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December 20, 2008

Zappos Extends Into “Insights”

Zappos We’ve seen some strange extensions of footwear brands (cf. our recent post on Reebok Monopoly-branded sneakers), but perhaps nothing is quite the conceptual stretch as Zappos getting into the training and management-consulting business.

Famed for its legendary customer service, the Las Vegas-based etailer has been a mecca for other firms’ executives seeking to learn about its innovative approach. CEO Tony Hsieh hopes to monetize that interest, and has just announced the launch of Zappos Insights, a subscription-based service that lets people pose questions which are answered in video format by Zappos team members.

"There are management consulting firms that charge really high rates," Hsieh was quoted by Adweek. "We wanted to come up with something that's accessible to almost any business." Hence the service's pricing model: $39.95 per month. More here.


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another company taking a somewhat similar approach to sharing its business smarts is zingermans, the ann arbor-based bakery-cum-gourmet food store-cum management training company -- see http://zingtrain.com/home.php

both provide an interesting contrast to toyota's approach, in which managers at toyota give facility tours and do q&a with executives at other companies that want to learn the "toyota way" -- i don't believe toyota charges their admirers for this service but perhaps they should?

Interesting and a great revenue model!

Dr. Wright
The Wright Place TV Show

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Brand extensions are all around us — clothing from the Sierra Club, furniture polish from Steinway and, yes, even the kitchen sink from Jacuzzi. TippingSprung, a New York-based brand-extension consultancy, publishes an annual survey on brand extensions with Brandweek. If you spot a noteworthy extension for the blog or survey, email us.



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