Amazon’s Hunt For HQ2: Could Losers be Winners?

by: The Knowledge Group

February 06, 2018


Much has been made of Amazon’s search for a second headquarters. The e-tailer has already ruled out several cities after the first round of cuts. However, cities that do not make the final cut can still benefit from the spotlight provided by Amazon’s search. Above all, Amazon benefits the most simply because the competition for its new headquarters has been quite fierce. Amazon will undoubtedly get a sweetheart deal when all is said and done.

Why Failing to Make Amazon’s Top 20 List Might be a Good Thing

Exactly 218 cities tried and failed to make Amazon’s final list of 20 candidates for its second headquarters. However, all is not lost for those who did not make the final cut. Consider the free publicity provided by Amazon’s search. Local and national news outlets made quite the big deal of city pitches for Amazon’s new headquarters. These cities also learned some valuable lessons in corporate recruiting. The failure to make Amazon’s top 20 list will undoubtedly spur city leaders around the country to review their weaknesses, incentives (or lack thereof) and other factors that play a role in convincing company executives to move into town.

Cities Will use Amazon’s Search as a Point of Reference

Cities that attempted to land Amazon’s new headquarters will use the experience as a point of reference for similar situations in the future. Losing bids either lacked competitive incentives, the technical workforce required to support the giant e-tailer and/or additional selling points. Cities that study the differences between losing bids and the winning bid will learn what Amazon and other tech companies are really looking for. This insight will prove quite helpful when attempting to score additional Amazon projects in the future. Cities that failed to make the final cut will certainly be considered for Amazon expansion projects simply based on their sales pitch in the initial search process.

Amazon Also Benefits From the Crowded Competition for Its Second Headquarters

Amazon’s open competition for its second quarters has provided the company with some incredibly valuable information. The company has learned all about the nation’s hot spots for tech workers and innovation. This search process essentially helped Amazon figure out which cities are willing to offer the best tax incentives, workforce and other forms of compensation. Amazon did not have to invest a single penny in this effort as the candidates did all the work for the corporate giant.

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