Zappos.Com

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Case ZAPPOS.COM

Table of contents
Introduction ............................................................................................................................................ 3 1. The importance of customer service when building a brand ................................................................ 3 2. The role of organizational culture ....................................................................................................... 4 3. The role of social media in marketing ................................................................................................. 5 4. Critical reflections .............................................................................................................................. 6 Questions for discussion ......................................................................................................................... 7 References .............................................................................................................................................. 7

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Introduction
Nowadays market is continually developing, that is why any organization faces problems of withstanding constantly changing business environment and, at the same time, successful competing against its rivals. In order to survive and achieve success a company should always improve its business processes, products and strategy in a whole, to save its competitive edges at the market. Nowadays, modern science pays a lot of attention to rather newly-developed servicedominant logic of marketing. The service-centered view of marketing implies “being customer oriented; this means collaborating with and learning from customers and being adaptive to their individual and dynamic needs” (Vargo and Lusch, 2004, p.6). And it should be said that management of Zappos.com successfully fulfilled this mission in their business. Zappos.com, Inc. (Zappos) is the market leader in online shoe and apparel sales in the USA. It was founded in 1999 and was one of the first online shoe-retailers. Tony Hsieh is currently the CEO of Zappos. This company turned to be a very good example of successful adoption of S-D logic. Hsieh observes that “Zappos is a service company that just happens to sell shoes”. This statement can be paraphrased to the third Fundamental Premise of S-D logic (Vargo and Lusch, 2004, p.8): “Goods are distribution mechanisms for service provision”.

1. The importance of customer service when building a brand
The service-centered logic of marketing is customer-focused and based on the relations between companies and customers (Vargo and Lusch, 2004). In other words, collaboration with customers in the process of co-creation of value is of a great importance. That is why the managers of Zappos.com, Inc., the leader of the online shoe sales in US, give major consideration to the customer service and managed to build a brand through it. When talking about building the brand Hsieh claimed that “If we can get customers to associate the Zappos brand with the absolute best service, then we can expand into other product categories beyond shoes.” (Prasad, 2009, p. 4). And it turned to be true. At the beginning it was extremely difficult for the small unknown company to sell shoes online. People usually try to avoid buying such things as clothes and shoes online, because it may not fit. But Zappos introduced such services (both enabling and enhancing) that managed to attract and retain customers. The key strategy for that was to help customers to overcome the difficulties they may encounter when purchasing shoes online. According to the model of augmented service offering (Grönroos, 2007) the core service of Zappos is to provide customers with large selection of shoes, apparel and accessories. Moreover, there are also enabling services that make it possible the use the core service; they are the web pages zappos.com and 6pm.com, ordering system. Apart from this, the company...
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