Friends is the beloved 90s sitcom with a memorable group of characters who live in New York.
Each character has a distinctive personality and they each go through relatable, sometimes absurd, situations.
Like most humans with flaws, they don’t always present themselves in the best way, which many times brings them into some sticky conflicts.
Here is what marketers can learn from each Friends character:
Use Knowledge Strategically
Ross is an intelligent paleontologist who often talks about his love of dinosaurs and science, and frequently shares facts to his group of friends.
While he is a reliable source of knowledge, his friends often get bored with his ramblings and they end up making fun of him instead of actually paying attention to him.
He also tends to brag about how smart he is, which also leads to negative feedback from his friends.
It’s important for brands to not necessarily just throw information into their audience’s faces, but rather, gradually share useful information on a level that they can understand.
You will easily lose your audience’s attention by overloading them with information. Research and study your audience to understand what type of content and information will resonate with them. Tailor it to meet their needs while still staying on brand.
This helps brands become a reputable, trustworthy source of information. It also helps them establish a loyal audience who will keep coming back for new information.
Don't Be Contained In A Box
As a Type A personality, Monica is the character who cannot remain calm until everything is in order. She likes to be in control of everything, especially when it comes to cleaning and organizing.
If one thing is out of place, she will immediately become stressed out. If she isn’t in control of a situation, she will panic and lash out at others.
She seems to only be content when things go her way and when things go as planned.
While it’s important to make sure your brand is pristine and in order, it’s also important to not be contained in a box.
Your marketing plan needs to have a strategy, but you have to leave room for creativity, along with the unexpected things that come up, especially on social media.
You can and should create a general monthly strategy but you need to be prepared to put your content on hold if a tragedy strikes. You don’t want to tarnish your reputation by appearing disrespectful while a terrible event is being talked about.
You also can’t just set your content up and forget it. You have to monitor it daily and change and add things as you see fit. Allowing for such changes will help your marketing strategy become stronger and will allow you to constantly adapt to new things in the marketing world.
Present Your Brand With The Highest Standards
Chandler is a kind-hearted, loveable character, but he faces issues with being awkward and having a difficult time with communication.
He doesn’t understand when it is appropriate to use certain types of humor with certain people, which gets him into trouble.
His awkwardness and childlike humor cause many problems with his personal and professional relationships, mostly due to misunderstandings.
You must display your company in a confident manner and set your brand to the highest standards.
Be consistent with voice, tone, and visual branding to reflect a brand personality that aligns with your industry.
If your industry is more serious and professional, it can be offputting if you use too much humor on your Facebook page. If your industry is more laid-back, it wouldn’t be appealing to display your content in a strictly informative tone.
Find the best brand voice to appeal to your target audience to see an improvement in engagement and loyalty.
Tend To Your Audience/Customers
Rachel goes through various jobs and career changes throughout the show, but towards the very beginning of the show, she worked at the coffee shop, Central Perk, where the friends would typically hang out.
When she first started working there, she messed up customers’ orders, she was not very friendly to them, and she would ignore them to talk to her friends.
This led to the customers being dissatisfied with the service they received. In some instances, customers even left the coffee shop.
As a brand, you need to prioritize your audience and customers. It’s important to meet their needs and wants above all else.
It’s crucial that your brand’s services or products offer a solution or answer to your audience. Your brand must serve a purpose, otherwise people will not want to listen to what you have to say.
Additionally, when it comes to customer service, professionalism and timeliness are two crucial factors. If you want to grow and retain your audience, you must always address their questions or concerns with respect, even if they are not cooperating.
Don't Speak On Topics You Aren't Knowledgeable In
Joey is typically classified as “slow-minded but loveable”.
Despite his best efforts of trying to keep up with his friends on certain topics, he tends to fall short due to the limited knowledge that he has.
While there is nothing wrong with not being intelligent in certain subject matter, Joey still pretends like he understands things even when he doesn’t. This usually gets him into difficult situations because most people can see right through his false confidence.
As a brand, you should not fake any knowledge. Misinformation can leave a permanent scar on your brand’s reputation and can break any trust that you have built with your audience.
It’s important to keep up with trending topics; however, if you don’t know anything about it or don’t have all the information, it’s probably better to just not talk about it.
You want your brand to always look smart, professional, and well-informed. Be cautious with how you share information and make sure that you fully understand something before you even consider sharing your insight.
Do Damage Control & Be Careful Of Your Brand Messaging
Phoebe is a singer/songwriter who writes some “interesting” lyrics.
Many of her songs are controversial, which tainted her performances because the audience was offended, disturbed, and unhappy.
Phoebe doesn’t seem to read her audience very well; therefore, she consistently performs songs that are inappropriate for the crowd.
It’s important to be careful with brand messaging because one little mistake with wording can cause a huge hit to your reputation.
From the way you word social posts to the way you describe your company, everything must be carefully crafted to be suitable to your audience.
Additionally, you need to be careful when talking about controversial topics and news stories. You need to decide if it’s relevant to your brand and if it’s useful to your audience.
You can stir up some potential issues if you don’t present your messaging properly.
The Friends characters teach us important life lessons on relationships and friendships, career choices, and overall self-development. But throughout their mishaps, they also reflect many valuable lessons on what not to do when it comes to marketing.
About The Author
Laura Wigodner is the Content Marketing Manager for Nex Gen Dynamics. Her lifestyle articles have been featured on Elite Daily, Medium, and Thought Catalog to name a few. She also writes professionally on Content Marketing, Social Media, Branding, and more. A Bradley University Alum with a B.A. in Communications and Creative Writing, Laura loves writing poetry and watching YouTube videos. You can find the Swiftie on Twitter and Instagram, as well as anywhere there is coffee because that is her lifeline.