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Head of Customer Research

Alex Genov

If you’re interested in learning more about how to improve company culture, enhance employee engagement, or knock the socks off your customers, Alex is the speaker for you! 

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Alex Genov

Alex joined Zappos in 2014, applying his Experimental Social Psychology background and his passion for research, design, and innovation in everything he touches. When he’s not leading Customer Research for Zappos, you may find him training Kung Fu (he is a 34th Generation Shaolin Temple Disciple). His professional goal is to help teams create remarkable products and services which make people's lives easier and more enjoyable. In previous positions, he was responsible for research and usability of the products and services for companies like TurboTax (Intuit), State Farm Insurance, and the Active Network. He has over 15 years of relevant experience - 5 years of academic research and over 10 years of customer research in the software industry. Alex received his PhD in Experimental Social Psychology from Clark University. His areas of research include: defining and measuring emotions, individual differences, usability, and consumer segmentation.

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Presentation Topics

  • Learn how Zappos creates a magical User Experience
  • Find out how to apply Customer and Market Research in order to understand customers as people
  • Discover the importance of Usability in creating loyalty through digital experiences
  • Learn about the power of Design Thinking
  • Understand the role of Psychology and Behavioral Economics in Product Innovation and Product Design

Previous Engagements

  • Branding and Marketing Communications at Carey Business School/Johns Hopkins University (virtual) 4.22.2020
  • Wharton Business School Ideathon (Philadelphia, PA) 1.24.2020
  • The BIG Show - National Retail Federation (New York City, NY) 1.13.2020
  • WSL’s Big Business of WELL Symposium (New York City, NY) 12.5.2019
  • The Retail Forum at Columbia Business School (New York City, NY) 8.7.2019
  • DigitalK (Sofia, Bulgaria) 5.31.2019
  • Colliers International - National Retail Meeting (Las Vegas, NV) 5.19.2019
  • Chief Executive’s Club at Queen’s University (Belfast, UK) 12.6.2018
  • Private Risk Management Association Summit (Oak Brook, IL) 11.5.2018
  • - National Retail Federation (Las Vegas, NV) 9.14.2018

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Culture is


Great culture leads to employee happiness. The same way a toxic culture leads to unhappiness. Happy employees means higher engagement, profitability, and low turnover.

Culture is


Our culture would not be what is it today without the people, past and present. We are all protectors and cultivators of the Zappos Culture; it's what makes it unique and something that changes every day.

Culture is

Being Yourself

I love that I get to be me all day. The culture encourages you to be the same person you are at work as you are at home. I don't have to pretend to be something I'm not, which makes Zappos a comfortable place to be.

Culture is


Every company has a unique culture that's all their own. Just like every person has their own personality, every company has their own culture. Building a culture is a special process that can't be taken lightly. It's the responsibility of every employee to represent and foster culture.

Culture is


Work can be fun! We have 2 annual parties at Zappos. Our Vendor Party where we invite all of our brands to thank them and celebrate our partnership. And, our employee holiday party. Past epic party themes have ranged from Mardi Gras and old-school hip-hop to a Hawaiian luau at a waterpark. Each has had its own twists and tricks to surprise and delight partygoers. This year, we invited our vendors to run away with us to the “Untamed Circus."

Culture is


Your culture doesn't stay the same, it will continue to evolve. Having a defined set of values will serve as your guide to continue your culture's growth and evolution in a positive direction.

Culture is

Not Always Measured

A strong culture means lower employee burnout and therefore, lower turnover. It leads to higher employee engagement and higher profitability. But really, companies should focus on their culture because it matters. Because it's just the right thing to do. To quote Tony Hsieh, "Just because you can’t measure the ROI of something doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. What’s the ROI on hugging your mom?"

Culture is

Work-Life Integration

Companies and employees worry about work-life separation or work-life balance. But why? Wouldn't you rather be a company where your employees easily combine their full self into everything they do? Wouldn't you rather work for a company whose focus on culture allows your job to integrate with your life? It shouldn't be a struggle to find a balance between life and work where you are truly fulfilled and happy.

Culture is


Your vendors have the same objective as you: to sell their product, be successful in their work, and maybe have some fun while doing it. Something unique that Zappos does is allow brand representatives access to all the same sales and inventory information on their products that Zappos has. By working as a team, by partnering, you are setting the stage for success!

Culture is


Your company has a culture. You may not have "planned" it. You may not like it. Or maybe you love it. But it's there. It is real. You can choose to be thoughtful about your company culture. You can set values and identify the behaviors that you want to be the core of your culture. That part is fairly easy. The hard part, is committing to the values once they are set. Living them.

Culture is

Core Values

Values are more than just words, they're a way of life. They are the foundation of your company culture. We know that companies with a strong culture and a higher purpose perform better in the long run. As we continue to grow, we strive to ensure that our culture remains alive and well.

Culture is

Your Brand

A company’s culture and a company’s brand are really just two sides of the same coin. The brand is just a lagging indicator of the culture.