Monthly Archives: June 2008

Zappos CEO; Big Shoes to Fill

Here’s the Zappos follow up I promised you.

The backstory is a recent posting you can view here or continue reading the short and sweet version.

I came across an article about Zappos paying employees $1,000 to quit their job following training. The ones who stay become the Brand Ambassadors— committed employees who stay, perform and recommend.

I did some follow up research and found a presentation made by Tony— my NBF (new best friend) and also the CEO. At the end of the presentation, he said anyone who wants a culture book could send him an email. I did.

Here’s what I wrote (please indulge me my sales pitch— I’m an entrepreneur)
“I love your site. I love your culture. (And great shoes help.) I develop marketing and communications that support the attraction and retention of talent and if you ever need a hand- please count me in. Thanks,”

I also started following him on Twitter,, and saw that he was in London.

Guess what! Tony wrote me back within hours and said
Hi Jody,
It’s a physical book so I just need your mailing address…
Re: attracting/retaining talent, I’ve cc’d Christa who heads up our recruiting department and she will be following up with you!

Not only did the book come, following an awesome email from someone in shipping inviting me on a tour of the facility any time i’m in Vegas, but the call from Christa came along with a potential opportunity to assist them with their employee communications!

So, operationally, externally and internally, ZAPPOS goes from A to Z, or in actuality Z to A in living ther brand!

Great job Tony and friends.

Where Pepsi Lost the Fizz

I wish I was Pepsi’s website- Every 2 years it gets a facelift.

It’s latest iteration, launched in early May, is awesome. Using the latest technology that reminds me of Leopard- the newest Mac OS, it’s streamlined and uber easy to navigate– and even offers visitors the chance to redesign its can. More impressive— we’re given the choice of regular or diet can.

John Vail, director of interactive marketing group for PCNA, Purchase, N.Y. Had this to say- “Lots of assets live on our pages. We wanted to make an easy way to find so consumers don’t have to hunt and peck… This is the authentic place to see the brand spots,” said Vail.

So, with all the hoopla surrounding the launch, and entertained by the cool music- I couldn’t wait to visit the Careers Site— After all, isn’t a seamless experience the new name of the marketing game??

Boom— I was instantly transported back into the last century — as the static stock photography and thousands of clicks to get to meaningful content overwhelmed me even as the music continued to play.

Even more disappointing, while I didn’t mind having to install the latest version of flash onto my computer, I do very much mind the greeting that I got when attempting to search for jobs.

Apparently at Pepsi, though diversity is in

– Firefox is not.

Consumers may not have to hunt and peck, but job seekers using Firefox do.

That’s Enough About Me

OK. It’s graduation, Father’s Day and another sunny Sunday— maybe instead of inspiration, I save perspiration and discuss this recent article from the Harvard Business Review.

One Reason Women Don’t Make It to the C-Suite
According to Louann Brizendine, MD, the distinct demands that are put on men’s and women’s brains at key career phases may help explain the gender inequality in top management.

Many women are sidelined, ultimately, by a timing issue.

There’s a certain age, long established by large organizations, at which professionals must decide to make their play for the big promotion—the one that will put them in line for the C-suite—and while it’s a good time for men, it’s not a good time for women.

That go-for-it moment typically comes in one’s forties, when managers have gained the knowledge and perspective needed to take on real stewardship of a business. But at that phase of life, women with children already have a lot on their plates. Not only are they usually expected to handle the lion’s share of responsibility on the home front (even when both members of a couple hold full-time jobs), but their own brain chemistry makes it hard for them to do otherwise. For reasons important to the survival of the species, women in childbearing years undergo changes that intensify their focus on the viability of offspring. It’s a passing phenomenon, but ill-timed for those with career ambitions.

It’s not the quantity of care required that taxes the brain, however, so much as the unpredictable need for care.

When any decision maker’s brain function is overburdened, the result is stress, and nothing taxes the brain more than unpredictability.

People coping with heightened levels of unpredictability rarely go looking for even more ways to mix it up.

Ironically, if the same call came a few years later, many women would seize the opportunity. The very woman who could not find the capacity to green-light her own promotion in her forties can be, in her fifties, ready to take on the world.

No surprise that it is that exact time that I founded BRANDEMiX.

Predictable success.

Who’s Starry Now?


This was supposed to be my Zappos pt.II post but a funny thing happened to me on the way to the shoe store… sorry Tony. Next week.

Recently I was asked to give advice to women everywhere about having their own business. For those of you who don’t know me, take a peek. For my friends- is it true the camera adds 10 pounds?

Since the launch of BRANDEblog, more than 3 years ago, I have been steadily moving away from musing about the joys and despairs of owning my own business. I think that there’s value in the reading, though not necessarily for this audience, so stay tuned for the launch of another blog.

My I’m busy.