Hide and seek? Or - authentic brand expression.

On second thought, I think I am more crazy than my goat.
— Remedios Varo
My friendly, not so crazy, goat from Asciano, Italy

My friendly, not so crazy, goat from Asciano, Italy

During a meeting this morning with a colleague we got to talking about how corporations spend great time, effort and money defining values and mission. We further chatted about how so very many of those same corporations figure that once the values exercise is done they can file them away and move forward. Just get the posters up, send out the notifications to staff, print off a wallet card and publish the values on the website. That's it. We're done. Let's get back to the real business of making sales.

That approach reminded me of the quote posted above. Why? Because it is genuinely lunatic!

You cannot underestimate people’s ability to spot a soulless, bureaucratic tactic a million miles away. It’s a big reason why so many companies that have dipped a toe in social media waters have failed miserably.
— Gary Vaynerchuk

Take a gander at what Gary Vaynerchuk says. Perhaps in years past you could get away with corporate and/or brand b.s. simply by repeating it over and over and over and over again until an audience began to think it MUST be true. I witnessed this phenomenon in my corporate life during the '80s when consistent repetition of the same nonsense started to gain traction. 

We're in a totally different environment today. Previously, brands told us what they were about. More often than not we now tell brands what they are by sharing through various media our experience of them. If our individual and collective experience differs from the corporation's voice - we win. We have greater influence. Now, if corporations wish to engage in authentic conversation, that's a different story because now we approach transparency and effective, emotional connection - even if it begins from a negative experience.

Simply put - corporations can't hide anymore. They're too exposed on too many platforms and efforts to engage in inauthentic communication simply won't be sustainable.

Here's Vaynerchuk again:

Social media requires that business leaders start thinking like small-town shop owners. This means taking the long view and avoiding short-term benchmarks to gauge progress. It means allowing the personality, heart and soul of the people who run all levels of the business to show.
— Gary Vaynerchuk

So how do you get to allowing the soul of the business to show?

More on that in subsequent postings but simply put - you willingly engage in corporate psychotherapy and willingly address your vulnerabilities.

Uncomfortable at first? Yes.

Ultimately rewarding and profitable? Yes.

There is no place to hide.

There is no reason to hide.

Unless there is!