Seth Godin (marketing know-how extraordinaire) talks about how every business tells a story, whether then want it to or not.
He’s also talked about how an organization will spend so much money on the advertising, the colour scheme, the mission of their company and then pay their front line people, the people who the public meets first – the face of the company, the least.
Craig and I talk all the time about the face of Theatrefolk: what are story is, Who are we, who do we want to present. Our story is that we want to offer a quality product that is specifically designed for our customer. We want to be easily accessible for our customer. We want to be able to answer all questions, and offer immediate suggestions.
It sounds pretty simple and obvious, but I think it’s amazing how often the mission of a company looses touch from the page to the actions of employees. We’re a micro-small company so it’s easy to be on the same page and to remind each other if we’re wavering. For example, I am not a naturally friendly person (I’m an internal thinker, which means I’m usually always frowning as my brain whirls away…) but I know how important it is. It’s important to not be frowning and grouchy at a conference. Again, a simple concept but sometimes awfully hard to execute!
People want to know who the face of the company is. No matter how easy it is to buy things on line without ever having to speak to a soul, in general people want to know there are human beings behind it all.
We had the chance yesterday to see quite a few business faces in action. We’re in the process of buying a car, selling some personal merchandise, changing a phone, changing some banking set ups…. it was a power errand day. In a couple of instances, the car dealership for example, we were prepared to get a bad face. We were prepared to have some schmoozey slimy, stereotypical car guy try to steal our wallets and not let us leave till we bought. We were tense and we actually practised our story on the way over, we were that nervous about it.
And in the end, we got a fantastic guy. Low key, proud of his product, when he learned we lived downtown he even suggested buying a car may not be the best for us. He was a human being and we connected to him first, the company second. We don’t live near this particular dealership but we’ve talked about going back specifically because of this guy.
The business world is an interesting place. Of course we’re only participating in a small part of it, but a part of it all the same.