Act like a brand, not a buddy

Molly Flatt

'Corporate' has become a swear word. In the democratic, fiercely independent and idiosyncratic wilds of web 2.0, where openness, dialogue and personality are the new marketing watchwords, the very worst thing a business can be is a corporation, with the living, breathing people behind the brand lost in a faceless, formal group.

Rightly so. No longer can marketers fob us off with flashy brochures and snappy rhetoric. We want to be heard, and treated as individuals, by individuals. It's a much more natural and inspiring approach, for the employees of a company as well as their customers.

However, businesses are machines. Their ability to deliver great products and services depends on their size, their complexity, and sometimes, yes, their secrecy, elitism and rules. It's no wonder that they are suffering a crisis of confidence, being told that they will wither and die if they aren't down with the kids on every hot social media site, and simultaneously being pushed to deliver ever more expert goods to a highly competitive marketplace.