Whether you’re aware of it or not, your business has a personality. The real question is whether you’ve planned and cultivated that personality or it’s formed hit or miss, perhaps in a way that doesn’t convey what you’d like it to at all.
Factors that Determine Your Company’s Personality
If you’re not sure what your company’s personality is, take a moment to answer these questions:
When a visitor enters your office, what will his impression be?
Is the atmosphere one of quiet professionalism or does the place buzz with creative energy? Are your guests greeted by a receptionist who offers coffee and takes coats, a casual wave from inside an office near the entrance or not at all?
How do you answer the telephone?
Do you pick up yourself, or are all of your calls routed through an assistant or a service? Do you answer formally or casually? Are you crisp and professional, or do you take a moment or two to chat with the caller before getting down to business?
What’s on your website?
Is your logo reserved or playful? Is the language on your website formal or conversational? Are you using technical jargon or everyday language? Is it all business, or are you offering something of interest that doesn’t pertain directly to selling your products?
How do you interact with social media?
Are you there strictly to promote your products, or are you engaging? Do you reach out to help other users and offer useful information? Do you send out cheerful little greetings and “thanks for the RT!” messages, or do you stick to business?
Don’t Leave Your Image to Chance
When the leadership of a company understands the importance of your business’s personality, all of the above (and more) work in tandem, projecting a consistent image in all of your operations and communications. A company that does this extremely well becomes known as much for its personality as its products and can draw customers on that basis.
But, you don’t have to be Zappos to put a personality to work for your company. Taking the time to consciously determine the image you want to project and incorporate it into all of your interactions with the outside world will benefit your business by creating trust: when messaging is mixed, prospective customers aren’t sure what to expect from you. And, having a clearly-defined corporate personality will allow you to delegate communications, blogging and social media with confidence that your voice will be consistent.
If you don’t make that investment, a personality will emerge, anyway. Colleagues and customers will form impressions of who you are as a company. But, those impressions may not match the image you’d like to project.