American online shoe retailer Zappos is considered one of the industry’s most adventurous, fun, and positive business models. In fact, its corporate culture has a reputation for being amongst the best in the world. In this article, we will take a look at how Zappos is able to deliver sustainable happiness to customers, employees, and shareholders alike and what are the core values that determine this company’s success.

So, what is Zappos, exactly? Zappos is a shoe and clothing retailer based in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. The company was founded in 1999 by Nick Swinmurn and acquired by Amazon in 2009 for about $1.2 billion. Although Zappos’ products are generally considered of excellent quality, where the company stands out is in their culture, which fosters open and honest relationships, employee happiness, and excellent customer service. So, how does Zappos do it?

The Zappos Culture

Zappos company culture is rather unique. You might not be aware of this, but the business was one of the first to remove corner offices and use an open floor plan. Today, there are also streamers hanging from the ceilings and desks covered in items that reflect their owners’ personalities. But this is not all. Zappos customer service employees also have the same authority as the CEO and marketing experts have free reign to try new strategies. Below are some of the things Zappos does to build a one-of-a-kind company culture.

Team Spirit

The first key to Zappos workplace culture is its encouragement of individuality. This is, in fact, one of the company’s core values, and they mean it. Zappos walls are covered with employee artwork, posters, and meeting room decorations (there is actually a market-based system where workers can redo conference rooms and rent them to other employees, definitely a one-of-a-kind team-building exercise). Zappos’ explanation is quite simple: If someone is going to spend over forty hours in a workplace, it better be one where they feel comfortable. The results speak for themselves. Zappos culture thrives with employee engagement, a positive team attitude, and a family spirit.

Creative Freedom

Marketing at Zappos is quite distinct, too. Employees are encouraged to test new strategies and showcase the brand in new, innovative ways. For example, the company blog is filled with adventurous, creative, and open ideas that reflect Zappos culture. There are stories about colouring pages exercises, book recommendations, fanny packs, a vendor party… and yes, the occasional successful business story, too! The blog has become more than just words; it’s actually a company culture tool that reflects Zappos insights, core values, and the breaking down of traditional hierarchies.

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An effective business model

Zappos has adopted a company culture of creativity that thrives on weird initiatives. As the business continues to expand, able to drive change, create fun, and constantly improve its hiring process, its reputation has begun to supersede its products.

These are the ten core values that Zappos embraces:

  1. Build open and honest relationships with communication
  2. Embrace and drive change
  3. Deliver WOW through service
  4. Do more with less
  5. Be adventurous, creative, and open-minded
  6. Pursue growth and learning
  7. Be passionate and determined
  8. Create fun and a little weirdness
  9. Build a positive team and family spirit
  10. Be humble

Zappos core values are at the centre of the company’s work environment. It’s actually its staff that constitutes its most valuable resource and allows its business model to thrive, showing that the best culture is the one with purpose.

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