Develop your online personality: Fun & playful (like Elmer Fudd)? Or solid and conservative (like Tiger Woods)?

It is important for all organizations to create a distinct, consistent, and memorable Web site or blog, and an important component of that goal is the tone or voice of the content. As visitors interact with the content on your site, they should develop a clear picture of your organization. Is the personality fun and playful? Or is it solid and conservative?


For example, on the Google homepage when people search they can click "I'm Feeling Lucky" which is a fun and playful way to get you to directly to the top listing in the search results. That one little phrase "I'm Feeling Lucky" says a lot about Google. But there is much more. For example, in the collection of more than 100 languages that Google supports from Afrikaans to Zulu there is also Google in the language of Elmer Fudd with everything translated into Elmer Fudd such as” "I'm Feewing Wucky." Cool (and a nice little viral marketing thing too). But that wouldn't work for a more conservative company—it would just seem strange and out of place.

Contrast Google with Accenture's home page. At the time of this writing, just under the Accenture logo was the phrase "High Performance. Delivered." There is a photo of Tiger Woods and the message: "We know what it takes to be a Tiger," with an offer: "See findings from our research and experience with over 500 high performers."

Both of these home pages work because the site personality is consistent with the company personality. Whatever the personality, the way to achieve consistency is to make certain that all the written material and other content on the site conforms to a defined tone that has been established from the start. A strong focus on site personality and character pays off. As visitors come to rely on the content found on your site, they will develop an emotional and personal relationship with your organization.

A Web site or blog can evoke a familiar and trusted voice, just like that of a friend on the other end of an e-mail exchange.

David Meerman Scott

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