Staying In-Character: Understanding Your Company Persona

by justinolch
3 mins read

There’s no doubt you have a personality all your own. Chances are there’s nobody else out there quite like you, and if you started to act differently, the people who know you best would be sure to notice. Some would be concerned, others could be put off, the rest just confused. The same goes for your company. Does your newest campaign strategy stay true to your company’s voice?You may be confused at first, but every company has a character, and according to marketing expert Noah Fleming character should be well-established and as consistent as possible. Overall, your company’s voice should be true to your company’s values, appealing to your audience and, while not static, as stable as you can make it.

Find Your Perfect Pitch

Depending on the industry and audience, your company voice may be as casual as an eighth-grade pajama party, as formal as a presidential dinner party or somewhere in between. Figuring out just where you should stand requires understanding your business and who you’re catering that business to. Stiff corporate environments make maintaining a playful, fun tone difficult, while small mom-and-pop businesses may have a hard time keeping up the formality from season to season. A good way to find your company voice, if you’re waffling, is to think about the voice of your target audience, and refine it a little bit. Make sure your image matches your tone, and create content that makes your clientele feel at home.

Always Assume the Cameras Are Rolling

Above all else, your company’s character should be consistent. Every person who has a hand in content creation, social media management or any level of public relations should be intimately aware of what it stands for, what it’s about and how that message gets across. Just as it only takes a couple of instances of finding the main character of your favorite book series acting dramatically different from how you remember before you put the book down for good, a couple of out-of-character Facebook posts and email campaigns will leave your customers feeling uncomfortable, maybe even jilted.When you represent your company, always assume your clients are watching. That joke might seem hilarious enough to slip into this week’s ad, but if it doesn’t mesh with your company’s character, then make the sacrifice and leave it on the cutting room floor.

General Rules

When it comes to maintaining a consistent voice, there are a few things to always keep in mind.

  • Be authentic. Make sure your content is honest, clear and not needlessly puffed up.
  • Be conversational. Treat every campaign as an open dialogue; make your customers feel like you’re talking to them, not at them.
  • Be consistent. This has already been said, but it bears repeating. If you’re in the process of reinventing your company image, be sure to update the voice with it, but be prepared for a little pushback.

Be prepared for that update. This isn’t throwing consistency to the wind, no matter how it sounds. Following customer response, however, can help you figure out how casual is too casual and where formal becomes stiff. Let your company voice evolve over time with your customers, don’t change it overnight.Nobody knows your company’s voice better than you, but the key here is making sure that voice is one that resonates with your audience. Keep your company in-character, absolutely, but let time takes its course, and don’t be afraid of a little character development. As long as you stay true to the core of your company’s values and your customers’ needs, then maintaining a clear voice should be as easy as, or easier than, building a new year’s campaign strategy around it.

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