I received an interesting e-mail from Siegel & Gale - a strategic branding agency talking about Digital Voice - valuable ideas about how businesses can implement the ClueTrain Manifesto in the world of web 2.0
WINNERS AND LOSERS IN THE DIGITAL AGE
Branding Expert Alan Siegel on the Importance of Digital Voice
In the 1980’s, branding guru Alan Siegel, Chairman of Siegel+Gale, introduced the concept of “Corporate Voice” to create communications programs that unified a company's diverse exposures and built a distinctive, focused, coherent identity that would rise against all background noise.
Today “Corporate Voice” has morphed into “Digital Voice,” and, says Alan Siegel: “Very few companies, large or small, know how to create a compelling voice that speaks equally across all of their communications, both digital and traditional. There are way more losers out there on the digital battlefield than there are winners.”
Why? “Many companies know they need a bigger digital presence, but are afraid to move forward with distinctive force because of legal issues. Others, often big brands, have developed impressive online presences over the years. But as they have grown, they get seduced by technology, and the voices they use in the digital world and the traditional world have moved further apart,” says Siegel.
Some of the winners include: North Face, Nike, The New York Times, Netflix, Apple, and Prudential. Some of the losers are: CNN, Blockbuster, Network Solutions, and myspace.com.
Says Siegel, successful Digital Voices must:
+ Honor the increasing individualization of the consumer audience.
+ Move from one-way communications to building a two-way conversation, or dialogue, with their constituents, opening the doors for users to give positive and negative feedback, and even deciding what new products they would like to see in the future.
+ Respond to the need for personalization, flexibility, and simplicity expressed by their customers.
+ Put into place and train people who can instantly respond to inaccurate, damaging rumors and speculation flying around the Internet.
+ Convert their communications and marketing programs to the rapidly expanding and evolving digital platforms.
+ Integrate social media as part of their overall communications strategy.
+ Reflect the organization’s brand identity, positioning, and values.