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Case Study

Helping one of the world’s best cult brands find new ways to remain irresistible.

The Challenge

Zappos was already heralded as one of North America’s most cult-like brands when their CEO and Head of Brand reached out to Cult seeking guidance. While its culture was world-class, and its core business hit revenue and profitability targets, Zappos’ leadership sensed they were missing several opportunities to become even more successful and adored amongst specific audiences and within certain product categories. So they asked Cult to assess their strengths and weaknesses and recommend new areas of improvement to boost engagement amongst customers, prospects and staff.

The Solution

Cult utilized its Cult Brand Scorecard, our brand diagnostic tool (take the 5-minute assessment HERE), to evaluate Zappos within eight different criteria. We conducted stakeholder interviews, reviewed existing customer research, analyzed sales and business metrics, and benchmarked Zappos against industry-best leaders in relevant categories. We then shared our findings with cross-functional groups, assessed reactions, revised assumptions, and drafted action items accordingly. Once our Scorecard was complete, we presented final marks and creative recommendations to help close the gap between the current and desired state. Finally, all our ideas were delivered within a Feasibility Matrix that identified deliverables, timing, dependencies and suggested owners within Zappo’s organization.

The Result

The Zappos team was refreshingly humble and receptive to Cult’s recommendations. Numerous suggestions involved collaboration amongst cross-functional teams and required the sharing of budgets and resources in order to improve. With the client’s help, Cult further refined priorities and then began almost immediately to help them exploit new opportunities and to take corrective action on specific challenge areas. Cult provided strategic and creative oversight on several workstreams, as well as sourced subject matter experts to assist Zappos’ in-house teams in the execution of numerous tactics.

Further Reading
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promotional marketing


Helping brands scale and manage profitable growth

Big Rock Brewery

Adding a new face

To Albertan beer


Turbocharging organic growth

FIX: A new prescription to cure disengaged customers, prospects or staff
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