4 Ways to Humanise Your Brand
Companies are in a bit of a crisis in the modern era. Even though consumer-brand trust is as important as ever, the sad fact is: people don’t really trust brands. Any message that comes from a corporate brand is instantly given extra scrutiny.
There’s a solution for this, and its concept is straightforward (though the execution gets a little trickier). Since people trust other people more than they do brands, all you have to do is make your brand seem a little bit more like a person—you have to humanise your brand.
Here are five practical strategies to help you do so:
1. Imagine your brand as a fictional character. Your brand needs a human voice, and a personality, but it’s hard to assign those qualities to a logo or a corporate name. Instead, try assigning them to an actual personal framework. Come up with a fictional character who represents your brand and flesh out all the details. Who is this person? What’s their name? How do they dress? What’s their favourite food? What are their likes and dislikes? Are they excitable or calm? Formal or casual? These questions will help you imagine a real personality to serve as your brand’s avatar, and from there it’s easy to slip into that mentality.
2. Engage in conversations. Don’t just post ads to your users; engage them in conversation. Ask them what they like and what they want to see. If they tell you they like one of your posts, thank them for their readership. If you see your audience members commenting on an external thread, jump into the discussion. This shows that you’re paying attention, and that you care about more than just one side of the conversation. The more you engage with your users, the more likely they’ll be to see you as a trustworthy, personal entity. Again, this requires more work; it’s easier to sit back and throw out an extended monologue. But when you engage with individuals, you’ll instantly cement those individuals’ loyalties, and you’ll look good to everyone else looking on.
3. Be funny. Humour has a primal way of connecting. When we laugh together, we tear down walls and bond with each other—it’s why we’re more likely to laugh when we’re surrounded by people, we care about than we are when we’re by ourselves. When you make your users laugh, you show them that you don’t take yourself too seriously. You show them that you enjoy humour just like the rest of us, and that you aren’t afraid to set aside the formal professionalism of your brand for just a moment to experience a human moment. Obviously, the type and appropriateness of humour you use will be dependent on your brand, but self-deprecating humour and tongue-in-cheek references both work especially well for audiences. You don’t have to be a consistent comedian, but you have to throw out enough references and asides to keep your audience feeling good about you.
4. Use personal brands in conjunction with your corporate brand. Brands aren’t entirely limited to the corporate realm. If your corporate brand just isn’t doing enough to personalise itself, or if you want an added boost, you can humanise it by proxy by using a number of distinct, related personal brands to support it. For example, you could encourage your corporate leaders and top salespeople to start engaging more users in conversation on social media or ask them to syndicate and redistribute content posted by the corporate brand. This shows users a more human face and a side of the brand that’s more “real” and accessible. As an added bonus, you’ll get more visibility for whatever content you push out, and possibly better opportunities for leads and partnerships.
These strategies are all meant to add a more human element to your brand, but there’s an even simpler strategy you can use independently or in conjunction with the tactics listed above. Want to find out more about it? Contact us now.