Self-awareness is a funny thing, isn’t it? We all think we have it, but do we really? At the risk of sounding like cod philosophy from a Matrix sequel; how would we even know if we’re self-aware?
To quote When Harry Met Sally, everyone thinks they have good taste and a good sense of humour, but they can’t all have them.
We in the content industry know that businesses have personalities, even if they don’t intend to. And consumers know it too: Think of any of the best-known companies (in Ireland and throughout the world), and you’ll think of their carefully nurtured personalities.
Apple, in reality, are manufacturers of toys for the rich. But the company has crafted its image as that of modern day Thomas Edisons, enlightening and improving the world one new iPhone at a time. Closer to home, Bord na Mona are not just the providers of peat briquettes; their product is also wrapped in the warm glow of nostalgia and traditional Irish music.
So how can you tell what people think of your company? And – perhaps more importantly – how can you change it? Let’s look at the perception question first:
Your first port of call is to ask yourself, your employees and your colleagues what kind of company it is, if it has a philosophy and what your values are.
Then expand the question: Survey customers (existing and potential) to ask what they think of you, what they think you do well and what they like or dislike about what you do.
You might be surprised at what you hear.
Choose Your Values
What’s important to you as a company? Would you like to be considered good value, efficient, welcoming or something else?
Of course every firm would like to have more than one positive trait, but some are more important than others, depending on their own values. Some companies want to be seen as product leaders, for example, while others value customer intimacy and others again might want a reputation for operational excellence.
Find Your Story
Finally, every business has a story, both a legacy and an ongoing narrative. Find your story, your history, and find out what it says about your company’s values. Then craft every subsequent message (from ads to blog posts to Tweets and beyond) with those values.
Do you want your communication irreverent, professional, quirky, or informative? What kind of person do you want to share your blog posts – how old are they, what do they do for a living and what do they value?
Your brand already has a personality whether you want one or not. Thankfully, it can be moulded and changed, and its message distributed in any way you’d like.
Want to chat more about how your company is perceived? Feel free to get in touch!