Given below are 5 ways to humanize (& ultimately ignite) your brand:
- Listen and Participate, Don’t just Talk about Yourself- Remember there is a reason why is it called social media. It’s about interaction and about sharing thoughts and ideas. It’s equally about listening to your marketplace as much as about talking about yourself or your brand. The more you listen and the more you gather insights, the more it’ll allow you to understand about your customers and what is that they are looking for. E.g. doing surveys, social media listening, getting engaged in conversations, having presence on channels where your customers shop, buy, interact etc.
- Incorporate Stories- Stories allow us to create emotional connections. We are living in an information abundance age where average consumer, according FAST company article, gets exposed to 5000 messages-per-day. We are experiencing what is called an attention deficit syndrome. Consumers have access to many options and may resources. Stories are great ways to differentiate your brand in a crowded marketplace and to add human touch.
- Show your Personality– Your customers and target marketplace love to see “real you”… the real person or real people behind the brand. It is ok to put your guards down a bit. As you are building your brand, don’t be afraid to keep track of and talk about your setbacks, your trials over triumphs, your vulnerabilities. In addition, what matters is showing your brand’s unique personality, whatever it may be, such as sense of humor, authority, passion, supporting cause etc. Customers are smart enough to discern. Ultimately, your brand will attract and resonate with certain types of customers while repelling others, which is ok.
- Have Top-down C-Suite Mandate- As Peter Drucker famously said, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”, which basically implies that if your organization’s strategy and roadmap are not in alignment with the culture (aka not invented here syndrome), your strategies will fail. If humanization of brand is part of your 2-5 year roadmap, it can go only so far if the company culture does not support it. So that it doesn’t become a buzzword, this activity should start with C-suite and they should make it a part of company culture. E.g. sharing their personas, hobbies, challenges and setbacks they experienced and how they overcame it, favorite authors etc.
- Promote Value- While doing 1-4, make sure you are not over-promoting your brand and that you are building relationships. Always deliver value to your customers. Provide solutions by speaking to their pain-points, challenges and frustrations. You can create content (see my blog) in the form of posting blogs, case studies or whitepapers; creating visual content such as quote cards, slide share deck, or infographics; and publishing how-to videos, tips or tutorials.
Do drop me a line and tell me what steps you are considering and have already taken to humanize your brand!
If you are struggling or would like to bounce-off any ideas, do not hesitate to contact me.
Wishing you continued success in your endeavors!