Case Studies - Outstanding Brand Led Employee Training


To have case studies of brands that have incredible brand led training materials for internal employee programs. Of particular interest is Chick Fil A's and Zappos employee training programs. Additionally, to have examples of other brands that have successfully indoctrinated employees into championing their brand through their training program, and therefore cultivating high employee pride. Also, to understand why employees love to work at those companies, and have pride working for the brand, giving them job stickiness beyond their paycheck.

Early Findings


  • "Zappos has become a leader in company culture, from offering employees thousands of dollars to quit if they aren’t a good fit, all the way to their heavy focus on excellent customer support. In 2014, Zappos published their Culture Book online for all to see, and it caused quite a bit of buzz. Who better to talk about what it’s like working for a company than its very own employees?"
  • There is a belief at Zappos that culture is key, no matter what level the employee is at. To support this belief system, the company publishes what they call the Zappos Culture Book. It is updated regularly and contains many unscripted essays and comments penned by Zappos employees and vendors about the company's culture, why it matters, and how it affects what they do every day.
  • Upon completion of their time in the call center, Zappos employees are offered $3,000.00 to leave the company. If you haven't become a Zappos insider, committed to the goals and the culture, the company really prefers that you leave. Take the money, though, and you can never come back.
  • Regardless of the role they are hired for, everyone who joins the company experiences the exact same employee onboarding experience. The Zappos onboarding program is "designed to grow company culture, build a stronger team, and create lasting relationships throughout the entire company."
  • In 2005, when the Zappos call center moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to Las Vegas, a whopping 80 percent of its California employees relocated, for a $13-an-hour job.
  • Zappos uses the Holacracy principle. "It replaces the traditional top-down office hierarchy with an alternative-org chart of circles within circles within circles. Employees no longer take job titles; instead they inhabit roles that create autonomy over their work. It's not anarchy: A series of highly structured "governance" and "tactical" meetings help define who does what. More than 300 organizations have at least dabbled in Holacracy over the last decade, including part of the Washington State government and the company of productivity guru David Allen, but Zappos is the largest and most famous business to embrace the philosophy completely. "
  • In 2012, a Zappos customer service employee set a record with an epic ten-hour conversation with a customer.
  • "Employees embrace Zappos' core values with tribal zeal and the fanatical customer base appreciates that the company does things differently, with a sense of humor, and always from a customer-focused perspective."
  • "Insane and fanatical" is what Zappos’ customer service wing has been called. Why? Because of the way it will do anything to please its customers, but in a positive way. Zappos encourages their employees to always go above and beyond, and that is exactly what they do.
  • This link contains a slideshow showing how employees can be brand builders.
  • Zappos does a lot of things differently than other companies, including its focus on culture. One Zappos employee describes the culture as “trying to make someone else’s day a little brighter… choosing to be positive, rather than automatically discounting someone… we don’t always know what that person’s reality and experience is.”
  • Zappos puts a high level of trust in employees to do the right thing, without canned scripts or draconian rules. The company approach: Extend trust and get WOW in return. This is seen in the company’s use of the telephone, which Zappos considers critical to building personal connections.
  • An example of an effective way to use social media successfully to boost employer branding is Zappos employee Instagram page, Zapposculture. It shows how to use social media successfully to bolster employer branding. The company’s Instagram page, Zapposculture, shows what it’s like to work at the online retailer, with employees posting pictures and videos daily showing it as a fun, quirky and playful company to work for. In fact, the popular online shoe brand encourages employees to include company information and opinions on their personal Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as their personal blogs, and their LinkedIn profile.
  • Zappos for Good is a long-standing department within Zappos dedicated to fostering the company's community and charitable efforts. Having supported a variety of causes over the years, Zappos for Good's primary mission is to spread happiness and celebrate the good in everyone while encouraging employees to be the good they want to see in the world.
  • In addition to this public search, we scanned our proprietary research database of over 1 million sources and were unable to find any specific research reports that address the stated goals.

Summary Of Our Early Findings Relevant To The Goals

  • Our first hour of research was spent verifying that there was enough publicly available data to answer all the questions, and we found that there was, as this is a particularly studied and talked about area. We also spent the hour gathering data on Zappos, which we presented in our early findings.
  • We did not have enough time in the initial hour to provide any data on Chick Fil A, nor did we have enough time to find and then examine and explore other brands.
  • Please select one or more of the options provided in the proposed scoping section below.

Research proposal:

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