I am a great advocate of Zappos and I think all my business contacts, friends and encounters hear me mention Zappos and Tony Hsieh on a regular basis! Now it is time to write a blog post or two about this unique and wonderful bunch of people! Because there is a lot to learn from this great company! I really mean LOTS! For those of you who do not know, Zappos bought by Amazon is an online clothing retailer shipping US wide (with a free-shipping: both ways and a 365 days return policy!). Did you catch this? 365 days return policy! This already sets the business pace for Zappos and one of the reasons why Zappos has managed to turn over US$ 1,190B in roughly 10 years! But this is not the only reason! The first thing one has to appreciate about the company is its culture and it is exemplified by CEO Tony Hsieh’s profound statement: “Your Culture Is Your Brand”!
From the Huffington post on November 17th of 2010 (quote): “At Zappos.com, we decided a long time ago that we didn’t want our brand to be just about shoes, or clothing, or even online retailing. We decided that we wanted to build our brand to be about the very best customer service and the very best comer experience. We believe that customer service shouldn’t be just a department; it should be the entire company.”…“So what’s a company to do if you can’t just buy your way into building the brand you want? What’s the best way to build a brand for the long term? In a word: culture”…“At Zappos, our belief is that if you get the culture right, most of the other stuff — like great customer service, or building a great long-term brand, or passionate employees and customers — will happen naturally on its own” (end of quote).
Everybody goes through a 4 weeks intensive training regardless of the position: the training is the same for everyone and during this time every single “trainee” is offered 2.000 US$ (Zappos does not want teammembers to be their only for a paycheck) to quit in addition to paying the time he or she has already worked! In this first post I would like to rewrite the 10 principles Outlined by CEO Tony Hsieh in his company culture book I hold in my hands right now as I write those notes and I will tell you a bit more on how I got a copy of this wonderful work!1. Deliver WOW through Service 2. Embrace and Drive Change 3. Create Fun and a Little Weirdness 4. Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded 5. Pursue Growth and Learning 6. Build Open and Honest relationships with Communication 7. Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit 8. Do More with Less 9. Be Passionate and Determined 10. Be Humble I stumbled upon the customer site on Zappos Website and from Hamburg Germany I placed “my free order” for the Zappos Culture Book 2010! And I must say the Zappos follow up, for a free book request, has stunt me to say the least! A couple of days later on February the 7th of 2012 I received a confirmation message with the following text: “While you wait for your culture book: we are processing your culture book and packing it with care. It may take a few days to process. We’ll let you know when it is on its way! Here is a video for you to watch so you can see how the books were made! And again on February the 10th (only 3 days later) I got a second email telling me that my book has been shipped! I knew that it would probably take around 4 to 5 weeks to get here since there was no need for it to be a courier overnight delivery! I did received the book on the 22nd of March again accompanied a day later by an Email message from the Zappos Inside Team asking me if I had enjoyed the reading! Pretty amazing is not it? All this because of a FREE BOOK! I treasure this book and will share more of its inside with you in upcoming posts!Let me know what you think and leave a comment on your “company culture” experiences! Looking forward to reading from you!