Over the last few weeks, there have been a plethora of corporate voices in the news. Some of those corporate voices were covered with positive mediatude, some not. Some added more trouble to their current corporate voices like Brett Favre. He’s been in the news since the summer when he was still “deciding” if he’d come back for one more year at quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings. That issue got old. But now Favre is back in the news because of some reported racy text messages and lewd photos sent to a former New York Jets game hostess. His corporate voice and mediatude is becoming more negative and just won’t quit. Even though it was covered somewhat carefully, the NBC Sunday Night Football announcers still talked about it last night. I’m not sure he’s going to be able to completely neutralize his corporate voice after this one. What a shame for one of the greatest quarterback’s of all time.
Then there’s KFC whose current promomotion, targeted at college campuses, is putting college women into sweatpants with “Double Down” very visible on their back sides to advertise one of its new products. The promo for hiring these women is through a competition on KFC’s Facebook page. “It’s hideous,” says Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization for Women. Brand guru Steven Addis says though the promo may be reprehensible, it’s not necessarily stupid. “Whether intended or not, KFC is becoming the Hooters of fast food.” I guess that’s okay for KFC if that’s what you want your corporate voice to be. But remember, it takes some work to neutralize a corporate voice.
And then there’s Starbuck’s–who decided it was time to get into the wine and cheese business. They decided to use one of their stores as a pilot and will turn it into an evening gathering place after serving coffee all day. Starbuck’s has one of the most well-known brands, has a great corporate voice and receives mostly positive mediatude. This will be a test for their corporate voice and mediatude depending on how the public reacts to it. I’m sure they did their due diligence in their research, but it will be interesting to follow this story.
Remember, corporate voices are always evolving whether it’s by design or not. It’s why it’s so important you understand yours.