In the debate between which approach is best for a company my personal opinion is the more personal approach rather than a corporate approach. As a consumer and a potential customer for a product, I like to know what im getting with a friendly approach and friendly service not a stone cold approach with people doing everything by the book and being boring. But there is such a thing as being too personal, there has to be a balance between the two, if everything is too personal then things end up breaking down and there is then a poorer quality of service because nobody is thinking of the corporate side of it and how the perception is being upheld.

Apple Welcome Page

I think companies like Apple have got a good balance between corporate and personal, because right from the second you enter their website you feel like you can find what your looking for. It has a nice corporate and professional layout and has all the informative information and hard facts that you need, new products and clear links to find what you need, but then you get further into the website onto the are you are looking for and there is sections for easy to follow tutorials that are presented in a very personal style while not forgetting the importance of being corporate as well.

Also, there is an importance for this bluring of the lines because the fact that Apple offer such services and tutorials make more jobs for more people. Also, Apple creating more products creates more jobs as more people specialise in creating software and apps for that new hardware, even if it is just an updated version of the same hardware (iPhone4) there is still work to be done. Teams working on the next piece of hardware, teams working on the new apps for the new hardware and teams working on tutorials for new apps to help the consumer unlock the full potential of their hardware.

The Tutorial section on the Mac area of the Apple website

There are also other companies that achieve the same sort of effect but by using a different approach to the situation. Take Dyson for example, the vacuum cleaner company. In their latest television advert, they actually have the CEO, James Dyson explaining the company’s / his personal mission statement. This to me says, this company is doing well because its not been run purely from a money making perspective, the head of the company actually gives a damn about what his company does.

Sony's Playstation Network Logo

Companies like Panasonic however appear to take the more Corporate approach to things. They want sales, and figures and to create the next best thing and they know that people will buy it because their products are top quality.
This is much the same approach as Sony has, however there is one branch of Sony that takes a more semi personal approach and thats the Playstation Franchise, and that is mainly because of its consumer base and target audience. It is targeted at young to middle age players and has games to suit all. But to get people interested then you have to appeal to their better nature.
So In conclusion I think there has to be a mixture of the two approaches but you have to get the correct balance otherwise it just ends up becoming a disaster.