Welcome to the Brand YOU Economy | 7 Ways to Humanize Your Brand
Your customers, partners, employees and social media fans are human, so why is your marketing team still talking to customers like they are robots? Say goodbye to boring corporate speak and outdated marketing practices, and say hello to the Brand YOU Economy. It’s time to let the human side of your brand shine!
What is The Brand YOU Economy?
The Brand YOU Economy means that YOU are your brand and your brand is YOU! People no longer trust brands that spew confusing, unrelateble corporate jargon. In 2018, people prefer marketing messages that come from people they feel a connection to.
A report from Forrester revealed that 70 percent of U.S. adults online trust recommendations from each other far more than statements from brands. So, what’s the solution? Your marketing team needs to create a brand that seems more like a person. It is a straightforward concept, but the execution can be tricky.
Here are seven tips to help your team get started:
1. Give your brand a human voice. It’s hard for marketers to assign human qualities to a logo or a corporate name. As you develop the human voice for your brand, your team can create with a fictional character that represents your brand. They should ask the following questions when envisioning this character:
Who is this person?
What’s their name?
How do they dress?
What’s their favorite food?
What are their likes and dislikes?
Are they extroverted or introverted?
Do they have a formal or casual appearance?
This tactic will help your team imagine a real person to serve as your brand voice.
2. Hire a “micro-influencer” to be a voice on your social networks. You don’t need million dollar celebrity budgets in 2018. Micro-influencers are everyday people who have highly engaged followers around relevant topics. They have between 2K and 25K monthly visitors—and according to Kissmetrics, this lower visitor count provides a 16x-higher engagement rate than other paid media alternatives.
Messages from “micro-influencers” are perceived as more genuine than many of the big celebrities on Instagram or Pinterest.
3. Stop scheduling ALL social media posts. This is challenging, as social media scheduling tools are beneficial for time management. However, they do distance your brand from your audience.
Your marketing team should post casual, personal messages from time to time. It’s important to react to things in the moment so your brand will come across as more human. This strategy comes with more pressure and a larger time commitment, but consumers will take notice.
This can be especially effective for platforms like Twitter. JetBlue has been extremely successful at interacting with their customers via Twitter in an authentic and relatable way. When you tweet at a company with over 16,000 employees, you may not expect a response very quickly, if at all. However, JetBlue has done a fantastic job differentiating themselves on Twitter by finding clever ways to exceed our expectations.
4. Talk to your consumers. This is the era where your brand needs to engage in conversations with customers. Ask them what they like and what they want to see. If they compliment your product, thank them.
If your audience members are commenting on one of your Facebook threads, jump into the discussion authentically. This shows that you're paying attention and that you care about their opinions. The more you engage with your customers, the more likely they'll be to see you as a trustworthy and relatable. This does require more work, but you’ll grow your customer loyalty considerably.
5. Show up. Don't set up the latest social network profile unless you plan to be active on it. There is nothing worse than an inactive brand on Social Media. Your marketing team needs to understand how to effectively interact with customers before they create a corporate user profile. Show up with a goal to inspire and connect with your audience. Be proactive and responsive to your audience.
6. Be funny. Humor is one of the key foundations to forming a connection. When we laugh together, we bond with each other. When you make your customers laugh, you are showing them an authentic side of yourself.
This vulnerability shows your customers that you aren’t afraid to set aside the professionalism of your brand to experience a human moment. Your marketing team doesn’t need to hire comedy writers, but they should work to post enough humor to keep your audience feeling good about your brand.
7. Share photos and videos of your team being human. As you become part of the Brand YOU Economy, your marketing team should share human moments with their followers.
Share photos and videos from your company party. If your team goes to a team-building event, let your audience know ahead of time, and ask them what department they think will do the best. If you have a team meeting, share photos of the team brainstorming. These shares help build real relationships with the people in your community.
What Is The Goal of The Brand YOU Economy?
The goal of the Brand YOU Economy is creating an identity for your customers to interact with. You want to turn your company into something that people can relate to, not something that is cold and impersonal. When customers enjoy your brand identity, they'll want to befriend your personality and will feel more loyal to your brand.
You also want customers to buy into the culture around your brand. They should want to make themselves more like the personality of your brand, which will lead them to purchase more of your product.
Are You Ready?
It’s time to stop thinking like a corporation and start thinking like a person. Humanizing your brand is a requirement if you want to survive in business today. The sooner you adapt to the Brand YOU Economy the sooner you will be building relationships, nurturing friendships, and earning the respect of powerful brand influencers who will elevate your company to the next level.
Did this post motivate you to join the Brand YOU Economy? If so, SHARE it with others who are ready to humanize their brand!