We’re a service company that just happens to sell shoes.
—Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com
We’ve got a secret. Despite popular belief, we’re not in the aligner business. We deal in a rare and valuable commodity. It’s the one thing everyone wants, the one thing no one can get enough of. It never fades or goes out of style; versions of it from the ’70s and ’80s still look good today. And while it’s always in high demand, it’s often in short supply.
We deal in service.
Now, there are varieties of service: There’s crappy service. We don’t touch the stuff. There’s so-so service. The market’s saturated with it, so we don’t sell it. There’s good service. Most people looking for service expect to find at least this one, so we keep some on hand. And then there’s exceptional service, the brand that excites and surprises. We can’t stock it fast enough!
See, this secret means that no matter what else we sell—right now it just happens to be aligners—there will always be someone out there who wants what we’ve got.
All we have to do is deliver it with service.