Tags:  Brand stories, Zappos, ecommerce, retail, growth, revenue

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Brand Stories

Every brand story is a roller-coaster ride with ups, downs and infinite loops. In this podcast, we will take you through brand journeys that stood out to us and talk about parts of their story that inspired us.

Brand story of Zappos 

This episode is on a showstopper brand. A brand that rewired e-commerce. The one and only brand that comes to your mind when you think of buying shoes online - Yes, we’re going to talk about Zappos today.

In the year was 1998, Nick wanted to buy shoes for himself. He was walking around a mall in San Francisco looking for a certain pair of shoes. Hours passed by, but he was not able to find what he wanted.

One store had the right style, but not the right color. Another had the right color, but not the right size.

Nick spent the next couple of hours in the mall, walking from store to store, but just couldn't find the right pair of shoes. He finally went home empty-handed and frustrated.

Not wanting to give up, Nick went home and started checking out e-commerce stores.

He had no luck there as well. There were a lot of small-scale stores selling shoes online, there were no major online retailers that specialized in shoes. His frustration grew out of proportion.

Being a frustrated customer is not something new. It happens to all of us, time and again. What do you do when you’re angry with a brand? I usually write an angry email to the support folks or tweet out to the brand online.

But Nick was a different person. He started looking for meaning in his frustration. He was angry as hell that he couldn't find the right pair of shoes, but he was patient enough to look through the opportunity there.

Imagine the number of people who would be looking for the right pair of shoes, where would they all go? Bingo, that’s a huge opportunity.

Seeing both a market need and a business opportunity, Nick quit his day job and started an online shoe retailer called Shoesite.com.

Not wanting to prevent the business from being able to expand into other product categories, he wanted to change the name of Shoesite.com.

What’s the most handy thing you can do when you want to name your brand? Look for options in other languages. That’s exactly what he did. He quickly thought of the Spanish word for shoes "zapatos" and wanted to call his brand "Zappos".  And that ladies and gentlemen, is how Zappos.com was born in 1999.

Listen to the podcast to get to know the three most important milestones in the lifecycle of Zappos. Get to know how Zappos revolutionized the customer service scene in e-commerce.