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.


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