Monday, February 3, 2014
The Ties that Bind: From My Wife to a Beat-boxing Santa Claus
As humans, we seek to employ strategic, coordinated communications everyday. As a father, it's rarely productive to give an instruction or comment to one of my sons that is out of alignment with one given by my wife. As a manager, I seek to ensure I am comfortable with how those who work with me represent the work we are doing to others, both inside and outside our organization.
These realizations put me squarely in the camp of those who agree with the research of Argenti, Howell and Beck, who promote through their research the idea that communications must always be aligned with an organization's strategy and focused on enhancing the organization's strategic position (p. 83).
The challenge, then, lies in our ability to align ourselves across the media we use to communicate. Much like I have to be sure the message I leave for my teenage son aligns with the instructions Mom gave this morning, we in our professional lives have to ensure we use the same voice and personality whether we are employing advertising, social media or website content.
A company that I find does this very well is Virgin Atlantic Airline. The company takes it cues from its founder, Richard Branson, who advocates that companies "dream big and start an adventure" (Branson, 2013). The company's IMC efforts take on that mission as well. Watch this video to see what I mean.
The company extends its "adventuresome" attitude into social media as well, with the company and its employees using the hashtag FITFOO (flying the the face of the ordinary) to denote its outsider status . Even their in-flight promotions are more edgy, and cool than their traditional counterparts -- including employing a beat-boxing Santa Claus on flights during the holiday season.
They've been able to strike a unique, authentic tone, and carry it through across the platforms they utilize. In this way, they give their customers a sense of being a part of the Virgin experience, and make that experience fun.
Argenti, P., Howell, R. & Beck, K. (2005). The strategic communication imperative. MIT Sloan Management Review, 46(3), pp. 83-89. Cambridge, MA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Branson, R. (Feb 2013). Leader success. Leadership Excellence, 30(2), pp. 18-19. Provo, UT: Executive Excellence Publishing. Retrieved from http://online.library.marist.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com.online.library.marist.edu/docview/1313518471?accountid=28549Popick, J. (Apr 12 2013). How Virgin Atlantic's marketing nails it. Inc. Retrieved from http://www.inc.com/janine-popick/how-virgin-atlantics-marketing-nails-it.html