I am still “cheating” on the blog. I am prepping for Trip #337 tomorrow and don’t have time to create a proper post… but lo! Salvation! — I noticed this email dialogue happening in real-time between a handful of my senior staff, and was delighted by the thoughtfulness they devoted to a nuanced marketing question, re: how corporations should depict themselves in the use Twitter handles (logo vs. face/personality).
Intriguingly, the group never quite comes to a conclusion — as the “right” answer is, “it depends.”
In case you are of a mind to nitpick, keep in mind that this dialogue occurred in a 7–minute time span. The big brains around here work (and type!) fast.
The question is posed:
And the dialogue begins:
“An obvious challenge of using faces is that when people leave, you have to change the face/voice. But from an engagement standpoint I’d much rather talk to a person than a logo. Should we advise clients/prospects to ditch the logos? Should we ditch our own?”
“I think a face is weird because it’s a company/entity not a person and as you say, people leave/change. And some logos are iconic and memorable … My son knew companies by their logos before he could read, and now he is probably a Starbucks lifer. But I might just be the oddball here.”
“Personally I identify with logos as well. It’s brand recognition. I don’t like Comcast or Pfizer more because they have a face or several faces (which can be confusing in itself!) associated with their Twitter handle. People identify with meaningful content, messages and customer service. That’s my two cents.”
“Agree on logos having a place. You can still be personable (and a person) within that brand. Consumers need to identify with you and the company that you represent.”
“I think it’s situational. Today larger consumer brands typically have 2 or more twitter handles (one just for customer service, one for promos, etc.). So in certain cases, a company could use a logo and a photo for different handles serving different purposes. This is good info to be aware of, and perhaps where things are moving, but for companies who handle a lot of customer service issues through Twitter, and have a big team and lots of volume, they may prefer to be ‘just a logo’ until a matter is taken off of Twitter and on to email or phone. If someone leaves, the brand could have followers fall off but they could try to shift them over to other handles as well…
“Perhaps having an image, but not a customized name that matches it, could be an option to bring a face to the presence, but then avoid issues if a person moves on. Another opportunity where it would make sense to use an image, as well as an individual’s name in some form, could be for a company aiming to have some consistency across web properties. So if a company blogger has become a brand fixture, using that same ‘brand’ with the Twitter handle makes sense to integrate the efforts a bit and encourage blog readers to also be Twitter followers and vice versa.”
“Last bit from me on this. I think there are gradations. Starbucks and Coke are so ubiquitous that, in their cases, it makes sense to run with logos. People will come to them no matter what; they are magnets. But smaller/lesser-known companies have to work HARD to have people engage one-to-one, and I think an impersonal logo might serve as a barrier to conversation. Would you rather get to know a person or a banner? Which engenders more trust?”
What about you, Dear Reader? What’s your take?
Posted on: January 31, 2011 at 1:40 pm By Todd Defren