It’s just kind of a truism that, once upon a time, companies were treated as essential but lame, and actually, this wasn’t so long ago: the rebellions of the sixties were in part against the rigid, formal, “square” corporations. Today, it’s more than possible to be a “cool” company, but remember: this doesn’t come effortlessly! Indeed, there are a few tried and tested errors that’ll take your promising company and put it in the “unhip” pile. If you’re guilty of making of the mistakes listed below, it’s time to make some changes!
Down with the Kids
There’s a long list of cringy PR gaffes floating around the internet. The thing about being cool is that if you have to force it, then you’re not cool - you kill the act in the pursuit. So when you see traditional companies talking about being “woke” or whatever else the thing all the cool kids say, you can imagine the effect: a collective eye-roll. Fortunately for them, their success doesn’t rest on a few social media posts, but yours might. Basically, make sure that whoever’s in charge of your social media really does have their finger on the pulse if you’re treating to speak the language of youth.
Next World, Please
You can appear to be the coolest company on the planet, but if you’re shown to be ambivalent about social issues, then the facade will all come tumbling down. In particular, customers are increasingly opting to spend their money with companies who are shown to have a sound environmental record. If you haven’t got a paperless office or recycling systems, or you’re just wasteful with resources, then make the change to green today. It’s easy enough to do, and will show that you care about more than the bottom line (though good news: going green often helps the bottom line!).
Copy, Copy, Copy
If you take a look back at the music of the sixties, you’ll find that there were a handful of highly original and awesomely talented musicians doing their thing...and then there were dozens of bands who just tried to copy their sound. If you’re going to be taken seriously as a company, then you can’t just do what everyone else is doing. It’s okay to be inspired by others, but you shouldn’t just copy them. Be a leader, and plot your own path.
There’s nothing worse than finding out a company you admired is really just good at PR, and that deep down, they’re just like all the other evil companies out there. Websites like Glassdoor have given employees an opportunity to vent their grievances; if you’re facing bad reviews, then don’t point the finger at the worker - make your company a better place to work.
Finally, remember to keep one eye on the future! If you’re just standing still, then it won’t be long, in this ever-changing world, where you’re past your sell-by date. Stay current, stay sharp, look to the future and beyond!