If I were the man who sold my company for almost a Billion dollars, I would go off to Rock concerts around the world, instead of sitting down to write a book.
But Zappos former CEO thinks differently. He wants to go on a crusade. That crusade is to “deliver happiness”.
Moving people up the Maslow‘s scale, customers and employees alike.
Bezos saw the potential in Zappos.
So they deliver shoes with return/exchange No Question asked.
Nordstrom in a box.
Shoes and ties used to be made in Italy.
Now in China.
As the costs of production go down, competition goes up, companies like Zappos-now-Amazon, deliver the intangible “and the shoes is you”.
Verizon’s campaign “you rule the air” resonates “Empire of the Air” (back then, it refers to radio spectrum).
So, we are down to ads which speak of either You or I (Ipad, I phone).
What happens to He or She? or the Softer side of Sears?
BTW, the World Cup field invader was a T-shirt designer from Italy (Superman shirt).
Superman will be detained in South Africa long after this Sunday’s final is over (perhaps to help w/ super clean-up of the very field he invaded).
Back to Zappos. From top to toes, the only item that needs try on the most is shoes. Yet Zappos manages to turn this rule of thumb on its head: go ahead and put them on. Order online, we deliver and keep delivering until the shoes are fit.
Who would have thought of that (maybe besides Victoria Secret).
Imagine Playboy with similar campaign: “go ahead and view the video. And if you are not satisfied for any reason – 3D version included – you can return and money back guaranteed. Oh, must be 18 to order (but not to view).
So, modern-day success stories come back to old day success stories; keep the employees happy, in turn, keep the customers happy, which lead to happy stakeholders. In Zappos’ case, Sequoia Capital.
Starbucks plundered a bit until Howard Shultz is back at the helm (Apple and Dell both had similar epiphany).
What they should have done is “deliver happiness”, then sold to Amazon, then wrote a book which in turn is delivered by Amazon who bought the company in the first place. This time, it’s in both Kindle version and in print. Happiness in a box or in bits. China is taking a chapter from this playbook. It has to deal with workers’ demand.
Unhappy workers make for unhappy customers. Ford learned this early in his “Wheels for the world” dream. He paid people decent wage and turned them into customers.
Happiness all around.