Adam T. Sutton

Two Brands, Two Strategies, One Company

December 2nd, 2008

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone. The holiday crunch has arrived.

As I mentioned previously, consumers are looking for deals this season. That poses a challenge for premium brands that don’t want to discount. One brand,, sells shoes at a discount through its other brand,, to maintain its premier image.

I sent a comment request to Zappos, but did not get a reply in time for the previous post. However, Graham McCulloch, Senior Buyer,, did get back to me last week and elaborated on the topic. Here’s what he had to say:

“ is a premier brand and customers choose to shop on Zappos for the premier service. Price is a secondary consideration. In order to maintain the integrity of our brand, we chose to funnel the vast majority of our markdowns through is price and selection driven. To offer these prices to our customers, we have shorter customer service hours, a $6.95 flat rate ground shipping, and a 30-day return policy.”

On the other hand, Zappos has 24/7, 365 days-a-year live customer service, a 365-day return policy, free overnight shipping and free return shipping. (That is astounding!)

McCulloch further mentions that customers want value, while Zappos’ customers want the newest, most diverse assortment of footwear, apparel, and accessories on the Web.

As you can see, the difference between the two brands goes beyond pricing. Zappos and 6PM have two completely different online strategies, and that give its marketers far more reach than either brand could alone.

Adam T. Sutton

About Adam T. Sutton

Adam T. Sutton, Senior Reporter, MarketingSherpa
Adam generates content for MarketingSherpa's Email and Inbound Marketing newsletters. His years of experience in interviewing marketers and conveying their insights has spanned topics such as search marketing, social media marketing, ecommerce, email and more. Adam previously powered the content behind MarketingSherpa's Search and Consumer-marketing newsletters and carries that experience into his new role. Today, in addition to writing articles, he contributes content to the MarketingExperiments and MarketingSherpa blogs, as well as MECLABS webinars, workshops and summits.

Prior to joining MarketingSherpa, Adam was the Managing Editor at the Mequoda group. There he created content and promotions for the company's daily email newsletter and managed its schedule.

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