3.      Indirect Financial Impact

Although the company reports a mere donation average of $320 per charity, it accounts for only the direct impact. For example, a single dollar doesn’t do any good if we talk about it. But let’s find a starving homeless person, and you can help them survive. The first point is that the view you get when you look at a situation might not be the same if seen from a different angle. In some places, the average monthly income in war-torn or third-world countries is less than $320.

Secondly, some things indirectly contribute to the financial impact. People ask servers or small shop owners to keep the change. Sometimes, we leave our change when the cashier apologizes for not having coins. Even some people have the generosity to buy more than they need to give to someone deserving who’s watching them eat or drink. It was also possible to list some limited edition items for a premium price, and the premium would go to charity.

4.      Public Support

The best a business can get from society is public support. The general public might not even be a consumer of its products but still has a positive feeling towards the brand. There have been many instances where businesses and corporations get help from different public groups under challenging situations.

One such case is Starbucks which amassed over $1.5 billion in advance payments from its customers. TikTom is another example that recently surpassed Facebook in terms of users, while earlier, it faced bans in different countries. Many crowdfunding platforms have various examples of getting financial support from ordinary people just because of inspiration or interests.

5.      Branding and Marketing

Brands always seek strong strategies to increase their customer base and promote their businesses. Nike and Puma are among the most famous brands because they combine the power of a logo with strong marketing strategies. It helps gain enormous recognition, empowering the brand image that becomes iconic like the Nike Swoosh.

Any logo design company or marketing agency can verify that Amazon’s Smile was set to get the same recognition through this program. It might have been a wonderful chance to display the logo sign as the most prominent caretaker of the underprivileged. The Smile logo could have been the face of the company for many years, even if the brand name was not in the logo.


A difference in opinion may seem like a basis for conflict, but it helps find a solution to create a huge impact. Following are some suggestions that portray the importance of returning the Smile.

1.      Onboarding

The company can onboard different charities and public groups in the program, enhancing its effectiveness. It can provide a simpler inexpensive platform for buyers to use the charity fund for only basic necessities rather than all products. It can also use influencers to promote the cause.

2.      Cultivating Talent

Amazon can fund education programs for the most remote areas where even a tiny chunk can make a big difference. It can use the proceeds to ship old books to remote areas to provide learning opportunities. The company can also select from there the best brains that can contribute to its growth, building a positive reputation.

3.      Regional Differences

It can use the proceeds to feed refugees and affectees in war-torn areas. Regional differences in currency value and costs can enable many long-term programs in remote areas. Growing eatables in countries with famine or building support programs for low-income families can impact the world greatly, even if the proceeds are somewhat smaller.

4.      Leading the Way

Most importantly, Amazon’s restoration of the Smile can help it attain a leading prominence. Being one of the top philanthropists in the US, the brand can easily impact millions to contribute to a good cause. Leading with example is far more impactful if coupled with a Smile. A logo design company can quickly deliver an empowering logo featuring Smile as the top-notch leading brand.


The story behind the Amazon Smile inspires many entrepreneurs and asks for the program’s restoration. The argument over the closure of history’s most famous charity program demands reconsideration. Public circles, charity groups, and consumer segments can respectfully insist on returning the Smile, and the suggestions may help improve the branding and image of the brand.

Amazon operates in many industries, including e-commerce, publishing, and manufacturing smart devices. With the help of logo design Services and a digital marketing consultant, it can revamp its logo with promising financial impact. Retaining consumers and cultivating their loyalty helps brands do wonders. Businesses can learn valuable lessons by evaluating such case studies.

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