It’s All Marketing
One of the great business success stories of the past few years is Zappos. It’s an online shoe store. Not a very exciting product, but it has become one of the most respected companies in the business world. A shoe store. Online. You can’t drive to it. But their sales are over one billion dollars per year. The company had nothing but a concept in 1999, but was acquired by Amazon for $1.2 billion in 2009.
Zappo’s believes it’s all about a company culture that it instills in its employees from the beginning of their employment that everything they do is marketing, as outlined in their 480 page “Culture Book” which every employee receives. Each employee then must attend a 4-week Customer Loyalty training course, which includes 2-weeks of taking calls at one of the companies call centers. After this training is completed, all employees are then offered $2,000 to quit on the spot, which is intended to weed out those people that haven’t internalized the company’s values and aren’t truly committed. 97% turn down the cash offer.
Great story of Zappo’s marketing philosophy: There is a woman that puts on a new pair of $300 Zappos every Monday morning, wears them to work all week, and then returns them on Friday. She does this every week. Zappos knows about her, hasn’t red-flagged her account like most companies would, and continues to serve her up a new pair each week. They even pay for the return shipping costs. Why? They know that she is most likely bragging to co-workers and friends about what she’s doing. Most people are honest, so probably very few are replicating her shenanigans. But what Zappos is getting is great word of mouth advertising about their liberal return policy and commitment to the customer. Worth $300 per week? Without a doubt.
Has your business instilled that strong of a philosophy and culture that “the customer is king”? Does every employee know that every interaction with every customer is marketing, and that the customer should walk away saying “Wow, was I treated special. What a great company to do business with.” If that’s not happening it’s never too late to start. Especially in mid-January, still the beginning of the year and a great time to begin instilling a new philosophy and culture for your employees (or yourself if you are an employee. Hint: This is what will get you promoted).
There are companies in 2012 that will be the new “Story of the Year”, the next Zappos. Why not your company? Why not you? Step out and be remarkable. You can do this.
Regents Bank San Diego has offices in downtown San Diego, La Jolla, Carlsbad, El Cajon and Vancouver, WA. Visit www.regentsbank.com to learn more about how our experienced bankers can help you take your business to the next level.
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