Zappos launches micro-campaigns

Discussion
Source: Zappos
Jan 13, 2016
Tom Ryan

Zappos recently ran two small, quirky marketing campaigns. One was designed to demonstrate its commitment to customer service and the other its knack to “surprise and delight.”

In its “Happy Returns” campaign, Zappos offered a $100 gift card to the first 500 callers of a toll free number between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m. on Dec. 26 in exchange for any unwanted present they received for Christmas. Winners were shipped a pre-paid return label to send their unwanted gift to Zappos. The gift, which could have been bought anywhere, was then donated to charity.

“At Zappos, we consider ourselves to be a customer service-focused company — more than just an online retailer — and as such, we’re always looking for new and exciting ways to engage with and give back to our customers in an effort to build meaningful relationships,” said Kristin Richmer, a member of Zappos’ Awareness Marketing team, in a statement. “Happy Returns is an exciting spin on our already great return policy.”

In the “Zappos Loves Hanover” campaign, 35 Zappos employees dropped off 1,900 boxes in the early morning on the doorsteps of past customers in the small town of Hanover, NH. The packages, including a hat, neck warmer, sunglasses, socks and a backpack, reached 85 percent of the town’s homes.

A video, distributed on YouTube, captured trucks rolling into town, packages being dropped off and the glee of a few of the surprised residents.

Kelly Teemer, a Zappos spokesperson, told Valley News that Zappos chose Hanover, the home of Dartmouth College, because the town is “filled with fiercely loyal customers.”

Zappos in the past has provided free coffee and pastries to customers in Las Vegas coffee shops and handed out umbrellas in Boston on a rainy day, but had never executed a campaign of this scale.

“Zappos.com has a history of surprising and delighting their customers and we are always finding new ways to thank them,” Ms. Teemer said.

Both of the campaigns were done in partnership with Boston agency Mullen Lowe.

What benefit does Zappos gain from the use of small, targeted campaigns such as “Happy Returns” or “Zappos Loves Hanover”? Which one impressed you more?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"Zappos understands that in the age of social media networks, making an impact on a local level can boost your brand beyond the immediate location while making the targeted customers even more fiercely loyal to the Zappos brand."
"One of Zappos’ core values is to "surprise and delight" their customers. Both of these campaigns achieve this initiative. Beyond that, they have generated so much positive press for their brand from these campaigns press that far outweighs the spend to execute the campaigns."
""Micro-campaign" is originally a term for small fundraising efforts by charities. I don’t know if RetailWire was the first to re-purpose this to marketing, but I’ll give you props for doing so. Somebody needs to write the rules for this tactic."

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7 Comments on "Zappos launches micro-campaigns"


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Max Goldberg
Guest
4 years 10 months ago

Two brilliant campaigns by Zappos to remind consumers about the core values of the brand. The campaigns, based on modest budgets, bought millions of dollars of publicity to the firm, while highlighting their top-notch customer service and surprising and delighting their customers. Other retailers have much to learn from Zappos.

Zel Bianco
Guest
4 years 10 months ago

A few years ago my daughter bought me a pair of boots from Zappos for Christmas. They didn’t fit quite right and the ease of the return and pleasantness of their customer service has made my family return to Zappos again and again. These marketing campaigns are both nice and a good way to generate warm feelings for the brand — but it’s the effort that they put into customer service that will always make Zappos stand out.

Mohamed Amer
Guest
Mohamed Amer
4 years 10 months ago

Zappos understands that in the age of social media networks, making an impact on a local level can boost your brand beyond the immediate location while making the targeted customers even more fiercely loyal to the Zappos brand.

Happy Returns was perfect on at least three levels: First, the campaign emphasized the company’s customer-friendly return policy while extending it beyond their own products. Second, it provided a solution for their customers to offset unwanted and undesirable gifts without any monetary loss. Finally, Zappos’ donation of those gifts just adds to their strong community role despite being an online retailer.

Simply brilliant!

Karen McNeely
Guest
4 years 10 months ago

Brilliant! “Happy Returns” is a stronger promotion because it reaches a broader demographic and also gets the gift card recipient to shop from them. If they don’t make a purchase, the promotion costs very little. If they do use the card, you may have made a shopper for life.

The “Zappos Loves Hanover” builds great good will, but is clearly much more targeted. Their is also the risk of recipients not loving the gift … although depending on the timing, I suppose they could have returned it for a $100 gift card.

Matt Talbot
Guest
4 years 10 months ago

One of Zappos’ core values is to “surprise and delight” their customers. Both of these campaigns achieve this initiative. Beyond that, they have generated so much positive press for their brand from these campaigns press that far outweighs the spend to execute the campaigns.

In regard to which one was more impressive I’d say it has to be “Zappos Loves Hanover.” This video went viral immediately and allows the viewer to put themselves in the shoes of the New Hampshire gift recipient. Moreover, it required zero action from the beneficiary and essentially rewarded them for living in a specific location. Now that’s surprising and delighting customers!

Shep Hyken
Guest
4 years 10 months ago

What’s the benefit? Study Zappos and you’ll quickly understand why. They has been doing these types of programs since the beginning of theiir existence. It’s why they are the great company that they are and have enjoy the amazing success that they have. So maybe they have found yet another way to do so. That’s what they do. They surprise and delight. That’s Zappos!

Dan Frechtling
Guest
4 years 10 months ago

“Micro-campaign” is originally a term for small fundraising efforts by charities. I don’t know if RetailWire was the first to re-purpose this to marketing, but I’ll give you props for doing so.

Somebody needs to write the rules for this tactic. I’m not clever enough to be definitive, but I’ll start:

1. Leverage what you’re good at (for Zappos it’s customer-centric, quirky, unexpected)
2. “Brand” the campaign (“Zappos Loves Hanover” is nice, but “Happy Returns” is even wittier)
3. Add a twist that makes it amplify-able (donating unwanted gifts to charity, blanketing a small town with gifts)

What can Zappos do next? How about a context asking customers to suggest the next micro-campaign?

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"Zappos understands that in the age of social media networks, making an impact on a local level can boost your brand beyond the immediate location while making the targeted customers even more fiercely loyal to the Zappos brand."
"One of Zappos’ core values is to "surprise and delight" their customers. Both of these campaigns achieve this initiative. Beyond that, they have generated so much positive press for their brand from these campaigns press that far outweighs the spend to execute the campaigns."
""Micro-campaign" is originally a term for small fundraising efforts by charities. I don’t know if RetailWire was the first to re-purpose this to marketing, but I’ll give you props for doing so. Somebody needs to write the rules for this tactic."

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