It doesn’t matter whether you sell mobile phones or tractors, customers want to feel there’s a real human being on the other side of the transaction.
That’s why Intel, a semiconductor company, posted on tattoos.
Even Dick Costolo, the CEO of Twitter, has espoused on the topic:
It’s fun to be the customer of a company with a personality. This seems totally obvious, and yet you too rarely see companies with distinct personalities really grab your attention in the marketplace. Why is this? It’s actually hard to remove personality and character from communications. So, instead of saying that companies don’t take the time to have personalities, it’s probably more accurate to state that companies don’t allow themselves to show their personalities.
The path to a distinctive company personality starts by showing its humanity.
Here are three simple ways to do this.
1) Call Out Social Platforms Used by Executives
This is low-hanging fruit.
If an executive participates in social media, why not include it with his or her bio?
You can see how Wyse handles this.
You might be thinking, “Why doesn’t Wyse include a LinkedIn button with their executive bios?”
I don’t know.
2) Apply Storytelling Techniques to “About Us” Section
Most companies have an “About Us” section on their website.
Unfortunately, the copy typically reads like a DMV training manual.
Not to pick on Alcoa – O.K., I guess I am picking on them – but here’s a perfect example of dull.
Before you say it’s hard to make aluminum exciting, Aloca has shown its storytelling prowess with a campaign around smog-eating buildings.
3) Real Companies Do Scrapbooking
No, I don’t mean putting together actual scrapbooks that sit in your lobby and gather dust.
This is more of a mentality of identifying and sharing “photo stories” about your people.
It does take time and talent to craft full-blown narratives. The beauty of “photo stories” is anyone can write a decent caption (allowing the photo to do the talking).
Facebook is a natural for this type of communication, but any digital real estate is a potential platform.
For example, our contact page highlights our new office in Hong Kong.
Clicking on the “new digs” takes you to:
It took a few minutes to put our HK team (and two pigs) in front of the camera.
When you read about a great brand or a company showing its personality, it’s inevitably a consumer play.
The beauty of these three approaches is they work equally well in the B2B sphere.
It’s all about helping the outside world get to know you.