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现在,建立一个品牌已经与 50 年前完全不同。在过去,我们往往需要大家聚集在一个屋子里,商讨决定品牌要定位在哪里,随后花钱做广告,告诉人们你的品牌是什么。而且如果你花的钱越多,那么你越能打造属于自己的品牌。


然而如今的世界已经完全不同了,随着因特网将人们互相连接在了一起,不管企业是否愿意,它们正变得越来越透明。一位不满意的顾客或者一位不满的雇员可以通过博客发表自己的糟糕经历,并通过社交媒体或者其它网络工具将这些故事传播到全世界。


当然,这并非就只有坏处,它同样为企业带来好的一面,一次很棒的体验也可能会给整个公司的品牌带来非常好的传播。
比如说,如果你在某个酒吧碰巧遇到 X 公司的的雇员,即使他不在工作,你与他的互动也会影响你对其公司的看法,进而影响到对其公司品牌的认识。它可以是正面的影响,也可能带来负面的影响,每一位员工都可能影响到你公司的品牌,而不是那些经常与顾客打交道的前台雇员。


在 Zappos,我们很早以前就决定,我们的品牌不仅仅是鞋,或者衣服,甚至网络购物。我们想要传达的是,我们要建造的品牌是提供最好的用户服务和顾客体验。我们相信,好的用户服务不仅仅是某个部门的,而是整个公司的。


广告只能将你的品牌进行一个大致的传播,如果你问大多数人整个航空业的品牌是什么(不特指某个具体的航空公司,而是整个行业),他们时常会说一些糟糕的体验或者服务。如果你问他们对美国的汽车行业的概念,你获得的回应不会符合具体汽车制造商在他们的广告所宣称的那样。
因此,如果你不能通过花钱投广告来塑造自己想要的品牌,你该怎么做呢?从长期来看,什么才是打造品牌的最好方式呢?


一个词:文化。今天我们就通过谢家华2010年在斯坦福大学商学院的演讲,来进一步学习伟大的品牌是如何建立的。
Zappos' Tony Hsieh 
 Building a Formidable Brand
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Before getting started, how many of you have heard of Zappos prior to this, and how many of you have shopped with us before? Wow, very cool.
So normally when I do this survey to a random group of people the ratio is actually about two to one, women to men.
And a lot of women I've asked or, or men that I've ask say they, they haven't personally shopped from us, but their wife or significant other has.
And a lot of times it's the significant other buying for the guy.
And I was actually giving a tour in Las Vegas little whi, a few years ago to an executive from one of the major record labels.
And I'll let, we actually were based out of Las Vegas.
So next time any of you are in Las Vegas, we definitely recommend coming for tours.
It's actually a lot of fun.
We'll pick you up from the airport in a Zappos shuttle, give you a tour.
It takes about a hour, and then drop you off at your hotel afterwards.
So anyways, we were doing this for an executive from one of the major record labels, and I happened to be giving the tour.
And I asked him the exact same question, had you shop from us before? And he said no he hadn't but he suspects his wife has because these white boxes would show up on his doorstep and then they'd disappear and he didn't know what was going on, [LAUGH] you know, if she was buying them or exchanging them, returning them.
And every time he asked his wife she would just change the subject or refuse to answer him.
And so you know, giving the tour downstairs is the merchandising area and we walk upstairs to our Customer Loyalty Team which is our name for our call center and as we're walking through like I, I starting to explain stuff and then I turn around and he's gone.
And I'm like what happened? And I find out that he actually went down one of the isles and sat down next to one of our reps and forced her to pull up his wife's account.
[LAUGH] And so as it turned out he discovered, she had spent over $62,000 in her life time so [NOISE].
Yeah [LAUGH] hopefully we weren't instrumental in any divorce proceedings.
so, and then, as was mentioned, I have a book that came out a few months ago called Delivering Happiness and we're actually on this three month cross country bus tour.
We got this 50 foot bus, and actually we have some pictures to, to show you.
We wrapped the bus.
There's ten of us on the bus, and we're, we've gone through ten cities so far.
And and we, and the inside, I don't think I have any inside pictures of us.
But this is the Delivering Happiness Book Team and it's actually its own mini start up.
There's about 20 of us and 10 of us are on the bus at any one point.
So if you want to find out more information, just go to deliveringhappinessbus.com and also deliveringhappinessbook.com.
There is fun videos and pictures and, and so on there.
And and, oh yeah, this is also a fun video to, to watch.
If you have the time.
And I'll make this presentation available, so you can check out the video later.
But we're actually, the bus is in Miami right now, so I'll be meeting back up with the bus at the end of this week.
But before getting into Zappos, I wanted to talk about what led me to Zappos.
And the story actually begins in college with pizza.
I was running a pizza business on the ground in from of my dorm in college and with my roommates Sanji, He and I decided to invest in pizza ovens.
And it's this area that was, we set aside, we probably had 300 or 400 students in our dorm.
And the way it would work is every year there would be a new set of students that would run that grill, it was called the grill area downstairs.
And so one year we had, we were the highest bidders and we bought it from the owners from the previous year and we decided to invest in pizza ovens, and we, hired other students, set the menus, dealt with suppliers and so on and occasionally I was making the pizzas myself.
And this guy named Alfred who actually is the Chief Financial Officer today at Zappos, he would stop by every night and order a large pepperoni pizza from me.
And this is actually how we meet, and to me actually it wasn't that weird.
He was doing it cause I had heard about his reputation and he was known to actually eat it, really eat a lot of food.
He had nicknames like monster or human trash compactor.
And literally there would be nights when there would be 10 of us late night at a Chinese restaurant and he would just finish everyone's leftovers.
So you know, not that weird but sometimes a few hours later he'd come by and order another large pepperoni pizza from me and I was like wow this boy can really eat.
Well I found out several years later Alfred was taking the pizza's up stairs and selling them off by the slice so.
That's why he's our chief financial officer.
So after the pizza business, then Sanji and I, who I was running the pizza business with, we got together and formed a company called link exchange.
And this is during the first .com craziness, and we grew that to about 100 or so people and then ended up selling the company to Microsoft two and a half years later.
But what a lot of people don't know is the real reason why we ended up selling the company, and the real reason is because it just wasn't a fun place to work at anymore.
And the company culture just went completely downhill.
I remember when it was just five or ten of us.
It was your typical .com is a lot of fun.
We were working around the clock, sleeping under our desks.
Had no idea what day of the week it was.
Trying to remind ourselves to shower occasionally but lots of fun and as we were growing we hired friends and friends of friends and I remember there was a friend of mine that was on a cross country trip from New York and this was all out of our apartment here in San Mateo at the time and he stopped by to help out and then.
He actually never made his way back home, he ended up joining the company, and that works really well until we got to about 20 people.
We were having a lot of fun, and then we ran into a really big problem when we got to 20 people, and the problem is basically we ran out of friends.
And so we're trying to figure out, okay what do we do now, we didn't know how to hire people.
And so we started just figuring out on our own, and we ended up hiring actually all the people with the right skill sets and experience, but they weren't all necessarily great for the company culture.
And by the time we got to 100 people, I myself dreaded getting out of the bed in the morning to go to the office and that's kind of a weird feeling cuz this was a company I co-founded and I felt like, you know, if I felt that way, how much did all the other employees feel.
So that's really what led us to sell the company to Microsoft.
And after the sale, myself, Sanji, and most of the early employees, we all left the company shortly thereafter.
So after that sale, you know, worked out well financially trying to figure out, okay, now what do I want, what do I want to do with my life? And I'm the type of person who gets bored real easily and always excited by new ideas.
And so Alfred and I got together and we formed a fund.
And invest in about 20 or so different internet companies.
Then in my mind I was like wow, this is a great way to really just get exposed to a lot of different businesses and ideas and so on.
And making investments was actually pretty exciting and pretty fun.There was always some new idea, some new business.
And you know this was in the beginning of the internet days.
But then after we had made all the investments and you know, there wasn't anymore money to invest in the fund.
I realized that at that point and for me at least investing was pretty boring.
I felt like I was sitting on the sidelines and I really missed being part of building something.
So I started thinking about what do I wanna do and out of all the companies who had invested in, Zappos happened to be one of them.
And it was both the most exciting and the most promising.
So basically within a year I joined Zappos full time and, I've been with Zappos ever since.
Some of you may have heard, it was about a year ago that Amazon announced they were acquiring Zappos.
And, except, it's actually very different from most acquisitions that, Amazon has done, in, in the past.
In most of their acquisitions, the plan is to integrate the company being acquired into the parent company, and then eventually, the, original company kind of loses its identity and everything's integrated into the mother ship and absorbed there.
Whereas for us, as a precondition for even considering to explore the deal, we told them that we would only consider it if Zappos could remain independent, if we could continue to grow our brand, and our culture and our way of doing business, our way.
And the great news is they've remained true to their word.
So from our point of view it's just as if we've swapped out our Board of Directors for a new one.
So once a quarter instead of flying to the Bay Area we now fly to Seattle once a quarter for the equivalent of a board meeting.
So most people, when they hear about Zappos, think of us as an online retailer of shoes because that's how we started.
But internally, we actually have a different, mentality.
We have a saying that we're a service company, that just happens to sell shoes.
And in fact we sell a lot more than shoes today.
We sell clothing, beauty products, housewares, kitchenwares, and, and, and so on.
And we're actually hoping ten years from now, people won't even realize we started out selling shoes online.
We really just wanna build the Zappos brand to be about the very best customer service and customer experience.
And in fact it doesn't even have to be limited to online.
We've actually had customers email us and ask us if we would please start an airline or run the IRS.
We're not gonna do either of those things this year, but 20 or 30 years from now I wouldn't rule out a Zappos airlines, that's just about the very best customer service and customer experience.
So one brand that we look to for inspiration sometimes is Virgin.
They're in a whole bunch of businesses, they're in music, airlines and so on.
The difference is the Virgin brand is more about being hip and cool where as we just wanna be about the very best customer service.
So our whole philosophy is let's take most of the money that we would have spend on paid advertising or paid marketing.
And rather than buy our exposure, instead, let's invest it into customer service, and the customer experience.
And let our customers do the marketing for us through word of mouth.
On any given day about 75% of our orders are from repeat customers and we basically grew from no sales in 1999.
In 2008, was the first year where we hit a Billion Dollars in gross merchandise sales, and actually, even despite the bad economy, we've actually continued to grow over the last two years, in fact our net sales for Q1 this year were up almost 50% year over year.
And people ask us, what do we do differently over this last 24 months? And, it's actually, we actually didn't do anything differently.
And it's not because of anything we did over the past two years.
It's because of all the investment we made prior to that, that we continue to grow because of the loyalty of our customers.
And the number one driver of all that growth is through repeat customers and word of mouth.
So these are some of the questions that we ask ourselves in terms of thinking about how to deliver great customer service.
And we internally use the word wow when thinking about how you would treat customers.
But we use it as a verb.
We, we talk about how do we wow our customers and also how do we wow our employees and the vendors that we work with.
And it starts with the policies you see on our website.
We offer free shipping both ways.
So, a lot of people will order 10 different pairs of shoes, try them on in the comfort of their living room with 10 different outfits, and then send back the ones that don't fit or they don't like, and we encourage that type of behavior.
We have a 365 day return policy, for people that, I guess, have trouble, committing or making up their minds, >> [LAUGH].
>> And you know, they can take a while to to return products and you know, most websites it's very hard to find contact information.
Usually, it's buried five links deep and maybe it's an e-mail address you can only e-mail once.
Whereas for us, we take the exact opposite approach.
We put our 1-800 number on the top of every single page of our website.
Because we actually want to talk to our customers.
And it is funny because sometimes I will be speaking at a branding or marketing conference and there is a lot of discussion about consumers being bombarded with thousand and thousand of marketing messages every day.
How do you get your message to stand out, how do you get your brand to stand out and should they be investing millions of dollars into this million dollar Super Bowl ad that people may or may not be paying attention to or should they.
>> Be it leveraging the latest, the social media fad, and for us as kind of low tech and unsexy as it may sound, we found that the telephone is actually one of the best branding devices out there.
Cuz we have the customer's undivided attention for five to ten minutes and if we get the interaction right, we find that the customers remember that for a very long time and tell their friends and family about us.
And we run our call center very differently from most call centers.
We don't have scripts, we don't have this concept of average handle time which most call centers have.
Which is all about how quickly can you get the customer off the phone in the name of being more efficient.
But we're not trying to maximize for efficiency.
We're trying maximize for the customer experience.
And we don't up sell and so going back to the no, no call time.
Actually I just got an email last night.
A new record was set for the longest phone call ever.
It was eight hours and three minutes long.
So, yeah, I don't know how the bathroom situation worked out for, for that one.
But, so, and it may seem weird that, you know, for us, we're an Internet company, 95% of our sales go through the website.
So why do we focus so much on the telephone? And what we found is actually on average almost every customer calls us at least once sometime during their lifetime.
And it's actually usually not to place an order.
Most of our phone calls do not result in orders.
It might be their first time going through the returns process and they just need help stepping through the process of printing out the return label.
For the first time or maybe they have a wedding over the weekend and they just want some fashion advice and I think we have some customers that call us because they're lonely [LAUGH] and we'll we'll talk to them as well.
So, so that's our call center and then for our warehouse, we actually run it very differently from most warehouses as well.
Most warehouses they let the orders pile up so that when, the picker needs to walk around, there's higher picking density, more efficient, doesn't need to walk as far.
For us we run our warehouse 24 seven which is not the most efficient way to run a warehouse.
and, but we're not trying to maximize for efficiency.
And because we run it 24/7, and because our warehouse is located in Kentucky, right next to the UPS hub, and because we do these surprise upgrades to overnight shipping for a lot of, most of our repeat loyal customers.
When you combine all three of those things, a lot of customers order as late as midnight eastern time.
And the shoes show up on their door step eight hours later when they're expecting it a week later.
And that creates that whole emotional response we're trying to elicit and that wow experience.
That causes them to remember us for a very long time and tell their friends and family about us.
So for all this focus on customer service and building our brand to be about customer service, customer service is actually not the number one priority of the company.
Our number one priority is company culture.
And our whole belief is that, if you get the culture right, most of the other stuff like delivering great customer service or building long, a long-term enduring brand will just happen naturally on its own.
And our belief is that a company's culture and a company's brand are really just two sides of the same coin.
The brand is just a lagging indicator of the culture and if you think of, you know, ask random people about what they think of the airline industry as whole and usually you'll get back responses about bad customer service or apathetic employees and so on.
And like it or not that is the brand of the industry, even though no airline set out for that to be their brand.
So we really focus on getting the culture right.
So what are some of the things that we do to really help build our culture? Well, it starts with the hiring process.
Everyone that's hired in our headquarters in Las Vegas, it doesn't matter what position, you know, accountant, lawyer, software developer.
You go through the exact same training as our call center reps.
One of the weeks is actually later on when we send you to Kentucky and you do all the different warehouse functions.
Picking, packing, shipping, receiving, and so on.
But the first four weeks before you start your actual job, we do call center training.
And we go over company history, the importance of company culture, our philosophy, our customer service.
And then you're actually on the phone for two weeks taking calls from customers.
And the reason why we have everyone do that is because if we're serious about building our brand to be about the very best customer service and customer experience, then customer service shouldn't just be a department.
It should be the entire company.
And the other great thing about that is during our busy Q four holiday season which is now coming up, people from all different departments can and do help out and they hop on the phones and help answer the phone calls.
So that means we don't need to hire temps that may be bad for our culture.
Where you don't need to hire temps that may not deliver the same level of customer service that we're looking for.
The other thing that we do is at, at the end of the training we actually make an offer to the entire class and the offer is this.
We will pay you actually it starts at the beginning of the end of the first week of training, they've been there for a week, and the offer is we will pay you for that week you spend training, plus a bonus of $2000 to quit and leave the company right now, and that's a standing offer until the end of the training, and then we raise it to $3000, and extend it a couple months beyond that as well.
And the reason we initially did this was because we didn't want employees that were there just for a paycheck.
And starting pay in Las Vegas is $11 an hour, there's plenty of other call centers there and so it's a pretty significant amount of money, and on average we found that actually about 2 or 3% of people end up taking the offer.
The offer started several years ago at a $100.
And we actually keep upping the offer because we feel like not enough people are taking the offer.
But what surprised us and what we didn't realize was that actually the biggest benefit came from the people who didn't take the offer because they still had to go home, talk to their friends and family and ask themselves, is this a company that I really believe in? Is this a company that I want to be a part of and whose culture I want to contribute to.
And when they decide to turn down the easy money, what we found is that, when they're back in the office on Monday, that they're that much more passionate and engaged and, and and, and really that, by far that's been the biggest benefit for us that we didn't expect in doing that.
But before someone gets started at Zappos, before they go through the training, we actually interview everyone in two sets of separate interviews.
The first set of interviews for someone is kind of the standard of the hiring manager and his or her team will interview for fit within the team, relevant experience, technical ability and so on.
But the second set of interviews is done by our HR department looking purely for culture fit, and they have to pass both in order to be hired.
So we've passed on a lot of really smart, talented people that we know can make an immediate impact on our top or bottom line.
But if they're not good for our culture we won't hire them.
And the reverse is true too.
We'll fire someone if they're bad for our culture even if they're doing their specific job function perfectly fine, even if they're a super star in their job function.
If they're bad for the culture, we'll fire them just for that reason.
And our performance reviews are 50% based on whether you're living and inspiring the Zappos culture in others.
The the other thing we have is something called a culture book, and I'll make that freely available give you information later on about that.
But it's something we put out once a year, and we ask all of our employees to write a few paragraphs about what the Zappos culture means to them.
And except for typos it's unedited, so it includes the good and the bad and it's organized by department, so you can kinda see how the accounting culture may be slightly different from the warehouse culture.
So kind of like when you go to Amazon and you read customer reviews of products, these are essentially employee reviews of the company.
We're also very active on Twitter.
If you go to Twitter.Zappos.com, you can, see there's a page there.
We have about 500 employees that are active on Twitter.
We introduce every employee to Twitter during the training, and then it's up to them whether they want to continue using it.
But then we have a page that aggregates all of the employee tweets together, and so the way that's helped our culture is, you may not talk to that person that's three aisles down from you, except for saying hi in the hallway, but through Twitter, you might find out that he went hiking over the weekend.
And if you're also an avid hiker, now you have something you can talk about, and you might go hiking together.
So those are some of the things that we do on the company culture side.
In terms of growing our brand over the next several years, we have what we internally refer to as the three C's.
Clothing, customer service, and company culture.
And really we think of this as, in terms of the life cycle of the customer, so customer that have never heard of Zappos before, have no idea what we do, we want them to know that we've got a great selection of clothing, footwear and other product categories.
Once they know about our selection, then we want them to know that we're all about delivering the very best customer service, which isn't something that we tell them so much as something that they experience when they get that, you know, see how easy that free shipping both ways is, or get that surprise upgrade to overnight shipping or talk to one of our customer loyalty reps and see, see that the person on the other end truly wants to provide great service.
And once they know that we're all about delivering the very best customer service, then we want them to know about our culture, and core values, which is essentially a formalized definition of our culture.
Cuz, that's, really, the platform that makes all of that possible.
So we've actually had customers tell us that, when they get that perfect outfit or perfect pair of shoes, that Zappos is happiness in a box.
So whether it's the happiness that the customers feel from getting that perfect outfit or a perfect pair of shoes, or the happiness that a customers get, feel from experiencing great customer service, or the happiness that employees feel from being part of a culture where the personal values match their own, where, their personal values match the corporate core values.
The thing that we realize ties all these things together is that Zappos is really just about delivering happiness whether it's to customers, employees and we apply that same philosophy to our vendors as well.
So when you come in for a tour at Zappos in our lobby area, the first thing you'll see is the Zappos library.
And there's about 30 or 40 titles there.
These are two of the titles you'll see.
Except it's not a lending library, it's a giving library.
And we give the books out freely to our employees as well as to visitors, because one of our core values is to pursue growth and learning.
So at the end of the tour a lot of visitors will take home three or four titles that they think are relevant to their business or their own personal life.
And two of the books that are, some of the titles rotate in and out, two of the books that are always there are Good to Great and Tribal Leadership.
And in fact, we have even partnered with the Office of Tribal Leadership.
You can download one of the audio versions of the book for free from the Zappos website.
And we, in fact, teach classes on each of these books to our employees.
And the reason why these two books we really believe strongly in is because the authors researched and looked at what separated the great companies in terms of long-term financial performance from just the good ones.
And they were actually surprised by their findings.
It wasn't at all what they expected.
They found that the great companies had two important ingredients that the good ones and the mediocre ones generally did not have.
And the first important ingredient was that the great companies all had strong cultures.
And for us we formalized the definition of our culture into ten core values.
And we actually didn't always have core values at Zappos.
We'd been around for 11 years, and it wasn't until five or six years into it that we rolled out our core values cuz it was kinda something that a bunch of us, myself personally, resisted.
Cuz it felt like one of those big corporate things to do and you know, a lot of corporations have, they might call them core values or guiding principles or so on but the problem is usually they're very lofty sounding.
They kind of read like a press release the marketing department put out.
They sound just like their competitors and maybe, you learn about it on day one of your job but then it becomes this meaningless plaque on the lobby wall.
Well, we wanted to come up with committable core values.
And by committable, meaning we're willing to hire or fire people based on those values completely independent of their actual job performance.
And when you use that criteria, it's actually a really hard list to come up with.
It took us a year to come up with it.
And it wasn't just a few executives that spent a long weekend at an offsite somewhere and came up with the core values.
But instead, I just emailed the entire company and asked our employees what should our values be, got a whole bunch of different responses back and went back and forth for about a year and then eventually came up with our list of ten core values.
So, this is our list of ten core values and we actually have interview questions for each and everyone of these core values and, and actually one of the cool things that I like about the list we ended up with is if you do a Google search for any one of these core values by itself in almost all the cases Zappos is the number one search result.
Whereas for take almost any other company do a search for one of their core values and page after page after page you won't see that company name show up.
So the one that actually probably trips us up the most during the hiring process is this last one, be humble.
Cuz there's a lot of really smart, talented people out there that are also egotistical.
And for us, it's not a question.
We just won't hire them, where as the conversation at most other companies would be, well this person might be kind of annoying and rub you the wrong way but he's gonna add a lot of value, and therefore we should hire that person.
And that one person may or may not bring the company closer downhill, but I think if you keep making compromises like that over and over and over again, that's why most large companies don't have great company cultures.
But it's actually probably the one that's hardest to actually ask a natura interview question for it cuz you can't just say, how humble are you? And they say, I'm the most humble person in the whole wide world.
[LAUGH] Right and so but one of the ways we test for this is a lot of our candidates actually are from out of town.
And so we're picking them up from the airport in a Zappos shuttle.
Give them the tour, and then they'll spend the entire day interviewing.
Well, at the end of the day of interviews, the recruiter will circle back with the shuttle driver, and ask how they were treated.
And it doesn't matter how well the day of interviews went, if they didn't treat the shuttle driver well, then we won't hire them, it's not even a question.
So I'll give some examples of other of interview questions we ask.
Number three, create fun and a little weirdness.
One of our interview questions is actually on a scale one to 10 how weird are you? And you know, if you answer one you might be a little bit too straight laced for the Zappos culture.
If you answer 10 you might be to psychotic for us.
But it's actually not so much the actual number we care about, our whole belief is that everyone's a little weird some how.
And this is really more just a fun way of saying that we really recognize and celebrate each person's individuality.
And we want their true personality to come out and shine in the work place.
You know, there's so many people in corporate America where they're a different person at home on weekends versus when they show up to the office on Monday's.
And you know they end up leaving a little part of themselves or in a lot of cases, a big part of themselves at home.
And that leads to discussions about work life, separation or work life balance.
And for us actually rather than worry about work life separation, we really think about it in terms of work life integration, we want the person to be the same person at home or in the office.
Cuz what we found is that's when the great ideas come out, that's when their creativity shines and that's when true friendships are formed, not just coworker relationships.
And that's really what, when people are in that environment, that's when the passion comes out and that's really what's driven a lot of our growth over the years.
And core value number four be adventurous, creative and open-minded.
So one of our interview questions here is, on a scale of one to ten, how lucky are you in life.
One is, I don't know why bad things always seem to happen to me, and ten is, I don't know why good things always seem to happen to me.
Well, we don't want to hire the ones, cuz they're bad luck and we don't want bad luck to come to Zappos.
[LAUGH] That, that wouldn't be good.
No but this was actually inspired by a research study that I read about several years earlier where they actually ask that exact same question to a random group of people.
And they got, you know, someone, sometimes a bunch of answers in between, and then afterwards, they have them do a task.
And the task was to go through a newspaper and count the number of photos that were in that newspaper.
But what the participants didn't know was that it was actually a fake newspaper, and sprinkled throughout the newspaper were these headlines that would say things like if you're reading this now, you can stop the answer is 37 plus collect an extra $100.
And what they found was that people that considered themselves unlucky in life, generally never noticed the headlines.
They went through the task and, you know, eventually came up with the right answer.
Whereas the people that considered themselves lucky in life generally stopped early and made the extra $100.
So the take away is that it's not so much that people are inherently lucky or unlucky in life.
But luck is really more about being open to opportunity beyond just how the task or situation presents itself.
So that's why we ask that question for core value number four, be creative.
Adventures and open-minded.
And so one of our other core values is about being open and honest.
It's really just all about transparency and we really try to be as transparent as possible to our customers, to our employees to our vendors as well.
So for our customers, for example, we hold a quarterly all hands meeting for our employees and we actually live stream that on the internet, so anyone can tune in and employees will ask questions about company financials or what brands we're gonna carry and so on.
The other thing we do is when there's a reporter that wants to do a story on us, whether it's for TV or a magazine or so on you know most companies, most corporations, what would happen is they're escorted around by PR person.
The PR person says you can talk to that VP over there, and that person in communications over there, everyone else is off limits, don't talk to anyone else.
Whereas what we do is we give a tour and at the end of the tour, we say, bathroom's over there, lunch room's over there, walk around talk to whoever you feel like, and when you're done, come find me.
And the reason we're comfortable doing that is because we know that employees understand the long-term vision of the company.
And we know that employees we've hired, their personal values match the corporate values.
So every employee is just automatically living the brand.
And, you know, they're not going to, we don't do media training and so when the reporter talks to 10 different employees, they're not gonna get the exact same phrases or sound bites and, and so on.
But what they are gonna find is consistency in every employee's attitude, and more importantly the authenticity in their interactions.
And so that's why we en, we're, we just tell anyone just walk around talk to whoever you, you want because that's what we're comfortable with.
With our employees we have a monthly newsletter called Ask Anything where it's literally that and employees can ask about financials or brands or whatever and we'll find the best person to answer them and then put that all in a newsletter and we send that out to the entire company once a month.
For our vendors, we work with 1500 different brands.
And they have access to this backend system we call the Extranet where they can log in and view the exact same information our own buyers and merchandisers can view so they can view on hand inventory, sales, profitability, markdowns and so on.
And when we first rolled this out the response from the vendor community was wow this is great but aren't you worried this information is gonna get into the hands of competitors? And, realistically, I'm sure some of the information does eventually find its way into the hands of competitors.
But, on the flip side, we now have an extra 1500 pairs of eyes helping us co-manage our business, and they're not on our payroll.
And so for us we found that the benefits far outweigh any perceived risk.
Cuz a lot of times, they'll catch stuff that our own buyers or merchandisers might miss if there's some style that's suddenly taking off and, you know, our buyers have portfolios of 20 to 30 brands so they may not catch it in time.
So, you know, this is a common reaction get, we get sometimes, okay, happy for you Zappos, you have this great culture.
Made the Fortune 100 best companies to work for list but the stuff you're talking about would never work at my company.
and, when people come to our offices, they're like, oh, okay, I, I get it but the way your, you allow your employees to do X Y Z, would never fly at my company.
But what I found really interesting about the research from good to great in tribal leadership, is that they've found that it actually doesn't matter what your core values are.
What matters, is that you have them.
And the power you get is out of the alignment you get, when you have the entire organization acting a certain way.
And have kind of default way of thinking.
And, and, and that's what I found really interesting.
And for us, what the real power came from when the values become integrated into our everyday language.
And we don't even notice it but not a day goes by where we don't use our core values just in our everyday conversation on a day-to-day basis.
So it's really, that's the real power of having a strong culture, of having alignment throughout the entire organization.
And I'm gonna make this presentation available cuz another reaction we get sometimes and I wanted to include these other stories is, oh Zappos you're an internet company.
Special rules apply to internet companies.
And some of these stories in here are actually from companies in completely different industries and completely different types of companies.
And one of the other ways we're transparent is actually we have this separate entity called Zappos Insights, it's actually it's own website, zapposinsights.com, where we, actually help other companies figure out how to build their own strong cultures and figure out their own core values.
And there's a monthly video subscription service, there's also these one day and two day seminars where people and companies from all over the world actually fly in and go through these exercises.
And one of the stories I included in there, is a company that I went through about a year ago, called The Atlanta Refrigeration Company.
They're based in Atlanta, Georgia and they do refrigeration repairs out in the field.
So in some ways you can't think of a more opposite company or industry than Zappos.
And they went back, focused on company culture, focused on delivering better customer service, and now they're reporting back that their customers are happier, their employees are happier, they even sent us before and after pictures of their offices, and in a down economy, their revenues and profits are up, and so for us, it's just been really interesting and rewarding to see this whole idea of happiness as a business model work in other industries and, and other companies.
So going back to Good to Great and Tribal Leadership, I said the author's researched and they found there were two important ingredients that separated the great companies, in terms of long term financial performance from just the good ones.
The first thing ingredient was the great companies all had strong cultures.
And the second one is actually really counter-intuitive at least to me.
And what they found was that the second important ingredient was that these great companies all had a vision that had a higher purpose beyond just money or profits or being number one in market.
And the weird thing and ironic thing about that is, actually by having a higher purpose, it actually enabled these companies to generate more profits in the long run.
And sometimes I'll be speaking at an entrepreneur conference for example and I'll get approached afterwards where entrepreneurs will ask what's a good market to get into, where I can make a lot of money? And my advice to them is rather than have money be your primary motivator, instead think about what would you be so passionate about doing that you'd be happy doing that for 10 years, even if you never made any money from it? And that's what you should be doing and if you actually do that, it actually, in an ironic way, it greatly increases your chances of making more money in the long run because your passion is what's gonna get you through the tough times.
Your passion is gonna rub off on your employees and your your, sup, suppliers and the customers are gonna sense it.
And be, the, it has this whole ripple, domino effect.
So I like to say chase the vision, not the money.
There was a movie that came out several years ago called Notorious.
I think it lasted a week in the theater and I may have been the only person that saw this movie.
But in the movie Puff Daddy says to rapper Biggie Smalls also known as Notorious B.I.G.
don't chase the paper, chase the dream.
I just wanted an excuse to put this picture up here in a business talk, but.
So if you're an entrepreneur, you know think about what would you be so passionate about doing that you would be happy doing it for ten years.
Even if you never made any money from it.
And that's what you should be doing.
And if you have employees that report to you, then think about what's the higher vision and greater purpose in their work beyond just money or profits or being number one in a market.
Cuz that's what's actually gonna help inspire them.
And you know, there's a lot of consultants and books that talk about how to motivate employees, and there always seems to be a new trend in.
And you know, the latest management fads and you know, there's different ways to motivate employees.
They're a lot of corporate in America actually motivate employees through fear you can also motivate employees through incentives and you can motivate employees through recognition and all those things work up to a certain extent.
But what we found at Zappos is there's a huge difference between motivation and inspiration, and if you can inspire your employees by having a higher purpose in the company beyond just money or profits or being number one in market in, if you can inspire your employees by having corporate core values, that match their own personal values.
And not just the stated core values but the actual practice core values.
Then you can accomplish so much more and you don't really need to worry about the motivation part of it.
The inspiration just will ex, will accomplish much, much more than the motivation part of it.
So this is the evolution of our brand at Zappos.
In 1999, it was just, okay, let's just, our visions was let's just sell a lot of shoes.
It's all gonna be about selection.
And then 4 years into it, in 2003, we all sat around and asked ourselves, what do we want to be when we grow up? Do we wanna be about shoes, or do we wanna be about something more meaningful? And that's when we decided, okay, let's build the Zappos brand to be about the very best customer service and customer experience.
And a funny thing happened when we communicated this to our employees.
We found that suddenly employees were a lot more passionate and excited about the company and when customers called they could sense the person on the other end of the line truly wanted to provide great service and wasn't there just for a paycheck.
We found that when vendors came and visited us they wanted to visit us more often and stay longer and so all these things had this kind of multiplicated snowball effect that drove a lot of our growth over the years.
And in 2005 was when we switched from culture to just being important to culture being the number one priority in the company.
With the belief that if we get the culture right, then most of the other stuff, delivering great customer service, building a long-term enduring brand that will just take care of itself.
And then 2007 we started thinking about, okay, what are different ways we can provide great customer service.
Some companies focus more on the technology and the efficiency part of it.
Well, we decided instead of going the high-tech approach to go the high-touch approach and really focus on building personal, emotional connections.
And then 2009, we took a step back and realized, okay, customer service is about making customers happy.
Company culture is about making employees happy.
Let's just tie it all together and really have our vision be about delivering happiness to the world.
And then from that expanding vision, that's what led to the development of Zappoinsights.com, which is a completely different business.
It doesn't have anything to do with e-commerce or selling shoes online.
So I wanted to tell another piece of story and this actually happened a few years ago in Santa Monica California.
And I was actually at a Sketcher's conference and it's one of the brands we work with, one of the footwear brands.
And it was a long day and at the end of the day a bunch of us decided to go bar hopping.
There were three people from Sketchers and three people from Zappos, including myself.
I'd never been bar hopping in the Santa Monica area before.
So we went to the first bar and some, someone ordered a round of drinks and then someone, I can't remember who, decided to order a round of shots.
So been a long day, we took the shots, finished the round of drinks.
And when we went to the second bar, and someone else ordered a round of drinks to pay back for that first round of drinks, and someone else ordered a second round of shots to pay back for that first round of shots, and were looking at it, and we determined that, you can't waste alcohol.
So we took the shots and finished the drinks, and then went to the third bar.
And I'm actually unclear on how many shots or drinks we had after that.
But what I do know is that in California, last call is, I think it's two, is it two am? I, I'm from Vegas, so last call isn't in the dictionary there but so it's two am and anyways so finally lights go on.
>> I don't know how many bars we've been to and finally start walking back to the hotel room.
And as we were walking back to the hotel room, one of the girls from Sketchers asked if we all wanted to share a pepperoni pizza.
And she was so excited.
And we're like, yeah, sure.
And she's like, oh, I'm so excited.
I actually checked it out on the room service menu before we left.
It was on page 17, item number two.
And I know when it comes, it's going to be super hot, and I don't want to burn the roof of my mouth.
So I'm just gonna blow on it and let the aroma slowly waft into my nose.
And she kept talking about it, and getting super excited.
And it was only a five minute walk, but it seemed much longer than that cuz she would not stop talking about this pepperoni pizza.
So anyways we finally wind up in someone's hotel room.
She's super excited, calls room service and then ten seconds later hangs up the phone all dejected and I ask her what's wrong and she said apparently this hotel doesn't deliver hot food after 11 p.m.
And she was like, oh, you have no idea how much I was craving that pepperoni pizza.
And I was like, I think we all have a pretty good idea.
>> [LAUGH].
>> And, but she was still really sad and I'm trying to think okay, how do you cheer her up and then I tell her the story of how in college I used to make pizza and this guy named Alfred, and, and this is how we met.
And at the end of my story she looks at me and she's like, that's so not helpful right now.
[LAUGH] So you know, Fred, whose also from Zappos, he and I are, are kind of brainstorming and then we come up with the best idea ever.
We say, oh call Zappos, call Zappos.
We're all about the best customer service.
We'll take care of you.
And really in our inebriated state of mind we thought that was the funniest thing ever.
And so.
[LAUGH] So she actually takes us up on our dare, and you know, puts it on speaker phone and you know, it says, rep answers, thanks for calling Zappos, how can I help you? The rest of us are in the background trying like to be quiet, and I laugh.
She's like oh, thank goodness, you answered.
I know it's three A.M.
but I'm in Santa Monica right now in this hotel that doesn't serve hot food after 11 P.M.
I've been craving this pepperoni pizza on the room service menu, I'm looking at it right now, page 17 item number 2.
>> [LAUGH] >> Is there anything you can do for me? Well first, there was an awkward silence.
>> [LAUGH].
>> And then, and the rep said you know you called Zappos, right? [LAUGHING] We sell shoes.
We sell clothes.
But we don't sale pizza yet and she's like I know but I heard you're all about the best customer service.
And the rep said okay hold on.
And put us on hold for two minutes.
And then came back listing the five closest places in the Santa Monica area that were still open and delivering pizza at that hour.
Now, well first of all, I, I hesitate a little to tell this story cuz I don't want all of you to start calling Zappos.
>> [LAUGH].
>> [LAUGH] Ordering pizza from us.
But you know, clearly we don't have a process and procedure for late night drunk pizza orders, but in, it just goes back to, I think it's just a fun, sort of, illustrate that if you get the culture right, then most of the other stuff like delivering great customer service, and building your brand, one story at a time, one phone call at a time just happens naturally on its own and you know, these types of stories we're creating at Zappos, literally, thousands and thousands of times every single day and that's how we built our brand over the years.
And these are, you know, questions that we think about.
How do we create more happy memories for our customers and how do we elicit more positive emotions and really we're in the memories, and emotion business and stories business.
And then we also think about how do we keep thinking differently and expanding what business we're actually in.
How do we think bigger and think differently, and one of my favorite stories is about Cirque du Soleil where you know, they completely redefined the circus business.
Prior to Cirque du Soleil, to have a better circus meant more elephants.
Bigger elephants.
And the market research surveys, if they did them, would be exiting you know, doing exit polls.
And they'd be like, were the elephants of sufficient quantity and sufficient size and you know, and then, that, that would tell them how to build a better circus.
And then Cirque du Soleil just thought completely, you know, outside of the box.
So anyways just wanted to wrap up and actually take a step back from all of this business talking.
How do you guys actually think about this for yourselves? What is your goal in life? And like think, for yourself personally what is your actual goal in life.
And when I asked different people this question, I actually got a whole bunch of different answers back.
Some people would say they wanna grow a company, especially at entrepreneur conferences.
Some people say they wanna be healthy and then I'll ask them why.
So whatever your goal in life is, ask yourself why.
And then people come up with another set of answers.
They want to retire early or run faster.
And then I'll ask them why again, and so whatever your answer is, just ask yourself why.
And what's interesting is if you ask why enough times, almost everyone comes up with the same answer.
And it's, they're pursuing their goal in life is that they believe it ultimately make them happier.
So I started a few years ago reading about this whole field of research called the Science of Happiness.
The official name is actually positive psychology, but it's based on actual research that's been done.
Not, so I am not saying, talking about go to, you know, self-help session or books or think positive and you'll be happy.
But actual research that's been done, and as I was reading about this, prior to 1998 most of the psychology was about how do you take people that have something wrong with them and make them more normal? But almost nobody bothered to study how to take normal people and make them happier.
So, as I was reading about this, one of the consistent findings from the research was that people are actually very bad at predicting what will make them happy on a sustainab, sustainable basis.
Mo peop, most people think, oh once I get x, then I'll be happy, once I achieve x, then they'll be happy.
When the research shows, you know, for example, lottery winners.
Look at their happiness right before winning the lottery, and then a year later.
And a year later, it's the same, or maybe a little bit lower than before.
So people are bad at predicting what will make them happy.
And then, you know, started thinking about well you know, at Zappos there's a science behind a lot of the stuff that we do in terms of website conversion, customer acquisition, metrics, repeat customer behavior.
And if the ultimate goal is happiness, what if some percent of the time was actually spent just reading up on the research.
That's been done.
How can that not only help personally but how can it help the company in terms of making customers happy and making employees happy.
Because it's not as simple as just asking customers or employees what would make you happy.
You know, a lot of people go through life, trying to get to that ultimate destination of happiness.
But, a lot of people never get there, and of the people that do get there, a lot of them, most of them, find that it's actually very short lived.
Not quite what they were expecting.
What if by reading up on the science of happiness and learning a little bit about the research, you can kind of short cut some of it and go, to the happiness much faster.
So I just wanted to share some of the frameworks of happiness that I thought were most interesting from the research that I read.
First framework is happiness is really just about four things.
Perceived control, perceived progress, connectedness, meaning the number and depth of your relationships, and being part of something bigger than yourself.
And what's interesting is you can apply this to business as well.
You know, connectedness goes back to company culture.
I'll give a quick example for perceived progress.
We used to hire people in our merchandising department at entry level, and then give them promotions every 18 months.
And you know they get trained and certified and so on, and in three years they become a buyer.
Well we changed that a few years ago so that instead of a promotion every 18 months, we gave them smaller promotions every six months.
Nothing changed, they, they, they still took three years to become a buyer.
They still had to go get certified and so on, but we found employees were much happier cuz there was that ongoing sense of perceived progress.
And it cost the company nothing to do that.
Maslow's Hierarchy, there's a book called Peak by Chip Conley, P - E - A - K, where he condenses it down to three levels.
And so for example for employees, its do they think of their work as a job or a career or calling? And our whole goal at Zappos is to move them up that pyramid so that they're still employees at Zappos ten years from now.
And then the last framework I wanted to share real quickly are the three types of happiness.
Pleasure, engagement and meaning.
And the first type, I like to call the rock star type of happiness.
Cuz it's all about chasing that next high.
And it's great if you can sustain it, the problem is it's very hard to sustain, unless you're basically a rock star.
And what the research has shown is that as soon as the source of stimuli goes away that's giving you that high, as soon as that goes away, your happiness just plummets and drops right down back to wherever it was before.
It's the shortest last, lasting type of happiness.
The second is called flow, and it's about we've all experienced this, it's about those times where time just flies because you're so into whatever you're doing.
For some people it's running, for other people it might be painting.
And it's three hours passed.
Seems like only twenty minutes have passed.
And professional athletes refer to it as being in the zone, where peak engagement meets peak performance and other characteristics associated with it are you lose the sense of self conscious, self consciousness or even self, and basically the strategy there is notice when it happens and then change your environment, your friends, where you live, your job, and, or so on, to have it happen more often.
And the research show that, that's the second longest lasting type of happiness.
And the third type is the longest lasting type.
It's about being part of something bigger than yourself.
And for some people might be, volunteering for your favorite charity for example.
And what I found interesting is most people go through life chasing after the first type of happiness, thinking once I can sustain that on an ongoing basis, which is next to impossible, then I'll worry about the second type.
And then if I ever get around to it, then I'll worry about the third type.
When based on the research data, and purely on the research data, the proper strategy is figure out the third type first, layer on top of that the second type, and then anytime you experience the first type, just icing on the cake.
So some books I would recommend for a copy of this presentation, email [email protected]
Make sure to include the book at the end in the URL or the email address.
And for a culture book that I talked about make sure to include your mailing address, cuz it's a physical book.
And we'll send it to you.
Next time you're in Vegas go to tourist.zappos.com to get a free tour.
We'll pick you up.
And, you know, the subtitle of my book is, the title of my book is Delivering Happiness.
The subtitle is A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose.
And you need all three in order to have a business that will continue to grow.
And companies, you know, so many companies in corporate America focus on just the profits part of it, and forget about the passion and purpose.
And that actually ends up hurting their ability to generate profits in the long term.
And then I had this weird ah-ha moment where happiness, you know, is really about being able to combine pleasure, passion, and purpose.
And so, you know, this whole idea of happiness as a business model is something that, through the book, we want to spread to other organizations and other companies.
And I think we're just at the beginning of the very special time where we're all hyper connected.
Information travels so quickly.
Companies culture, companies brand, are, that lag time is becoming less and less and really, that's how we've approached things at Zappos.
And you know, just want to leave you with thinking about, what percentage of the time do you want to spend reading up on the science of happiness and how can that help yourself personally, your brand or your business.
And the research shows that companies that have a higher purpose actually generate more profits in the long term and people that have a higher purpose actually are happier.
You know, think about what is your company's higher purpose and what is your own higher purpose.
And if through this presentation you've been inspired to make customers happier through customer service or make employees happier by focusing more on culture and, and figuring out the vision or just make yourself happier by reading up more on this whole science of happiness.
If any of those things have happened, then I'll have done my part in helping us fulfill our own higher purpose which is all about delivering happiness to the world.
Thank you very much.


在 Zappos,我们的信念是,如果你拥有正确的文化,那么其它大多数事情,比如说好的用户体验、建立长期的品牌,又或者富有激情的员工和顾客,这些都会自然而然的发生。


我们相信公司的文化与公司的品牌是一个硬币的两面,一开始品牌可能会滞后于公司的文化,但是它最终会赶上。


你的文化就是你的品牌。

那么如何才能建立并保持你想要的文化呢?

它开始于招聘流程。在 Zappos,我们事实上会做两种不同的面试。负责招聘的经理和他的团队会按照标准的流程选择具有相关经验、技能并符合团队的人才;但是我们的 HR 部门会将这些面试做一些区分,纯粹做文化的切合筛选。候选人必须要通过这两种面试才行。

我们会拒绝很多有才能的人,他们可能在短期会给我们带来很大的影响,但是如果他们不契合我们的文化,那么我们宁愿牺牲短期的利益,而在长远上保护我们的文化(也就保护了我们的品牌)。

雇佣后,下一步就是做企业文化的培训
那是一个为期4周的培训,这些培训一般会涉及到公司的方方面面、比如公司历史、愿景、文化以及各种职位的体验培训。然后你有2周的时间实际接听我们客户打来的电话。每一位总部的新员工,不论部门或者头衔,都要接受与我们“呼叫中心”相同的培训。
所有的这一切都是希望回到我们的理念:顾客服务不是某一个部门的工作,而是整个公司的事情。

第一周培训结束时,我们会给予所有学员出价,一个2000 美元的离开补偿,这个出价一直到第四周培训结束前。这主要也是为了确保这里的员工不是为了薪水才留下了的,而是真正相信我们的长期愿景并真正融入我们的文化,如果不合适,这点钱算也是对他们这段时间的补偿。这个措施实施后,只有不到1%的人接受了2000美元。


聚焦于文化带来最大的一个优势就是,当有媒体造访时,与其它企业不同,我们不设置采访对象限制,我们鼓励媒体记者与任何他们想采访的对象进行访谈,我们希望尽可能的让
公司透明
,而这已经成为我们公司文化的一部分。


我们用 10 句话定义了 Zappos 的核心企业文化(英文原文如下):

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


中文翻译:

1:通过服务让人惊叹:WOW!

2:拥抱并驱动变革

3:创造欢乐并有一点点搞怪

4:勇于冒险、敢于创新、开发思想

5:积极进取、不断学习

6:通过沟通建立开放及诚实的关系

7:建立积极的团队,塑造家庭精神

8:追求事半功倍

9:充满激情与决断力

10:虚怀若谷

很多企业也都有核心文化,但是往往都不会付诸现实
,它们往往像是在新闻稿里面读到的一些东西,或许你在第一天理解了,但是过去几天后它仅仅是墙上挂着的毫无意义的几句话。


我们相信将核心价值付诸现实才是最重要的,这也就意味着,你的招聘与解雇流程都要基于此。
如果你愿意这么做,那么你已经走上建立属于自己品牌的道路上了,你可以让所有员工都成为你的品牌大使,而不仅仅是市场或者 PR 部门。而且这不仅是在公司内部,走出公司后,他们仍然是你的品牌大使。


最后,要记住的是,
当你拥有一个正确的企业文化时,其它大多数事情都会自然而然的发生,包括建立一个伟大的品牌
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