Dancing Toast – A study in effective branding

In the midst of over hype, power selling and the seemingly never ceasing compulsion for some to push their message into others’ lives comes a nice little slice of….well….toast. Yes…toast. Well, actually dancing toast. Here is the bulk of an email I received this morning.

Happy Zappy 4-Year Anniversary!

Hello Bill!

Today is your 4th anniversary of being a Zappos.com customer, so we’re having a toast in your honor!

No, seriously, we’re having toast in your honor…we love toast, especially dancing toast! It’s the absolute best! We like our toast all sorts of ways: with jelly or butter or with sugar and cinnamon or cheese…Yum-o! There’s really no wrong way to celebrate with toast!

Before you eat your celebratory toast, we just want to say thanks for making the past four years so awesome!

What a breath of fresh air. I like toast. I like toast with jelly in particular. (I’ve actually had a bit of an experience making jelly recently and it’s turned out to be fairly amazing…but I digress).

What I like even more is Zappos. They are one of the companies which to me exemplify how to build, maintain and grow a successful brand! I admire their business model, their attitude and their service – but especially,  their commitment to their core values. It’s not just their commitment that makes them special…it’s the values themselves. Clearly explained, open to employees, customers and stakeholders alike – they are posted for all to see on the core value page of their site.

  1. Deliver WOW through service
  2. Embrace and drive change
  3. Create fun and a little weirdness
  4. Be adventurous, creative and open minded
  5. Pursue growth and learning
  6. Build open and honest relationships with communication
  7. Build a positive team and family spirit
  8. Do more with less
  9. Be passionate and determined
  10. Be humble

These values are not only good for business but for life in general. (As an aside, while I embrace each of these, I realize that I’m better at some than others…but these are ideals to strive for…progress not perfection).

If you have not done business with Zappos, I strongly suggest you do. If you have, do more. I say this because I have no doubt that they will exceed your expectations.

If you’re looking to create, build or sustain your own company’s brand, I suggest you emulate Zappos. I say this because I have no doubt you’ll build a better company.  From the quality of the product they sell to the WOW service they provide Zappos is consistent.

Well, I’m off to shop for some new sneakers while I have some toast and do more research on making jelly. Have a Happy Zappy Day! I will. 🙂



Coach, International Speaker and Thought Partner - Bill’s mission is to add value to the world – one brand at a time. Bill guides individuals and companies alike in building what he refers to as a ‘fearless brand’. This is the process of discovering, embracing and delivering their greatest value – which allows them to realize greater profit. Read More

5 comments on “Dancing Toast – A study in effective branding
  1. Jean Kuhn says:


    Love the humor from both you and Zappos. I think this company exemplifies what a Go-Giver is. The value they provide is worth every full-price penny I pay.

    Toast…..hahahaha that’s funny.

    • Bill says:

      Thank you Jean. Zappos certainly is a company immersed in the Go-Giver principals! Dancing toast no less 🙂

  2. Barbara Abramson says:

    Hmm – I am going to have to ask Zappos if they have gluten-free toast! Great post on toast! You have earned the right to boast the most! Seriously – great job Bill!

    • Bill says:

      Knowing Zappos, I suspect they have gluten free toast and that it knows how to dance the night away. Thanks for your post about my boast on toast – I may like it the most. Sorry. 🙂

  3. Susan says:

    Great post, Bill!

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