Boardrooms and flip flops

Well, this heatwave just keeps going on and on, doesn’t it?

Just to be clear, I’m definitely not complaining!

When it’s this hot though, business does change a little bit.

Everyone’s much happier, and meetings tend to get conducted in shorts and flip flops rather than starched shirts and ties.

And after getting over the shock of seeing your client in a pair of shorts, you quickly get used to it – it becomes normal.

Informality has gradually been drifting out of the business world for a while now anyway, with the tie no longer the staple it once was, but the interesting thing is that the move to informality hasn’t affected the way a lot of businesses market themselves.

Lots of businesses still project a stuffy, corporate image, using ‘proper’ language and starting emails with ‘Dear Sir/Madam’.

But when you look at the truly innovative companies – Google and Apple for example – what’s clear is that they’ve deliberately done things differently.

They’re cheeky and informal in the way they communicate with their customers and prospects, and the result is that their audience feels closer to them as a result.

Whatever you’re selling, it’s worth remembering that people generally don’t live their entire lives in corporate formality – they’ve got kids and houses and pets and hopes and dreams, and if you can use your marketing to connect with them on that level, you’ve got more chance of building a strong relationship that benefits you both.

So, next time you’re putting together a piece of marketing, remember the summer of shorts and flip flops and lose some formality.

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