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Taking a Cue
By: Janet Kalandranis
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Many brands want to learn, want to understand, and most importantly want those little secrets on how to succeed. For smaller brands, this is even more important. The ability to learn a couple of key tactics, get some direction, and hopefully emulate success is essential. Luckily, Zappos is a brand that wants to help — and this brand started as a small start-up only to become known for its unstoppable customer service, great products, and an easy online experience.

Create a Culture: Zappos is known for exceptional customer service. This was what got customers talking and grew the brand from a no-name to a popular shoe destination. And the brand believes it all goes back to its culture. The brand wanted a specific culture, created it, and drove the business based off this building block. Instead of focusing on specific results, Zappos put its energy in creating “this culture” that could drive actions and ultimately deliver positive results.

Connecting Brand to Culture: Many organizations separate these two ideas. A culture is simply a characteristic of a brand, but not something that actually creates it or helps to build the success of the brand. Not true according to Zappos. This brand believes that “Everything the market experiences about you is a result of your culture.” That’s a direct connection between an organization’s culture and who it is as a brand. Zappos states that internal culture and a brand are one in the same.

Taking a Cue from Happiness: Zappos is knowingly building its successful brand on happiness. Seems a little unrealistic and maybe elementary. But Zappos has been building year after year based on this simple premise. And it’s not just about a feeling. Zappos' success in happiness is its ability to connect happy people with performance indicators and taking that little brand culture and making it bigger than just how the office is decorated and what is stated on a piece of paper. It’s making the culture work for the brand and ultimately creating a path for success.

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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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