Company brand or personal brand?
I just heard on the Duct Tape Marketing podcast that Robert Scoble, Microsoft's famous tech evangelist, has left Microsoft. The question for Microsoft now is, who can replace Scoble?
This is something that I've puzzled over - not Scoble specifically, but the increasing crossover between company and personal brands that happens with the current shift in marketing.
What current shift in marketing? (Which one?) I mean a general move towards high-touch, human-to-human contact. For example, Tom Peters' recent rant about tearing up scripts and letting individuals be individuals.
After all, people relate to people, not brands. For example:
- A company spokesperson or character used in advertising (for example Goldstein for New Zealand's ASB Bank)
- An editor of the company newsletter
- A retail shop assistant
- A travelling sales rep
In most cases I'd guess it's the individual. Which is great for the individuals, but what should companies do?
It's somewhat of a conundrum, and I can only think of one answer that's not really that helpful in the short term: hire really, really good people. People who like people.
Create an organisation that these people are excited about, glad to be part of, and then just let them be themselves. If you've got the environment and the people right, customer satisfaction should look after itself!