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Branding and Goals: 3 Rules


I love shoes. I cannot explain why. My mother tells me that my father loved shoes, which is kind of unusual for a man, I think, or at least more unusual than for a woman. So maybe I inherited the trait, who knows? So this is probably why a recent article in the paper about Zappos caught my eye.


In case you are not familiar with Zappos, Zappos, is an online shoe retailer. At least, if you asked me what Zappos is, this is what I would say. And if you asked me what I would guess the Zappos mission statement is, I might say it’s to sell a million trillion dollars worth of shoes.


​However, this is very very far from the truth. The mission statement of has nothing to do with what it sells on its internet shopping website and everything to do with who is buying the products - the customers. The mission statement of, also referred to by Zappos employees as their "WOW Philosophy," is... 


"To provide the best customer service possible."

Further, in an interview I recently read with Michele Thomas, Zappos senior brand marketing manager, Michele said “The one constant is that we are a service company that happens to sell __________ (fill in the blank).” I fill in shoes, which is their main market still. Michele goes on to say “Our biggest efforts revolve around building likability around our brand so that consumers turn to a brand that they trust, find reliable, and have an emotional connection with. “




Branding Considerations: 3 Important Rules


So, as you think about your own company branding, there are some important considerations. We touched on some of these considerations in the recent article on competition, where the emphasis was on how to look at your competition and differentiate yourself. The main key here is to decide what you want your company to be known for. Or, in other words, when someone says your company name, what is the phrase that you want to instantly pop into someone’s head? What is the word and/or phrase that you want to be synonymous with your company name… This is your brand. And this is branding.


The second thing I find of interest when pondering the Zappos branding and mission is that the Zappos branding involves the entire organization. It involves sales and service, quality of product, marketing and advertising , delivery, logistics, all employees, and even having a reliable smoothly operating back office. Everything about Zappos reflects on the company and its mission. I think this is something that is often times overlooked when we think about branding. Your branding permeates your entire company and organization. Everything related to your company needs to reflect your branding.



Thirdly, “the devil is in the details” as they say. Meaning, whatever one does, should be done thoroughly. This pertains to employees and their appearances and how theyare perceived as well. Employees are all company representatives. If they appear disheveled, disorganized, distracted, then this will flow through to how people perceive the company. 


This also pertains to any communications related to your company.  Think about written letters, but also particularly today, email messages, internet posts, blog articles, tweets, flyers, brochures, etc. There is no room for misspelled words or bad grammar. This lack of concern for detail and pride in the overall finished product, even if it is “just a tweet” shows a lack of concern and detail that might also be elsewhere in the organization. Is this the image you are willing to apply to your label and brand? Is this a risk you are willing to take? If not, then tolerate not.


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