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Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, in his NY Times best-selling book titled Delivering Happiness, shares the secret to their skyrocketing success. Zappos, which began as a startup out of his apartment and was eventually purchased by Amazon for 1.2 billion dollars, doesn’t deliver online retail shoes and products. They deliver happiness.

Discovering this was a journey for Zappos.

Here are a few of their pivot points:

 1999 – Largest selection of shoes

2003 – Customer service

2005 – Culture and core values as their platform

2007 – Personal emotional connection

2009 – Delivering happiness

2020 - Still delivering happiness by facilitating meaningful connections between their customers and compelling causes. Navigating the new normal is better together. 

 Selling shoes and clothing online is just the vehicle that makes their passion to deliver happiness and hope both possible and profitable.

Patagonia doesn't just deliver outdoor dress-wear. CEO Rose Marcario states, "Doing good work for the planet creates new markets and makes us more money" (notice money is 2nd). Rick Ridgeway, Patagonia's VP of Environmental Affairs says, "We're continuing to produce products that allow people to live a more responsible life with the apparel they choose." Notice that both leaders are clear in what they deliver. It's not garments. It's good work that protects the planet. 

Patagonia's humility is refreshing as well. In 2011 when a product they produced didn't measure up they took out a full-page ad in the NY Times with the headline: "Don't Buy This Jacket." The campaign aligned with what was on their website. They simply said:

"Patagonia is a growing business and we want to be in business for a long time. The test of our sincerity (or our hypocrisy) will be if everything we sell is useful, multi-functional where possible, long lasting, and beautiful but not in thrall to fashion. We're not there yet." 

Patagonia doesn't deliver coats. They deliver a compelling cause to protect the planet. 

 What will your company deliver in the new normal? What dynamic difference can it make?

Now is the perfect time to assess how you're currently doing business and the adjustments you might need to make in the new normal. If you would like to begin brainstorming, I'd love to connect with you for a complimentary coaching conversation. Let's explore the possibilities!

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Topics: Sales, business planning, Strategic Planning

Dan Whitfield

Written by Dan Whitfield

Dan is dedicated to "coaching up" small business owners and leaders of growth-oriented sales organizations. His goal is to help you get where you want to go. Faster.