One-Click Retail is out with research pointing out that “roughly 85% of Amazon’s private brand sales come from AmazonBasics, suggesting that there is little cause for disguising private brands – in fact the ‘Amazon’ label seems to improve sales.”

Amazon has tested a number of private label names, the study says, with “varying levels of transparency, from Wickedly Prime (fairly clear – ‘Prime’ gives it away) to Lark & Ro apparel and Happy Belly snack foods (decidedly less obvious). The distinct impression is that Amazon is testing out a variety of different ways to introduce private brands to the platform.”

The report goes on: “Not only does AmazonBasics account for 85% of all private brands sales (the remaining 15% is divided between 45 distinct labels), it's also cannibalizing other Amazon brands. Sales of Bedding and Bath label Pinzon have fallen by 50% so far this year (about $8M in lost sales) while AmazonBasics has moved into those same categories, where it has seen a growth of about 50% (or nearly $10M in sales), primarily in Bedding. In our view, this indicates an intention on the part of Amazon to reinvest in the broader (and more successful) AmazonBasics brand and move away from niche labels.”

KC's View: This isn’t much of a surprise. Amazon has been very good throughout its history of not just making a value proposition, but delivering on it … often under-promising and over-delivering. Do that enough, and establish a beachhead in people’s lives, and you’re going to have credibility and equity that can be transferred to other products and services.

The competition has to also consider, though, that this isn’t just a new product or service. In fact, it is another page in a narrative that Amazon is writing … and it is the power of that story that makes the company so formidable.