Social media has changed the way customers interact with brands. People want to feel like they’re engaging with a person, not just a faceless platform. Personality sells, and humanising your business can have an impact on your entire customer experience, as well as how your brand is perceived by consumers.
The rise of shopping small and supporting independent businesses has resulted in a growing trend amongst consumers, who are increasingly keen to get to know the faces behind brands, as well as their backstory – something a recent campaign we did for supercharged commerce backed up. Several lockdowns have resulted in consumers becoming more considerate, and whilst convenience was once paramount, people now seem to have more patience and want more interaction with brands rather than just a quick easy sale.
Simple yet impactful storytelling
Storytelling has become a prominent buzzword amongst marketers but, beyond the hype, this can be an impactful way to humanise your brand. Something as simple as having an ‘about us’ page on your website, detailing your journey, can tell people your story and encourage them to interact with your brand. Our client, Culture Shift, is a great example. Its ‘about’ page details the story behind the business, why it exists, its mission and key milestones, in addition to meet the team widgets for each employee, ultimately humanising their brand in an effective and easy way.
Showcasing your personality online
It’s not only small brands that are trying to humanise their output, even giants like Aldi are showing a personality through humorous comments and witty captions. Who could forget #FreeCuthbert? Specsavers are also pioneers of jokey content and are hot off the mark when it comes to engaging in Twitter banter. Whilst being funny online can make your brand personable, it could be hard to navigate between personal and professional. With cancel culture on the rise, brands can be boycotted for saying or doing the wrong thing, so it’s important to monitor your output online as after all, it can live there forever and one wrong move can be amplified in seconds.
Showcasing your personality online can be rewarding, but it can be tiring too. Having a strong brand presence which involves yourself and your team can sometimes make the brand and the people behind it inextricable, making it hard to switch off. So, it is important to humanise your brand in a way that is not going to take it out of you and the team. Humanising doesn’t just mean posting photos of yourself and the team, it’s about how you engage with people whether that be online or in real life. So, instead of going overboard on behind the scenes or personal content, try engaging with customers through personalised comments, tailored eShots and targeted messages.
The age-old problem of wanting to speak to a ‘real person’ is more prominent than ever, with a lot of organisations using chatbots to try and replicate the human experience when interacting with customers. Artificial intelligence is growing exponentially, meaning it can really feel like you’re talking to a person online and not a chatbot. Facebook messenger offers chatbot options where you can give your customers advice, send them reminders and invitations to exclusive events or discounts. This provides the human element of conversation more so than an email would, and this kind of messenger marketing is popular amongst lot of brands.
Keeping it authentic to remain synonymous with your values
Authenticity is key when humanising your brand. There’s nothing worse than brands that try to jump on every trend, so having integrity in your brand’s values is a must for humanising it. People want to know what a brand stands for before engaging with it, so getting your core values into your messaging is a must. The first step for this would be to actually think about what your brand stands for, what your core values are and then ensure all of your activity ladders back to these.
Ben & Jerry’s is a great example of a brand with authenticity and integrity, regularly speaking on political issues whilst retaining the brand’s core messaging and branding. Showcasing what your brand stands for can be as simple as thinking about how you commit to your values and then frequently communicating this amongst your stakeholders. For example, if one of your values is caring for the planet and you use sustainable packaging, this is something to regularly shout about across relevant external channels.
With so much competition out there, humanising your brand can help you reach your target consumer, while building a lasting positive reputation. Amongst so many brands, a human touch can be the boost that ensures your brand is recognised and celebrated.