Saturday, October 25, 2008

Horton Hears a Shoe- How Zappos Even Wowed a New Yorker.

If you haven’t been following BRANDEblog, you may not be up-to-date on my Zappos experience, starting with the HBR article, Why Zappos Pays New Employees to Quit—And You Should Too.
Here’s the backstory-
I read the article- After 1 month of training, Zappos offers employees $1,000 to quit- but guess what! Now it’s $2,000. The idea is that if employees take the money, they’re not Zappos material and would have a negative impact on the culture. Less than 3% take the option.

I was intrigued and found a prez from CEO Tony on slideshare. At the end, he invites viewers to send him an email and he’ll send you a culture book. I did, along with a plug about who BRANDEMiX is, and an offer of help in his Employee Communications any time in the future.

He wrote me back, and told me I’d be getting the book and hearing from Christa, the head of recruiting.

I got the book and heard from Christa. Also got a follow-up email from distribution, confirming that they sent the book and inviting me for a tour any time I was in Henderson.

Fast forward to last Thursday-
I’m in Vegas and call Christa about a meeting. She says “sure”- sends a limo to pick me up.
The limo driver calls me to confirm, knows 7 out of 10 company values without peeking at her badge.
Christa tells reception she’ll be down to meet me in 4 minutes- she is.
She gives me a tour.

She misses seeing herself on TV on the Oprah show
Treats me like a queen.
Hands me parting gifts like a book bag and 4 business books with her recommended reading
Shows me the Zappos application and tells me why one of their evaluation questions asks how lucky people consider themselves to be
(To find out why, read here)

And shows me the Executive Offices

As Horton says, “I meant what I said and I said what I meant. An Elephant’s faithful, 100%.”
The Zappos culture is made up of individuals who are 100% committed to delivering customer WOW. They recognize that everyone, even vendors, are customers. They have lived up to my scrutiny and exceeded my expectations of how to internalize a culture and bring a vision to life.

I will buy from Zappos, I will recommend Zappos and I look forward to using them as a case study of how internal culture drives business success. I would be lucky to have them as a BRANDEMiX client.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Internal Communications- 3 Steps to Building Your Internal Brand

It takes great planning to successfully plan and execute a great internal communication strategy.

Here are 3 simple steps to help you build relevant, meaningful internal communications plans that work. But, for extra simple, call us.


1. Background/Business Objectives/Behavior changes

  • Who needs to do what differently
  • What do they need to change
  • Stop, start, do more, less
2. SWOT analysis
  • What forces are producing the current behaviors
  • How might people react to this new communication
3. Deliverables
  • Key issues for next 6 months that may require communication
  • Precise media, audiences they reach
  • Time frames/Resources required
Download more details.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

you're Laid Off- Sung In the Key of B Flat

I take it back- there is such a thing as over-communicating.

If you hate your job and hate your company, and you can’t retire on your 401k anymore, at least be thankful if you don’t have a company song.

No such luck for the employees of Shell--

Their song, from a team-building course in Asia, and is causing Shell’s more buttoned-up executives in Europe to cringe, is called “Growing and Winning” and is set to “We Are the World”.

Listen for yourself at your own risk- you can even sing along if you want to-

“We have moved on, growing day by day/Sharing strengths, we practice what is best/We are all a part of Shell’s global family/Doing work aligned with everyone.”

Another company chorus comes from Henkel: the name behind some of America’s best-known brands from Dial soaps to Purex laundry detergents. The Henkel corporate song "We together" has been recognized with the American "Stevie International Business Award 2005." as the best corporate song in the world. Donald Trump, was among the judges. Maybe he should be fired for this one.

The best I can say is that in the spirit of Globalization, you can have it your way-

I have to scoot- BRANDEMiX is looking for the best internal communications jingle writers. Send samples here.
Mission Song Samples

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The $700 billion Branding Blunder

Those of us in communications followed with interest the branding campaign that went awry in Washington as Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. called his $700 billion plan to shore up the nation’s shaky financial system the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Everyone else called it the bailout.

In a recent NY Times article:
The politics of governance in Washington is as much about marketing as anything the time it was first rejected by the House — the White House, Congressional leaders and both presidential candidates — had long since lost the perception battle to critics on the Internet and radio and television talk shows. And if there was any broad agreement, it was that the plan needed to be rebranded to have any hope of resurrection.

“The hurdle is overcoming the word ‘bailout,’ ” R. Bruce Josten, executive vice president of the United States Chamber of Commerce, told The Times. “It has continued to be used by members of Congress. You see it in the press today all over the place. This is not a bailout; this is Treasury buying toxic assets that they will dispose of over a period of time and resell.”

Even maverick (don’t get me started) Senator John McCain agreed. “The first thing I’d do is say, ‘Let’s not call it a bailout. Let’s call it a rescue,’ ” he said on CNN. “Because it is a rescue. It’s a rescue of Main Street America.”

“The messaging was about as wooden and wonkish as it could be,” Patrick Griffin, a former White House lobbyist for President Bill Clinton, told The Times. “Poor Paulson — that was not his forte. And they started behind the eight ball. I never understood why they took so long to have the president engage.”

These two google trend maps show the failure of the Communications plan.



Who says Communications aren’t important!

BRANDEMiX for President!

Friday, October 3, 2008

New Employee On-Boarding Study- Be Part of It and Get Back from It.

The purpose of this project is to better understand (a) what all new employees need to learn in order to be successful, (b) what companies are doing to help orientate and onboard their new employees, (c) which of those activities are most effective, and (d) when within the first months of employment those activities should occur. To examine these issues Professor Howard J. Klein from The Ohio State University is asking employers to tell him about their on-boarding practices and then allow him to survey their new employees about their on-boarding experiences. Participation involves having one person to fill out the “company” survey, which is online and should take no more than 20 minutes to complete. The new employee survey takes no more than 30 minute to complete and is also on-line (although a paper and pencil version can be provided if necessary). In return for participating Professor Klein will provide a summary of his findings which will allow the participating companies to evaluate and benchmark their on-boarding practices. For more information about this project, contact Professor Klein at or (614) 292-0719.

Jody Ordioni

p/ 212.947.1001
F/ 800.304.4891

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