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Relational Architecture -1- Identity

The first component of relational architecture is Identity.

For people to relate to us or our organization, we need to be more than a set of facts or services. We need to be personal, we need to have a story, and need to have and easily accessible presence.

Rackspace, a great server hosting company, does a great job at being personal. If you contact them, you get to talk to a person, not just when you call the sales department, but when you call for late night support as well. No need to weave through a maze of button pressing and bad voice recognition (that just gets worse as you raise your voice in frustration). Having a real person to connect with and having a familiar team that recognizes me transforms Rackspace from a machine into a personality. The accessibility of just a few people makes me feel like I can relate to the whole organization.1- Identity

Once I realized that they they were going to interact with me like a person, I wanted to know more about them. Found out that they were moving into an old mall for their offices instead of building a new building... an attempt to reuse instead of build new. I found out that the personal relationship I was experiencing was a company value... that they keep their support teams small and I can always call into the same group when I need help (instead of a call center of thousands). They are personally conscious and environmentally conscious. They have something they are about... a story. By having a story, I have an opportunity to relate my story with theirs. I begin to feel like Rackspace can actually understand my values and we can journey in our stories together.

The last part that they do well is they have a presence that is clear. Their website is easy to find with a simple search. They are available 24/7. While you may not to be available all the time like they are, realize that being personal and having a story, but being hard to find, will prevent you from engaging well.

Having a clear, personal identity is the first piece of building an online presence.

What organizations are out there that make you feel like you are spending time with a friend or a person instead of a corporation? Which ones have the personality of vending machines?