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Creating Soul and Personality for Your Business (Part 1)

By Jo-Anne Oliveri, ireviloution intelligence, Brisbane, Australia

How do we know what service experience we want our clients to feel if we don’t know what that experience is ourselves? We don’t, so it’s no wonder our industry is mostly confused when it comes to delivering the best clientDisney experience.

Have you ever experienced that feeling when you walk into a particular business and feel a culture, energy, or vibe that makes you feel good – appreciated and respected – yet you just can’t put your finger on why you feel that way? I have on many occasions. It’s what I refer to as business with soul and personality – there businesses seem to know who they are and what they are there for. It’s all about business by design. Knowing what your purpose is and what experience you want to create for your clients.

Disney® knows that their purpose is to create happiness and they create a magical experience for their guests. It doesn’t matter whether their guests are visiting the parks, staying at one of their resorts, or attending a Disney® movie. If it has the name Disney® attached to it, you are assured of a magical experience.

And then there is Virgin. The Virgin Group, no matter which branch of the company you are dealing with, are all about fun and laughter and crazy pranks. Every client knows that whether they are flying with Virgin, subscribing to their telephone service, or using any one of their multitudes of products and services they are guaranteed to have a fun, happy and slightly zany experience. This is what I describe as a business with personality.

It’s ok to have personality – in fact it’s wonderful to have a business with personality. It is my belief and my humble opinion that our industry sadly lacks personality. Is it because we get swept up in day-to-day tasks and forget to put our head up from time to time and have some fun? Is it because we have no direction and no purpose? Or is it because our industry is built on so many ‘me too’ businesses? Have we been so busy looking over our shoulders copying what our competitors are doing that we have become clones of our competitors, thus lacking any personality of our own?

Personally, I think it is a combination of all of the above, but mostly I think it is because we are clones. We keep looking over our shoulder at our competitors and because we copy we look, feel, act, and interact just like them. In essence we become them, with no individuality whatsoever.

How many airlines are there in the world and how many airlines were already in operation when Richard Branson launched Virgin? Hundreds! And do you think Richard Branson looked around and thought ‘wow, these guys are all so serious, we better conform and be just like them?’ Somehow I really don’t think so. Virgin’s crazy antics, silly in-flight announcements and slightly zany team just wouldn’t seem quite right on a Qantas flight. Virgin created their own personality and very strategically injected that into everything Virgin does. Everyone who works for Virgin lives and breathes that same personality.

In my next post we will review how you can evaluate and inject your business with soul and personality, enabling you to create your own unique client experience. And remember, it is all about the experience.

(Read Part 2 of Creating Soul and Personality For Your Business)

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I think too many people believe that housing has to be strictly a serious business. But the difference is that companies with personality know when to be serious, but reserve that for the important times, rather than be stuck being stodgy. Another great company to look at is Southwest Airlines, although they have had some negative press recently. Even more than housing, flying in an airplane should be strictly business, right? Well, somehow Southwest makes the experience fun and enjoyable, even though you are stuck in a metal tube.

  Brent Williams

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