Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh on Marketing and Culture
Updated on February 8th, 2013
What people don’t often know is that prior to Zappos, Hsieh sold his company Link Exchange to Microsoft for $265m in 1998 after 2 years. And what fewer people realise is that Tony sold Link Exchange because he no longer enjoyed coming to work each day. The culture at the company has deteriorated and he wanted out.
Tony Hsieh told his story at a Business Chicks event last week (which by the way, I’ve discovered men are allowed to attend!)
Here is a summary of my notes on Tony Hsieh’s advice on marketing and culture:
- Zappos #1 priority is culture – everything else is a by-product, including customer service.
- Tony takes the money you’d normally spent on marketing or advertising and invests it in customer service. That way your customers talk about you to their friends!
- Customer service isn’t a department, it’s the entire company
- Live by your core values. That is hire & fire according to them! NB. It doesn’t actually matter what your core values are, as long as you have them and you live by them.
- He asks, “on a scale of 1 – 10, how lucky are you in life?” Tony hires those who believe they are lucky as luck is all about being open to opportunities.
Zappos #2 priority is the ‘higher purpose’. You must have a higher purpose than just money or profit. It must be something that you truly believe in, that you’d be passionate doing for 10 years even if you weren’t making a profit. For Zappos, it is ‘delivering happiness’.
- Tony encourages staff to spend 10-20% of their time doing ‘non-work’ things with colleagues since it builds trust and productivity.
- Tony’s passion isn’t shoes, but it is culture.
- Required reading at Zappos is Good to Great by Jim Collins and Tribal Leadership by Dave Logan.
You can shop online at Zappos.com (but they don’t ship to Australia yet)
What do you like best about the Zappos story?