Tony Hsieh Talk on Brand Building

This is an excellent talk by Tony Hsieh at Stanford Business School from 2010 which discusses Zappos’ unique approach to marketing and branding.

Key Takeaways from the talk:
-If you visit Las Vegas, Zappos will pick you up from the airport, give you a tour of their headquarters, and drop you off at your hotel afterwards.
-Hsieh learned at Link Exchange that if you hire the wrong people, it can lead to a very poor company culture.
-The goal was to build a brand around providing the very best customer service and customer experience, which is not just limited to shoes.
-Zappos’ philosophy was to take the money that would have been spent on advertising and put it into customer service so the customers do the marketing through word of mouth.
-The number one driver of growth has been repeat customers and word of mouth.
-They focus on how to “Wow” customers with things like surprise overnight delivery.
-Zappos offers a 365 day return policy.
-Zappos puts their phone number on the top of every page of their website.
-The telephone is one of the best branding devices because you have the customers undivided attention for several minutes.
-Zappos doesn’t up sell on the phone and doesn’t use call scripts.
-They don’t try to get the customer off the phone as quickly as possible. The longest customer call was over 8 hours.
-They found that almost every customer calls at least once during their lifetime.
-Company culture is the number one priority of the company.
-Every employee goes through call center training and is on the phone for two weeks.
-50% of employee performance reviews is based on company culture.
-They are willing to hire or fire people based on their ten core values.
-They won’t hire someone who didn’t treat the shuttle driver well.
-Zappos has a monthly newsletter where employees can ask any question.
-Companies from Good to Great have a higher purpose than making money.
-What are you so passionate about that you would choose to do it even if you knew you wouldn’t make any money for 10 years? Do that.

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