Call me OCD, but this level of organization makes me happy. I step into my closet and it's like shopping my own personal store. Everything is right with the world. So it won't surprise you that I'm devoted to The Container Store because they've helped me achieve closet Valhalla.
This is a high-growth company. It's always in the news for excellent customer service, great products and rapidly growing profits. Yes, profits.
As a customer, I love how they treat me. As a marketer, I'm a huge fan of how they treat customers (both inside and outside their organization). They have true brand alignment.
If you visit their website or receive a package from them you'll see it right away. They wear their hearts on their sleeves. Customers and employees alike are valued and cherished. And it's all packaged up into one big oversized parcel of brand happiness.
Here are a few things any brand can learn from them:
Don't just talk, listen. Listen some more, then respond in a way that says you heard and understood. Tailor your communications. Give them what they want and never, ever waste their time.
Innovate with products that make customers almost giddy. Deliver what's requested and the unexpected too.
Do the same for employees.
Seek out people who share your passion. Invite their ideas and let them bring their best selves to the organization. Cheer for them and show them off to the world.
One of my favorite of their Foundation Principles: "1 great person = 3 good people. We hire only great people." This is printed on the tape that seals their shipping boxes. I believe they mean it, and I think the employees do, too. How would that make you feel?
Do the same for customers.
Make brand and purpose inextricably aligned inside and out
The Container Store is "organization with heart." Nice double-meaning, right? This is a company whose purpose is helping people tame chaos and organize their lives: at home, at work and when they're traveling.
The feeling of calm and control The Container Store helps create is a Gift With Purchase: the intangible emotional benefit that comes with using their products.
But that organization with heart also extends to employees. It's an organization that encourages growth and spends a significant amount on training. They allow staff to volunteer in their communities for charities like Dress for Success. They consider employees their #1 stakeholder and have landed on Fortune's Best 100 Companies to Work For list for 14 years in a row. Their turnover is under 10%—nearly unheard of in the retail industry.
Wrap it up
The Container Store's brand is seamless: the people inside the company and the people outside the company can share a love of organization with heart. The internal brand and external brand are so well-aligned that they're impossible to separate. And that's a secret to their success.
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