Zingerman’s And The Customer Experience

The neat thing about delivering a remarkable customer experience is that it can be the foundation of a strong brand. Or a community of brands. Unless you live in Ann Arbor, Michigan, one of the best experiences you’ve never had is from a community of businesses you’ve never heard of: Zingerman’s

Zingerman’s Deli is a featured company in Bo Burlingham’s Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big. Co-founders Ari Weinzweig and Paul Saginaw have grown a community of businesses in Ann Arbor founded on the mission of delivering a great experience. That community is now nine businesses strong and will probably swell to 13-14 by the year 2020.

Ari Weinzweig is Co-founding partner and CEO of the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses. In this episode of Power to the Small Business, Ari shares how Zingerman’s explored their mission to discover a brand based on experience. Ari says real mission statement contain the answers to four questions.

Guest: Ari Weinzweig – Co-founding partner and CEO, Zingerman’s Community of Businesses

Length: 19 minutes

(Email subscribers and feed readers – Click here to listen if you don’t see the player)

You can also download the mp3 file here: Download Power to the Small Business #24 (for personal use only)

Press the play button on the player above and get started. Comments, questions? Please share it in the comment section below.

Ari Weinzweig: Show Notes on the Zingerman’s Experience


Building a Brand on Experience:

Experience is everything. Build a culture where your employees will break the rules in favor of the customer. Then recognize and reward that behavior of breaking the rules.

Start your brand by visioning. Look five years down the road and describe what the experience is like.

Then build a mission statement that answers these four questions:

  1. What do you do?
  2. Why do you do it?
  3. Who are you, that’s doing it?
  4. For whom are you doing it?


  1. Zingerman’s Community of Businesses – Nine different businesses in the Ann Arbor, Michigan area.
  2. Zing Train – Learn the Zingerman’s way. Don’t forget your free samples.
  3. Zingerman’s Guide to Good Eating – Ari Weinzweig’s guide on choosing the best foods.
  4. Zingerman’s Guide to Giving Great Service – Ari Weinzweig’s shares his secrets on world-class customer service.


Comments are closed.