Successfully reported this slideshow.

Professional, Personal and Private - Getting your brand's privacy settings right

0

Share

Loading in …3
×
1 of 5
1 of 5

Professional, Personal and Private - Getting your brand's privacy settings right

0

Share

Download to read offline

When companies have been “brought up” to be high performing and distinctly professional in their approach, there is a real risk for them going forward if they do not loosen up their “settings” to be more personal. Not only does the new generation of employees – brought up as digital natives -- desire to live and work in a more personal and open environment, but customers seek a whole new experience in their engagement with a brand. Whether it is on the telephone, in a brick & mortar store or on a Facebook fan page, this experience relies on a personal touch that is best imparted by individuals in the company who are, themselves, personally engaged.

When companies have been “brought up” to be high performing and distinctly professional in their approach, there is a real risk for them going forward if they do not loosen up their “settings” to be more personal. Not only does the new generation of employees – brought up as digital natives -- desire to live and work in a more personal and open environment, but customers seek a whole new experience in their engagement with a brand. Whether it is on the telephone, in a brick & mortar store or on a Facebook fan page, this experience relies on a personal touch that is best imparted by individuals in the company who are, themselves, personally engaged.

More Related Content

More from Minter Dial

Related Books

Free with a 14 day trial from Scribd

See all

Related Audiobooks

Free with a 14 day trial from Scribd

See all

Professional, Personal and Private - Getting your brand's privacy settings right

  1. 1. Professional, Personal and Private - Getting your brand's privacy settings right Executive Summary: When companies have been “brought up” to be high performing and distinctly professional in their approach, there is a real risk for them going forward if they do not loosen up their “settings” to be more personal. Not only does the new generation of employees – brought up as digital natives -- desire to live and work in a more personal and open environment, but customers seek a whole new experience in their engagement with a brand. Whether it is on the telephone, in a brick & mortar store or on a Facebook fan page, this experience relies on a personal touch that is best imparted by individuals in the company who are, themselves, personally engaged. Making your brand's personal tone just... If communication is the lifeblood of an organization, it is also, by definition, the expression of its culture. With the concurrent arrival of younger “digital natives” into the workforce along with ubiquitous Internet and mobile devices, companies are faced with a new communication landscape. Ideally led by the CEO and guided by the strategically important IT and Human Resources departments, companies and their management are having to adapt, to become more fluid in their communication style. IT and marketing departments need to collaborate closely, to find a common language, where technology is no longer just a technical support function, but can become a strategic component to the company’s marketing arm. The way a brand communicates externally and internally – the very way it exists – has settings, which I like to categorize into three zones: Professional, Personal and Private. There is a newfound urgency to get those settings right, to create a more inviting tone that is more transparent, more authentic and, finally, more communicative. The perfect professional The professional zone is what business is all about: creating the perfect product, driving excellent performance, increasing profits and delivering shareholder returns. Business is intended to be efficient, focused and productive. In successful businesses around the world, the fine-tuned marketing of the 4P's (price, product, promotion and place) has become second nature. The chief executive settles for nothing shy of perfection in his (or her) presentation at the annual shareholder meeting. The shirts are crisply ironed, the shave is close and the bank account is even closer ...to the heart. One of the major challenges for companies – evermore so in the years ahead given the changing socio-demographic landscape – is recruiting the top talent. The issue is that the younger generations (a.k.a. millennials, "digital natives," or Gen Y...) are not hardwired to work in the polished, linear world of the slick professional. In a recent conversation with Tomoyuki, a 24-year old Japanese highly educated young man, I discussed his decision to leave Japan and a great position at a world- renowned consultancy firm to follow his passion. His boss just could not understand the decision, telling him "[y]ou would waste your entire career just for your personal matter? And your decision is totally full of risks.” But, to his surprise, Tomoyuki replied, "I am more afraid of not leading a fulfilling life, instead of hanging on to the name of a corporate brand."
  2. 2. The ubiquitous 24/7 personal life of the Gen Y If sometimes unbridled in their overt intimacy, the younger generations quite happily live with their private life online. As described to me by a student of mine at the Sorbonne, Nicolas P., "there is one interesting characteristic of this new generation that can be summed up by the word 'ubiquity.' As private life is increasingly taking place online, it continues to evolve simultaneously during the professional time... The private life online...never stops." Naturally, the boundary between that which is private and intimate – and must remain non-public – and that which is personal and consumable in the public sphere must be managed appropriately. However, from the younger person's perspective, the buttoned-up, hyper perfect and overly codified business world in which his/her parents (and, even more so, the grandparents) worked is particularly foreign. Mind the gap The younger generation rejects this inherited model where loyalty to one or even any corporation is an admired value. Not that the younger generation cannot be loyal or work hard; but, in ways not seen by their parents’ generation, their trust must be gained and their loyalty must be earned. Having observed the level of employee disaffection and dissatisfaction in the form of a father's midlife crisis or, worse, a life prematurely ended by an untimely disease, the younger generation is searching for a professional existence that is coherent with his/her ethos. In their mind, putting on the corporate 'suit' should not mean losing one's personal identity. The intransigence of the youth in this matter is driven by a somewhat less-than- rosy picture of the future. Encumbered by a morose economic outlook, bombarded (literally) by fears of terrorism and concerned about the reality of climate change, there is little reason to embrace the pretense of a stiff corporate environment. The current professional space seems hostile from the vantage of this younger generation, keen to enjoy life to its fullest.
  3. 3. Bridging the chasm between professional and personal To satisfy the needs and concerns of the younger generation – now, increasingly true of older generations, too – employers must find ways to engage their own employees, facilitate and invest in ongoing learning, enable flexibility, encourage diversity and provide meaning to their daily routine. Whereas productivity has been the key motif for companies through the end of the twentieth century, as we come out of this economic recession, employees will be all the more attentive to the non-monetary rewards. Not just because there is less money to go around, but because there is a burgeoning sense that life is short (and perilous) and that new technologies are able to support such "luxuries" as distance learning and distributed offices. The 'battle' for human talent is all the more important today because it is via the individuals working in the company that the real sales & marketing is taking place. Not just prepared to settle for a good product, the customer is demanding another level of performance. The new consumer – particularly in the developed world – faced with what will in all likelihood be an extended period of economically challenging times, is expecting more from the goods and services he/she is buying. The 4P's remain important, albeit with a different spin. Price has often muted to free. Place now means everywhere. Promotion and publicity must be 'opt in' rather than interruptive. And the company's product can be co-produced and the brand may be co-owned. In sum, the new marketing paradigm involves creating a wholly new and meaningful experience for the customer. Delivering this experience is, by definition, personal. Marketing gets personal The consumer is looking for engagement, desirous of the opportunity to exchange and interact with the brand. As I have written in the past, in Branding Getting Personal, I like to consider the 5E's of the new brand marketing model: exchange, engagement, emotion, experience and essence. In this "personal" zone, just as the employee is looking to satisfy his/her curiosity through learning, find greater meaning through aligned value systems, diversity through multi-tasking, fulfillment via personal satisfaction, a brand's
  4. 4. customer is ready to pay up for greater engagement, exceptional experiences, true emotion, practical education and non-frivolous community participation. Certainly, the Internet, and e-marketing in general, is bringing this issue to the fore. Organizations need to evolve to bring their internal IT systems to be at least as performing as the electronic material that is available at home. Secondly, organizations must speed up the time of reaction and, more emphatically, learn to be more agile, integrating upfront ways to interface with their customers and listen to, accept and respond to market feedback. Part of the solution is learning how to use collaborative “2.0” tools within the organization, helping to flatten the hierarchy, speed up the location of expertise and best practices, at the same time as learning how to become more ‘real’ and rapid in their communication. There are more and more applications available that enable internal (and closed circuit) replicas of general public services such as Twitter (Yammer), Digg (Pligg) and Facebook (Salesforce Chatter). These are the tools à la mode today and, probably they will endure at least for the near to intermediate term. Most important, however, whether or not these specific applications last, is the transformation of the brand’s corporate culture necessary to facilitate and optimize the personalized interaction and engagement vis-à-vis its client base, in a quest to develop a strong and enduring fan base. Being personal, means accepting imperfection To the extent that a CEO is able to let go of the tight reins that characterize the ‘command & control’ professional sphere, the employees will be more comfortable operating with initiative, living in a business environment that is aligned with their personal values and, therefore, rendering, for the end client, a more engaging and passionate experience. For brands to get more personal, the employees will play THE key role. It is for this reason that the HT (Human Talent) department* is capital in helping to accompany change in the organization and to identify and recruit the best new purveyors of the new marketing model: the people. As in the white paper co- written with Eric Mellet, The Brand University, there are novel ways to help transform an organization to be authentic, while truly providing a value-added offer to the end client. The luxury brands are being forced to pave the way considering there was a lot of fluff and hyperbole in their offer prior to the crisis. Now, we see certain luxury brands, such as Louis Vuitton and Hermès, reaping the reward of a complete
  5. 5. customer experience (and a great product) with spectacular financial gains considering the economic climate. If such gains are to be repetitive over time, meanwhile, attention will also need to be placed on the way the internal staff lives in adequacy with the values being touted and bought by their clients. For other brands, whose products have been perfectly produced and perennially publicized on television with pristine, re-touched models, the new era is calling for them to get real, and this, in real time. Time is the most valuable resource that a company has in the form of the time spent by its employees doing what is necessary to make the customer experience optimal. In a time-constrained 24/7 connected world, we must also act more rapidly – removing driftwood, heavy procedures, unnecessary meetings and political barriers to enable faster turnarounds and more natural interactions. If we move fast, there will certainly be errors. But, as is often said (and not always activated), we learn from our mistakes. Brand cultures must again learn the extraordinary gift of failure, the benefits of imperfection and power of the human network to pave their way through what will undoubtedly be sticky, if not turbulent times ahead. In this regard, the CEO’s example is essential. Before getting married, you must get engaged The younger generation represents both the workforce and the future client base. They are helping to re- sculpt what ought to be a more authentic, personal and greener work environment, at the same time, providing the key to a strong brand engagement and following by making the brand – and the people working for it – more accessible and trustworthy. Oddly, we find ourselves using new technologies such as the smartphone, Facebook and Twitter to re-mould an old school consideration: that real-time, real life relationships matter. If brands want customer and employee loyalty, they must, thus, dial in their settings to be more personal. * RIP Human Resources as the name of the department About the writer: Minter Dial, President of The Myndset Company, based in Paris, France, is a consultant and professional speaker on Branding and Digital Marketing. Previously, he enjoyed a 16-year international career with L’Oréal, spanning 9 assignments in 4 different countries, including running the Redken brand worldwide for 4 years. In his last position, he was in charge of eBusiness and Business Development worldwide for the L’Oréal Professional Products Division, out of Paris. Minter can be reached at minter@themyndset.com or on Twitter @mdial. Image credits: Professional (redesigned from): http://the-dropshow.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/Businessmen-in- Black-Straight-On-Series-1.jpg Personal Growth: http://www.mimosaspirit.com/images/Personal%20Growth.jpg Footprints in sand: http://www.theserenityhouse.org/images/footprints.jpg Private: http://www.bbc.co.uk/stoke/content/images/2007/05/24/private_470x315.jpg

×