Is your ring tone part of your personal brand?
I don't think it was a conscious decision of mine to set my ringtone at the ‘traditional old fashioned phone ring' available. I went through the usual pattern of listening to all options (about 3 times) and then decided to settle on that particular one. And yes, when on a train, when the tone fires - at least 10 people in close proximity start padding at their pockets or digging around their bags. Not terribly original - and indeed, not that differentiated, pretty classical and un-offensive.
So is my ringtone part of my personal brand? Should we judge a person by their ringtone?
I'm always curious to hear and see who answers some of the more ‘quirky/annoying/ridiculous' tones you hear. On a recent commute a smart and dour looking pinstripe suited chap (complete with trilby) intrigued me when he answered to Chris De Burgh's ‘Lady in Red' - such a juxtaposition - through my marketing eyes a personal identity ‘clash' of major proportions. Not quite sure what I thought about the chap following that - but I definitely thought there was a softer centre to his rather polished exterior.
A client of mine told me a story just yesterday about one of his fellow Partners whose ringtone is set, at the loudest possible volume, to the wondrous ‘Scotland the Brave'. I asked if he was Scottish (tying in with my personal branding theory) and if this was a demonstration of his patriotism - but no, he's not Scottish, but he is a bit of a technophobe and it's like he can't figure out how to a) change the theme and b) lower the volume!
Is it part of your personal branding? Well - let's consider going to a job interview, or meeting a new client for the first time - and your phone ringing (let's just assume for this post that we haven't silenced it, which of course we would have done) and out rings some ‘hard core rap' or ‘thrash metal' complete with obscenities. Do you think it would help them to made some judgments about your character. Very probably.
The explosion of the ringtone industry is clearly testament to the popularity of users being able to select personal ringtones, which would suggest that users are looking for a ringtone which fits with who they are, or at least sets out to make an impression.
Personally, I can't help to build a picture about a person when I hear their ringtone. If I ran a survey asking ‘what is your ringtone' - I think I would build a picture of the owner - which rightly or wrongly would give me a perception of their personality. Perhaps it's a question we should build into interview techniques.
So if concerned about your ‘personal brand' and the impression you create - then perhaps consider your ringtone. Create an extension of yourself - what you want to convey. Remember, all sorts of people will hear it - so what message do you want to portray...
I think I'll be changing mine pretty soon...
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Michelle Carvill is owner and Marketing Director at Carvill Creative - a graphic design and marketing services agency based in Maidenhead, Berkshire. The agency covers all aspects of graphic design and marketing - covering social media marketing and website planning and website design.