If you had to describe yourself/your company, would it map to how others’ perceive you/your company?
This concept of “how others perceive you” is not a new one; however, sometimes we all need to be reminded that it doesn’t really matter what we think of ourselves or our organization (not really). What’s important is how other’s view us.
Humor me as I take you through 3 examples of what I mean.
Your Company is Not Cool
Chris Penn, Blue Sky Factory‘s VP of Strategy and Innovation recently penned (pun intended) a post titled, “Cool, fun, awesome, amazing, and other things you’re not.” In this article Penn discusses his pet peeve about marketers who “append the word cool (or its variants) to any marketing effort.” Penn states, “nothing you ever do is cool.” I love this! The post continues by offering ways to encourage your fans, evangelists, clients (etc) to ensure that your product/service is “cool.”
Chris’s post got me thinking. It doesn’t matter if you think your junk is cool. Who cares? I mean, I hope you think that the company you work for and the product/service that you sell is killer. If not, why bother, right? But it doesn’t matter what you think. What is important is that your customers or clients or prospects think it’s worthy of purchase.
May I give you a bit of feedback?
That was the Direct Message (private message on Twitter) that I received the other day. It was sent by someone I’ve been following for a few months. I’ve never met this individual, but it turns out we have many friends in common. We’ve interacted a few times on Twitter, but that’s about all. Long story short, this person offered me feedback about some of the words I was including in my tweets. The abbreviated feedback was as follows.
I *really* like your stream and presence. I’ll dm why now & then as inspired. But- “[the term I was using]” etc, sucks. Taints rest of a great pro stream
I explained to him why I was using “the term.” As it turns out, it was an inside joke. The problem was that (duh!) Twitter is very public; therefore my inside joke was lost to those not “on the inside.” Taking a step back and reading – out of context – what I adding to my Twitter stream, I was taken aback. Yikes! He was right. Lesson learned.
So, again, it didn’t matter what I thought. How others’ perceived me was more important.
Campbell-Ewald’s About Us Page
Let’s face it. Most company “About Us” pages suck. They are peppered with corporate-speak, buzzwords, and “this is why we are awesome” words and phrases. (Blue Sky Factory recently modified ours to be more interesting). Recently, I was looking at my friend Dave Linabury’s company site, Campbell-Ewald. Click on their “about us/the company” link. Pretty cool, right? For those that didn’t actually do as instructed (go to their site, click on the link), it pulls up the Campbell-Ewald Wikipedia page. They included some fancy code on the page which allows the wiki to pull up within the C-E site. Either way, wow! Click around a bit more and you’ll see that “culture” points to their Facebook Fan page, “case studies” goes to their YouTube channel, etc etc.
What I love about this is that Campbell-Ewald (thanks, Dave!) is allowing the community to showcase the company … in real time. They are letting their fans, clients, and customers tell the world what C-E is all about. Perception vs. reality. Brilliant.
All of this being said, there’s always a balance. Some people will love you for what you say/do/write, while others will hate the same content. Balance. Common sense. Thinking before you speak.
What do you think? Do you have other examples to share about perception – either personal or corporate?
Flickr Photo: lenore-m