How much permission do you have? Lessons from Zappos and Clorox


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Something smells around here!  Ah yes, it’s the distinct aroma of Clorox!

I just finished the first draft of my new book The Zappos Experience (which will be released in the fall) and was revising a section concerning the Zappos brand platform. So I thought I might share a paragraph from the upcoming book to get you thinking about the elasticity of your brand and your branded customer experience….thus the tie to Clorox

Brand positioning experts will tell you that every company is given “permission” by consumers as to how far they can stretch their product and service offerings.  For example in the 1990’s Clorox was considering taking their well-established bleach brand and extending it in the direction of laundry detergent, dishwashing soap, and other household cleaning applications.  Consumer research, however, showed that Clorox equaled bleach in the minds of the buying public and that consumers would be hesitant to buy any Clorox product that would touch their hands or dishes.  As such, Clorox focused its brand extension in the direction of toilet bowl cleaners, tub & tile products, and drain openers,  Like Clorox, the early brand positioning of Zappos put it at risk of being denied permission to grow outside of a shoebox.  However, a broad vision of the future, careful listening for “permission” and opportunities provided by customers, and an increasing level of consumer trust has allowed the brand wide opportunities to “stretch.”

Where is your brand not permitted to go?

What brand extension experiences would your customers welcome from you?

What do you think of Clorox lipstick?  Oh well, back to the drawing board….

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Joseph Michelli, Ph.D.
Joseph Michelli, Ph.D., an organizational consultant and the chief experience officer of The Michelli Experience, authored The New Gold Standard: 5 Leadership Principles for Creating a Legendary Customer Experience Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and the best-selling The Starbucks Experience: 5 Principles for Turning Ordinary Into Extraordinary.


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