Social media is a breath of fresh air. It demands openness, honesty, and transparency. It derides corporate speak, rewards authenticity, and challenges us all to be ourselves – a scary thought for some, but more real nonetheless. Faceless corporate monoliths which once talked down to its stakeholders like the Great and powerful Oz are being replaced with real people, having actual conversations that are translating into win-win results. Most refreshing of all, is that it’s a platform that encourages us not to take ourselves too seriously – on or offline. We’re learning to be human again. How great is that?
Today’s consumers, and yes, especially consumers even younger than me;-) are more likely to look favorably upon brands who have real personality and who don’t take themselves so seriously. For some companies, showing their personality is a real leap of faith. It’s not only a big departure from what most leaders were taught, but they believe it can either risk compromising their value or trivializing their business. For others, poking fun at themselves can serve as a way to connect with their audiences and provide a means for demonstrating a certain confidence in both what they do and who they are.
Have a look at the two videos below. The first is from Nike, aimed at answering the age-old question, “Where does Nike AIR come from?” ( Okay, now it’s time to actually DO what I’m preaching and, frankly, to go against the advice I’ve been given.) The second is a mockumentary video that we at Vistage put together called The Group, offering a behind the scenes, inside perspective of a “real” Vistage Group meeting. I hope you enjoy them both. (Be kind. We didn’t have Nike’s budget.)
What do you think? Do brands which poke fun at themselves seriously risk hurting their image or does it help strengthen relationships?