Marketing Matters

Blog archive

How an MSP Made 'Corporate Culture' More than Just a Buzz Term

Corporate culture isn't lip service at Corporate Network Services (CNS), a Poolesville, Md.-based MSP -- it's a way of life. Karen Kalantzis, CEO of CNS, says, "It all started because we wanted to apply for awards, like making the 'Best Places to Work' list. We felt it would help us build our legitimacy as a company as we were growing."

Then, last year, Karen attended a conference where Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh spoke about the benefits of corporate culture to the growth and performance of organizations. Borrowing an idea from the Zappos success story, CNS employees were asked to write down their thoughts about working for CNS. The result was the CNS 2011 Attitude Album, a 26-page booklet that describes CNS core values, community services, awards and lots of photographs of employees with their comments about the company.

The Attraction of 'Real' Personality
"Authentic" is an overused term these days, but the CNS Attitude Album deserves that label. The most expensive full-color glossy company brochure out there doesn't hold a candle to the value of this unpretentious booklet. This book makes you feel like you are part of a family, a family that cares about its customers.  

The bulk of the content for the Attitude Album comes directly from CNS employees based on their thoughts on what CNS means to them. Here are a few examples:

"Thinking about my time at CNS, the people I have had a chance to work with, the clients I have had an opportunity to help and the knowledge and skills I have gained, I am struck by what an enriching experience it has been."

"Working here means working for a company that cares for its employees and its customers."

"The culture means that we are here to support the customer as well as each other by going above and beyond what is expected."

Unexpected Results from Corporate Culture Initiatives
Just as with Zappos, the focus on corporate culture has generated positive results both inside and outside CNS. "As part of an award program that we were judging, I met a woman from a staffing company who was impressed by our programs," Kalantzis remembers. "She was looking for a new technology partner and wanted to work with a firm that had more to offer than just technical expertise. I gave her one of our Attitude Albums and she loved it. Now her company is a client."

While the booklet was not intended to be used as marketing collateral, it has become a valuable asset. "We use it for new sales and new hires. Our whole attitude program is helping with new hires," Kalantzis said. "One of our newest employees told me that our awards program was one of the reasons he decided to accept our job offer from among three companies. He said it looked like we really care about and invest in our employees."

Hidden Assets That Can Build Relationships
Next week we'll talk about how to find and build on the hidden assets in your organization to help you connect with customers. Post a comment below or let me know if you have a story about a unique marketing approach so we can share the knowledge.

Posted by Barb Levisay on August 18, 2011 at 11:57 AM


Featured

  • Microsoft Bolsters Its 5G Chops with Affirmed Networks Acquisition

    Microsoft has acquired Affirmed Networks, buttressing its software-defined networking services just as mobile operators start rolling out 5G wireless technologies.

  • The 2020 Microsoft Product Roadmap

    From the next major update to Windows 10 to the next generations of .NET and PowerShell, here's what's on tap from Microsoft this year.

  • Microsoft To Expand Support for Partner-Built MFA in Azure AD

    Microsoft plans to improve the ability of organizations to use third-party multifactor authentication solutions with the Microsoft Azure AD service.

  • 2020 Microsoft Conference Calendar: For Partners, IT Pros and Developers

    Here's your guide to all the IT training sessions, partner meet-ups and annual Microsoft conferences you won't want to miss. (Now updated with COVID-19-related event changes.)

RCP Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.