Spending a week in San Francisco at the Inman Connect Real Estate conference is both invigorating and exhausting! Great ideas, innovation everywhere, presenter after presenter sharing ideas on everything from social media to branding. Whoooo...breathe!
So I thought I'd share just a few things today and then expand on a couple of the topics later in the week. This gives you a chance to process, absorb and hopefully put it into perspective. Now, Inman being a tech heavy event, I want to make sure my points are clear and easy for everyone to understand. But know this...technology has changed the way we do business...across the board. And think about it from the consumers eyes...how do they access information? Where can they go to find out about you? How do they use the data they gather? It's all out tehre folks and you ahve to understand the dynamics behind the mission. Here's what I learned from Alfred Lin, the CFO of Zappos.
If you are not familiar with Zappos, they are an online shoe and clothing company that has grown quickly and been recognized as the top company to work for by Fortune Magazine in their annual poll. Hundreds of companies try to emulate the Zappos culture. It was recently announced that they have been acquired by Amazon.com for a reported $900 Million plus! During Al's discussion he noted several times that a big part of their success was transparency. In other words they are open, honest and seek out employee's ideas and contributions. Their strategy is based on the essence of, "Without happy employee's they would not have happy customers." In fact his big idea was to "DELIVER HAPPINESS". Think about what the customer see's, how they feel and ultimately what their experience is like. Certainly something we can all take to heart. Al also gave us 7 tips on branding:
- Decide on your image. This requires patience and commitment to the process and end result.
- Consider what your core values are and exactly what you want your culture to be. Your culture is your brand!
- Commit to transparancy. Be open and honest about everything.
- Build relationships. Take an interest in and know your customers.
- Have a vision. Always think bigger and more beautiful.
- Build a team...Visionaries, Artists, and Scientists are needed to build a high quality team.
- Think long term. What is the 5 year plan? 10 year plan and exit strategy.
I will have more to come on other topics soon. In the meantime, enjoy your week and think about how you can deliver some happiness to those around you!