Culture and values can be a great base for growth. For some it’s everything

By Adrian Swinscoe, Director, RARE Business

When talking about developing customer service and relationships many believe that training and recruitment are key. However, over at Zappos.com, an internet retailer that was bought last year by Amazon for £1.2 billion, it starts before that. It starts with the company’s culture.

Founded in 1999 and focused, initially, on selling shoes they have grown incredibly fast over the last 10 years and in 2008 boasted $1 billion in sales. Phenomenal growth. But all of this, according to their CEO Tony Hsieh, is built on their company culture and core values. Check out their core values below.

Zappos Core Values and Culture

Zappos’ value are listed on their website as:

1. Deliver WOW Through Service

2. Embrace and Drive Change

3. Create Fun and A Little Weirdness

4. Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded

5. Pursue Growth and Learning

6. Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication

7. Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit

8. Do More With Less

9. Be Passionate and Determined

10. Be Humble

They believe that these core values are key to developing their culture and brand, attracting and retaining the right talent, motivating staff and driving innovation and their business growth strategies.

Given that Zappos’ success is based on building relationships, repeat business and word of mouth recommendations it is working. The company estimates that up to 60% of buyers are repeat customers and around 43% of all of its new customers come from word of mouth recommendation.

Do you have a defined set of core values and culture in your business, organisation or team? How is it helping you? If not, do you think you could learn something from the Zappos experience?

Adrian Swinscoe is Director of RARE Business - adrian@rarebusiness.co.uk


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