Split personality? ~ Brand Mix

Monday, April 7, 2008

Split personality?

One thing that we people are pretty good at is adjusting how we act and talk depending on who we are talking to. We generally "don't talk to our mothers like that," even when that's exactly how we might talk when we're out with friends later.

With a bit of practice and inclination, it's effortless to change persona from work to home to friends etc. We don't think of ourselves as being disingenuous when we switch from one mode to the next - more like respectful.

And does this have anything to do with branding, I was wondering? Companies can struggle with how to modulate their branding efforts to different customers or between customers and other stakeholders, like investors or employees. How much licence does a company have to be one thing to one group and a different thing to someone else? Where's the line between respect and dishonesty?

Whatever the answer to that, I think that the opportunity to be different things to different people is narrower these days than it used to be. A customer or an employee may also also be an investor. Investors see ads that are not supposed to be for them. And the Internet allows everyone to see everything anyway.

We all just can't keep our different worlds so separate anymore. These days it's more like that time when you brought your friends home from school and then had to choose between acting cool for them or behaving nice to your mom. Or running into a work colleague when you're being a complete slob on the weekend. Or what happens at Xmas parties. Or on Facebook.

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