Saving Earth, Step by Step 👟

How Allbirds Leverages Retail Comms to Advance their Mission of Sustainability

August 3, 2021

Allbirds is revolutionizing the footwear industry by finding new and creative ways to reduce our carbon footprint. Allbirds is committed to a mission of sustainability, catalyzing a new era of social innovation and change in retail.

Here at Zipline, we believe that change begins from within organizations. That’s why Allbirds’ commitment to making an impact particularly resonates with us. We are proud of the role we play in helping retail leaders navigate initiatives that pave the way for a healthier planet and a better future. 

We got to get a first look at the newest Allbirds store (IRL) in the Upper West Side and hear from their Store Ops team. (Doesn’t it feel so wonderful to be back inside of brick-and-mortar stores?) Allbirds has been a customer with us since early 2020… That’s right, they launched Zipline at the onset of the pandemic! Allbirds is leveraging Zipline for communications and operations as they scale their mission and open stores across the globe. The store we were in last week is just one of many new physical locations that the company is launching worldwide.

We’d love to introduce you to the changemakers that we heard from last week!

🐦 The Allbirds Flock 🐑

Scott Thomas –  Global Retail Communications and Engagement Manager

Chris Bailey – Global Retail Operations Senior Manager

Jeff Siegel – NYC Columbus Store Leader

Taking Change in Stride 🚶

Allbirds and Zipline made the perfect pair 👟when the brand was developing a comms strategy. “We were set to launch in April 2020,” Says Scott, Global Retail Communications and Engagement Manager. And, well, we all know what happened in March of 2020. “We didn’t know what Covid had in store, but we knew there was going to be a lot of comms. We knew there was gonna be a lot of change. And we knew we were going to be dealing with the health and safety of our team. And we knew that Zipline was going to be the tool to put all of our information in one place for teams to access and take action.”

So, Allbirds launched Zipline when stores were closed. The team didn’t waste any time setting up store communications to keep everyone informed. Scott made sure that communications went out every Tuesday. “With Zipline, we provided some sort of continuity when everything else was up in the air,” says Scott.

When stores reopened and staff returned to work, Allbirds used Zipline to re-engage employees. “One thing that it did really well was give everybody a sense of safety,” says Columbus Store Manager, Jeff Seigel. “Chris and Scott worked really hard to make sure that when our employees came back, they felt safe.” 

Employees are at Home in the Nest 🥚

Allbirds uses Zipline, but they call it “The Nest” and they have so much fun transforming their network of brick-and-mortar stores globally into a community through pun-filled, engaging communication. (We are actually obsessed with their gif and pun game!)

The team has built their Nest intentionally, filling it with useful information and incredible video content. “Zipline really is a one-stop-shop for all of our SOPs, all of our information, and all of our marketing initiatives. It keeps everyone in our flock informed up to the minute,” says Jeff. “I don’t work for Zipline, but I do believe Zipline works for me. We all like to think of ourselves as CEOs of our own stores. Well, Zipline is the best executive assistant you can have.” 

“We lean heavily on video for education and engagement,” says Scott. Allbirds created a network called “Nestflix” and each program within it has a unique purpose. “We have our team interviews, ‘Meet the Flockers.’ We have ‘Sole Stories,’ where we go behind the scenes and talk about different initiatives that are happening at the company. And our founders get in on the fun with ’Between Two Sheep.’” 

We think that Allbirds is such a great representation of a brand coming to life in terms of sustainability, and in terms of how to really imbue the essence of the brand in every leader. We are honored to be an extension of their flock 🐦

The Common Threads 🪡

We’ve built Zipline with the philosophy that transforming retail starts with engaging and empowering retail employees. When organizations leverage communication to cut through the clutter, workers can really understand what the brand stands for and how their work contributes to the greater good.

That’s why Allbirds’ mission to make better things in a better way is one that we are so well aligned with. Transforming retail begins with teams like these using Zipline to put their team first. It’s no secret that happy employees mean happy customers, and today’s customers want to connect with the brands they support. 

 “It’s not “location, location, location for us at Allbirds. It’s morale, morale, morale,” says Jeff. “And if morale is high, sales are high, that’s just the truth of sales.

And it goes beyond sales. While improving communications can ultimately improve the bottom line, it is so much more than that for today’s retailers. “Sustainability is something that we really, really believe in,” says Scott. “It’s something that we live and breathe and we have to do what we can to make sure that every one of us in the flock feels the same way that we do.”

We had an incredible time hearing from the Allbirds Store Ops team about how they’ve adapted and innovated at the new NYC store last week. Make sure to stop by and grab a pair of earth-friendly kicks! 

And if you’re ready to transform retail with us, reach out! Zipline isn’t just software – it’s a better way of communicating. Our platform enables best-in-class communication strategies throughout your organization. 

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