As anyone with more than three hours of corporate experience has perhaps observed and noted, it is true that all major companies presently doing business have to exist in two ways:
- 1. In the public-facing way their customers know and expect; and
- 2. In a behind-the-scenes way that allows them to maintain a competitive edge.
Now, wherever these two can overlap, they almost invariably do. But often these aspects of a company’s identity run necessarily and inevitably parallel to one another. Imagine how a family-friendly and legitimately wholesome restaurant chain might find it beneficial to adopt an aggressive acquisition strategy for purposes of maintaining a regional foothold. How does that chain’s advertising message articulate its outward image while acknowledging its growth efforts?
What the Public Likes to See
Stability, for one. The public likes to see a stable company. Even so-called “disruptive” companies are expected to comport with general business guidelines. They should also be profitable, respectful of their employees, customer-focused, and so on. In short, a company (particularly a household name or major company) should say and do all the things necessary to legitimately earn the public’s trust. For some companies, this is fairly easy; theme parks and toy manufacturers come to mind. For others, the journey has a slight grade to it; you can doubtless think of a few on your own.
Can the Two Overlap In All Ways?
Not usually. Every company has its private dealings - whether they be legal, strategic, or political - which would serve no purpose on the branding/advertising side of the equation. They are necessary aspects of remaining viable in a capitalist environment with little room for error. Fortunately, most companies do and should pride themselves on adhering to ethical/practical principles and, by extension, find it rather easy to align their operational fundamentals with their public messaging; and to an extent more than ideal for the favorable reinforcement of their brand. This is, of course, a wonderful place to be for any company and one we would imagine every company strives towards reaching. Things are always messier in practice than we care to admit, but that messiness is as human a quality as any other you could identify.
How Does This Pertain to Digital Advertising?
In fact, it pertains to all advertising in a general sense. Companies need to keep themselves in the public eye to whatever degree they can manage. And shining a light on the qualities that set you apart from the competition is a daily process. With a healthy digital advertising presence, you will be able to communicate with prospective customers in ways that allow you to articulate what it is you have to offer, and to do so in ways strategic, candid, sustained, and ideally measurable.
A household name company owes it to its customers (and likely to shareholders) to conduct itself and its business dealings prudently, all while seeing to the less forgiving aspects of its business independently of their public image; this is not a critical assessment, it is simply how things are done and how they necessarily are. It is, without exception, a fundamental truth in the realm of large-scale commerce. Knowing how best to advertise in relation to this dynamic is highly advisable, which necessitates having a strong advertising/marketing partner in your corner.