At Zappos, every employee is encouraged to tweet, post photos and videos, comment and blog freely on behalf of the $1 billion company.
As a result, sometimes strange things end up online. Take, for example, the photo of an employee doing a karate-chop move while wearing a Snuggie in the office. The picture generated 61 comments on Facebook, most along the lines of “Do not take Ambien until you can be sure you will not walk in your sleep.”
Chief executive officer Tony Hsieh likes to post quotes that inspire him, such as “I failed my way to success.”
Inspirational pieces have the biggest following among the Zappos customer base. Such statements “have absolutely nothing to do with sales, but it communicates our brand,” said Brian Kalma, Zappos director of user experience. “Instead of us trying to force product on them, we try to make them smile, make them laugh. It’s an opportunity to create a fun conversation.” Watch a quick highlight from Brian Kalma'sspeech about engaging consumers>>
The company gets about 6,000 phone calls, does about 400 live chats and sends out about 1 million invitations to interact in the social space per day.
Zappos measures success by engagement, not sales. Nonetheless, sales have been good. Now a decade old, it reached $1 billion in sales last year and was purchased by Amazon for 10 million shares, or approximately $807 million, in July.
“If you’re observing and listening, there are a lot of opportunities to interact,” Kalma said.
Zappos is reaching out with company videos on Zappos TV, user-generated videos, improved features for sharing products, and a social network. For example, customers can post a “badge” showing a photo of a favorite product and the Zappos brand anywhere on the Web. “We call these triggered messages,” said Kalma. “These lead to a lot of sales.”
The social network MyZappos is a collaborative shopping tool that lets users showcase favorite items, items they want, ask friends if they should buy something, blog, upload photos of themselves wearing items or whatever they want.
“It’s a little bit of an experiment, it’s not necessarily getting a ton of traffic yet, but it’s turned into a pretty powerful tool for us,” he said of the social network. “It’s pretty decent for acquisition and most importantly for engagement.” Certain customers have become very involved and are “becoming a voice for us,” Kalma added.
The site will be better integrated into Zappos in the future, he said, because “no one wants another site to go to.”
Zappos trains employees about the significance of social media, but doesn’t tell them what to say. “We say be real, be smart and don’t do stupid things,” said Kalma.
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)