With increased online communication and marketing, companies are looking for new ways to increase customer engagement while making interactions compelling and fun. Avatars are fast-becoming the latest trend across organizations who want a cohesive brand online when they are represented by employees. Although using avatars is a new approach with many advantages, there’s also the risk of applying avatars erroneously.
The role of avatar icons for businesses and organizations
An avatar is an icon or digital art portrait that represents a team member within an organization. When team members create online work profiles that are visible to clients, the way they represent themselves has an impact on your business. In today’s world of influencers, anyone can be a brand.
Work profiles showcase an individual’s qualifications and career experience. So, if your current employees create professional profiles, it’s important that they consider the impact of their online presence and social media activity on your business.
Colleagues with the same styled avatar show cohesion and create a team brand. It presents the workforce as connected and professional. This type of branding across employees’ work profiles promotes the DNA and personality of the company. Using avatar icons says everyone is an actor in the same, continued story.
The Negative Impact of Sloppy Work Profiles
Imagine an important, prospective client is researching your company and the employees through business networking sites. Some employees have profile photos taken at last year’s Christmas party, others have pictures from their summer vacation, or some look like they are posing for a modeling portfolio.
Without a doubt, the potential client will wonder about the level of professionalism offered by employees regardless of what tier they work in. Profile photos that are posted to show off one’s latest tan is not a good indicator of work ethic or productivity.
Individuals who are part of a business networking site are there to broadcast who they currently work for as well as their past experience. And most employers want their workforce to conduct themselves professionally online for business reasons and for the added benefit of mutual respect.
What can the right avatar icons do for your business?
Your employees can cultivate a personalized, authentic, and consistent online identity using avatar icons that convey what your company is about. Such avatars can be easily created via Avatoon. Encouraging employees to create high-quality profiles is a win-win situation. It puts the employee in a good light as well as the business, which attracts customers and quality candidates.
The Do’s and Don’ts
While using avatars come with benefits, it is also possible to apply these incorrectly and give off the wrong message. Avatars should be professionally done ensuring each team member is accurately illustrated with a focus on their unique characteristics.
Here are some tips on how to design employee avatars within your organization:
- The avatar style should be in line with the company’s mission and vision. Every business has its own personality, which is shaped by various factors. It could be the product you’re selling or the founder’s vision. Incorporating this into the avatar design shows that employees are part and proud of the company’s quest.
- The avatars should match the image of your organization. Including corporate elements and colors that identify with the organization’s image is another step in building avatars for team and company synthesis.
- Photographs found online should never be used. Each team member needs to be illustrated in a way that you could identify them in real life. Creating an avatar from a celebrity photo or stock photo is not an accurate depiction and defeats the purpose of showing the true characteristics of your valued employees.
- There are hundreds of applications online that let you upload a photo to create an instant avatar. These may be inexpensive (or even free) but they are not quality avatars that are personalized. Maybe your competitors used this route and then clients start noticing the same avatars across several work profiles. Ultimately, it makes you look cheap, impersonal, and unprofessional. Furthermore, there is no added touch that harnesses your company’s image.
Companies can opt for professional photoshoots to ensure each team member’s profile photo is up to standard but that comes at a heavy cost. Employees might not like the result based on having a bad hair day.
The best approach to this is going with skillfully drawn avatars that represent your organization in a unified and professional manner. Cartoons and caricatures are great examples of including creative and thoughtful avatars that show you value every team member is part of a successful, ongoing venture.