Recently I noticed a coworker receiving a package with the name Zappos.com written alongside the box. She immediately exclaimed, “Yes! They’re here,” and revealed a gorgeous pair of shoes from the cardboard box. We all “oohed” and “ahhed,” and several jumped online. For me, however, I saw several more Zappos boxes over time and heard several more choruses of “oohs” and “ahhs” and still hadn’t stolen a glimpse at the site. It wasn’t until I was “officially introduced” that I truly took notice.
In conversation with a coworker, she excitedly said to me: “You’ve got to check out this site!” What is it? “Tons of hot shoes and “free shipping.” I immediately, with her over my shoulder, jumped on the site. My colleague went on to explain that she gets her orders practically overnight and that the site doesn’t really advertise itself.
By now, a small crowd is at my desk, bright-eyed and anxiously scouring the endless pages of shoes. You can search by heel height, color, size, and they even feature a 360 degree, freely-navigable view of the shoe! I was so excited about this site, guess what I did? I told whoever would listen.
And there it is … the honest truth about our relationships with products. I have found time and time again, word of mouth about a great product or service is the best marketing tool out there. It wasn’t until after I was introduced to the site by another customer that I actually gave it notice.
Ironically, through the magic of marketing, I saw an ad for Zappos the very next day on the train. Was the ad in that same location before? Perhaps, but it didn’t really become visible to me until after I had been formally introduced. Seeing the logo upon deliveries and eventually in an ad solidified the product by branding. And isn’t that how successful brands (should) work; by solidifying the deal through connectivity and relativity?
However, what we often find are companies/marketers focusing on their brand, rather than their product or service, simply trying to sell their “wrapping” so to speak. Any marketer who’s ever been a customer, however, should know better.
By the way, those Zappos boxes come more often now, and so do the “oohs” and “ahhs.” Can anyone recommend a great place for lunch?
Posted by Samantha Sims