Creating emotional connections with customers is a surefire way to earn brand loyalty.
For online apparel and footwear retailer Zappos, that goal is apparent in its business model as well as its Zappos for Good charitable arm.
Loyalty360 talked to Steven Bautista, the head of charity at Zappos, to find out more about Zappos for Good.
Many loyalty marketers we talk to say that having a charitable aspect attached to their respective companies can form an emotional bond with customers. Has this been the case for Zappos and Zappos for Good?
Bautista: We strive to build an emotional connection with our customers as it relates to Zappos and that’s no different for Zappos for Good. With no limit to call times and striving to be more than just a place to buy shoes, we look forward to talking to our customers about shoes, life, or whatever else is on their minds. Zappos for Good focuses on the experience side of giving to hopefully show that we aren’t just there to give, but also leave a lasting memory with one-of-a-kind experiences leaving people feeling empowered.
We want to be more the just a corporate donor but an inspiring force in doing good!
When was Zappos for Good created and how does it impact the company culture and brand loyalty?
Bautista: Zappos for Good adopted the name at the beginning of 2016. Our intention was to put a name to the work we had been doing for a number of years prior. The work we do to give back is a direct reflection of the culture we have at Zappos. The work that Zappos for Good has accomplished is also a reflection of what we stand for/value and that is a focus on more than just profits.
What is the main mission of Zappos For Good?
Bautista: The main mission of Zappos for Good is to inspire others to do good in an authentic way with a hyper focus on others because it is the right thing to do.
What types of programs and partnerships is Zappos For Good involved in and what do those do for the company’s overall customer experience?
Bautista: Zappos for Good is involved in various initiatives with charities. We hold 10-plus events a year from a free prom event for kids in need to a kids’ farmers market, Thanksgiving meals service for the homeless, to bringing to life Santa’s toy shop. What makes these programs unique is their focus on not just giving an item to fill a gap, but an experience that lifts the spirit and an experience that exposes those in need to unique opportunities. We also partner with national charities like soles 4 souls, Kids in Need Foundation, and Spread the Word to connect donors with charities. We cover the shipping of used shoes, school supplies, and books so that any donor can make an impact across the nation.
I believe the work we do in the community allows us to be better employees and a better company for our customers.