Some of my readers know that I am busy with a brand new book. At this stage, most of the book is written, but I continue my research. One of the companies I recently looked at was ZOOM and specifically the About ZOOM web pages. My aim: to figure out what ZOOM stands for both inside and outside the company.
It was honestly a shock to read the content that defines ZOOM. In short: the About ZOOM page is a collection of empty and not differentiating brand & strategy blurbs.
Let’s take a look at each of the elements of the About page:
#1. What is the Promise of ZOOM?ZOOM delivers happiness, every single day.
Yes, you are reading this right. Think about that the next time you are in a ZOOM call or get communications from ZOOM.
#2. What is the ZOOM culture?
To deliver on the ZOOM promise of Delivering Happiness, the company simply defined its culture as Delivering happiness – how thoughtful, differentiating and unique..
#3. How is the promise of ZOOM delivered?
Through one value: Care. Whatever ZOOM employees do for Community, Customers, Company, Teammates, and Selves: they Care.
I am not sure how just “Care” can be differentiating. Values should give clear guidance, like a compass, how decisions are made, actions are performed, and how employees communicate internally and externally. The company values should be so strong and unique to the company that users experience them every single time when interacting with the brand.
So, what is ZOOM all about?
By now, you might be thinking, is ZOOM a new-age type of Happiness company, with dedicated employees delivering Happiness every day, and who are delivering this amazing Promise in a caring way.
Now, just hang on for a minute because the ZOOM Mission and Vision turn it all in a different direction.
#4 The Mission and Vision of ZOOM
The Mission and Vision seem an afterthought or leftover from previous strategy work.
The keywords of the previous sections Delivering Happiness and Care are replaced by Frictionless, Secure, Empowering, and Accomplishing more.
Do you feel the difference? It is huge – when employees are focused on, e.g., empowering and accomplishing more, they are in a very different state of mind than when they Care or Deliver Happiness.
On the Mission and the Security element specifically: during the initial part of the Corona crisis, ZOOM got hit with severe security flaws, and even today, there are still privacy and security woes. Tom’s Guide keeps an up-to-date list here.
#5 About ZOOM
The website continues with a small section, “About ZOOM” which again steers the company’s core into a different direction. In this section, ZOOM is there to help you express ideas, connect to others, and build toward a future limited only by your imagination.
Simple suggestions for improvement
What is wrong with all of this with the stock-listed company ZOOM? Pretty much everything!
Let’s clarify the ZOOM brand in a straightforward way with just a few steps.
#1 Firmly claim a position
It is vital to claim a position – only by doing so can people know precisely the difference between your brand and others in terms of what it concretely is and does.
Using ZOOM own words:
– ZOOM, the only frictionless video conferencing app
– ZOOM, the innovation standard in video conferencing
#2 Define the company character
What type of company is ZOOM? How do people work, decide and take action? This is not what we want the company to be, but what the culture is all about. Based on the direction given by ZOOM, I use the Caregiver character as an example. The Caregiver’s strategy is to do things for others, intending to help others. Compassion and Generosity are essential.
#3 Define brand values that steer
Taking the Company Character and Care concept, we can define strong values, such as Thoughtful, Humane, Compassionate. These are all adjectives and are easy to use to steer activities. I can, for example, say, “this copy text feels thoughtful, humane, and compassionate. It is on ZOOM brand.” The values are also not the opposite or conflicting, which makes assessing actions focussed.
#4 Define the Belief
The Belief is rooted in the Company’s Character. As a belief, it is shared among all employees and is the foundation to deliver every single day the promise.
For example: At ZOOM we believe that the greatest, most sustainable happiness comes from making others happy.
#4 Define the promise
The Promise is also routed in the Company Character and delivered by employees to each other and external.
For example: At ZOOM we promise is to be good and do good
Summing at all up
The brand can be summed up in a few lines. While I did not include a mission or vision it feels more coherent in steering the brand in actions, decisions, products, and communications.
- ZOOM is the only frictionless video conferencing app
- Audience: Community, Customers, Companies, Teammates, and Selves
- Promise to each other and customers: to be good and do good
- The promise is delivered through the values: Thoughtful, Humane, Compassionate
- And ZOOM can make it happen because it firmly beliefs that the greatest, most sustainable happiness comes from making others happy.