Company (and organizational) culture is one of the most critical elements of marketing today because employees are not only brand ambassadors, but also the key to driving innovation and performance. Zappos (11th on greatplacestowork.com) is a good example of a corporation that has succeeded partially due to its corporate culture. Zappos is well known for its highly touted10 core values (found here: http://about.zappos.com/our-unique-culture/zappos-core-values).
Based on the great places to work methodology, Zappos ranks very high despite the fact that most “Zappos employees are paid $13/hr” and have an average 2-year tenure (O’Brien). This is probably has much to do with how the leadership carries out the core values through the corporate culture. People love working there despite low pay. Zappos carries the integrity of the core values out into their workforce. Management provides life coaching and career support to employees, ensuring better performance and thus a better product. Zappos shares its winning culture creating methodology with other companies via Zappos Insights (www.zapposinsights.com).
Zappos was awarded for the “best use of social media” in 2009 beating the Obama Campaign and Presidency by Abrams Research (Jeff Bennett). CEO Tony Hsieh encourages his employees to use social media networks to put a human face on the company and engage with customers, which especially coincides with core value #6: “Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication (Palmer).” Twitter and Facebook are key tools used by Zappos employees to boost the corporate Brand. But this only works as long as the employees are happy.
Bennett, Jeff. Zappos and Obama Top Social Media Week Survey. Jeff Bennett Blog. February 18th, 2009. Accessed January 23, 2012. http://www.jeffbennett.com/2009/02/social-media-week-survey/.
O’Brien, Jeffrey M. Zappos Knows How to Kick It. CNN Money. January 22, 2009. Accessed January 23, 2012. http://money.cnn.com/2009/01/15/news/companies/Zappos_best_companies_obrien.fortune/index2.htm
Palmer, Kimberly. Want the Best Deals? Check Twitter or Facebook. US News and World Report. July 15, 2009. Accessed January 23, 2012. http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2009/07/15/want-the-best-deals-check-twitter-facebook.