If you've ever read Jim Collin's seminal book, Good to Great, then you know that one of the "Secrets" to running a successful company is to put your customer's concerns and your employees health and happiness in front of company profits. If you can do that, you've got a great start on a successful company.
Even though Jim Collin's book sold millions of copies, alas, there's still very few companies who really follow this pattern. One that does is an online company named Zappos. Zappos is an online shoes and clothing shop.
Zappos claims that employee "Happiness" is a key component of their company culture. I think that's just great!
One big part of Zappos policy and culture is that they encourage employees to be individuals and they encourage those who love to write, to have their own blogs.
How would you like to work a a company that actually encourages employees to have their own blogs and blog whatever they wish about including their own company and products?
You can bet that a company that does this gets a great buzz on the blogosphere!
That's what Zappos corporate culture policy is all about.
About Zappos, Wikipedia says,
Zappos did "almost nothing" in sales for 1999, but grossed over USD $800 million in merchandise sales in 2007 and grossed over $1 billion in 2009
Zappos uses a loyalty business model and relationship marketing. The primary sources of the company's rapid growth have been repeat customers and numerous word of mouth recommendations. In 2005, the chairman reported that 60% of customers were repeat buyers.
The company's customer service reputation has been augmented through viral spreading as well, as customer service expert Micah Solomon noted in 2010: "Shoe merchant Zappos has benefited from Internet wildfire. When Zappos offered special return shipping assistance, beyond their company policies...the good word about the company spread quickly throughout the blogosphere."
Here is a short interview with Zappos CEO Alfred Lin explaining how allowing employees to blog creates an atmosphere of transparency for the company. This atmosphere translates into a fun company with a great product... You know that translates into sales and a successful business.
Whether you are a business owner or employee, there's lots to be learned about in this video and from Zappos' way of doing things... I'll also bet that having one's own blog is a plus at a job interview! Think about it.
I've also written before on better ways to help your employees blog for corporate needs here.
Keywords: Mike in Tokyo Rogers, Zappos, Marketing Japan, Blog, Blogging, Jim Collins, Good to Great, Mike Rogers,