Amazon is well-known for its copycat ways, but it's not so often that another company calls it out on it, much less in a way that's funny. But that's exactly what Peak Design did today when it uploaded a video to YouTube comparing its Everyday Sling to a camera bag from AmazonBasics that shares the exact same name.
"It looks suspiciously like the Peak Design Everyday Sling, but you don't pay for all those needless bells and whistles," the video's narrator declares. Those extras include things like a lifetime warranty, BlueSign approved recycled materials, as well as the time and effort the company's design team put into creating the bag.
In its most on-the-nose jab at Amazon, the video includes a "dramatization" of how the AmazonBasics design team created their take on the bag. "Keep combing that data," a googly-eyed executive tells his subordinate, who's played here by Peak Design founder and CEO Peter Dering. "Let's Basic that bad boy," they say after finding the Everyday Sling.
The segment points to an uncomfortable aspect of Amazon's business model, one that an in-depth Wall Street Journal report examined last year. According to former Amazon employees, the company had used proprietary seller data to design and price in-house products — even though its own policies forbid it from doing so. The report came up when Jeff Bezos had to testify before the US House of Representatives last year during its anti-trust hearings. He said he couldn't guarantee the online retailer hadn't misused data from its third-party sellers.
Peak Design ends the video with something of an appeal. If you don't want a product that's responsibly made by a small but innovative company, you don't have to purchase it. "Whichever one you buy, you’ll get exactly what you paid for."