While it may sound like marketing jargon, the concept of humanizing your brand has become a popular marketing strategy to drive enthusiasm, loyalty, advocacy and lifetime customer value.
But humanizing your brand isn’t something that can be achieved overnight. A good place to start with brand humanization is with one simple premise – trust.
The 2021 Trust Barometer Special Report: Trust, the New Brand Equity study discovered that 68 percent of respondents said it’s more important to be able to trust the brands they buy or use today than in the past.
Not sure how to become trustworthy in the eyes of your customers? Tap into the humans who are already powering your brand: your employees.
Here, we cover what brand humanization is, and how to show customers the human side of your brand and create a better customer experience in the process.
4 Ways to Humanize Your Brand
1. Give a face to your brand – show off your employees
For your customers to know that your business is run by people, not robots, why not use your employees in your marketing efforts?
Try to recruit some office personalities to use in your marketing, to represent the brand to your audience. Showing the real people behind your brand can help build trust with potential customers.
From using photos of your employees on your About Us page, to creating an Instagram hashtag showing day-to-day office activities, you can humanize your brand and make it feel relatable to your customers, and encourage consumer empathy and identification.
The goal here is to show customers that your company isn’t made up of only corporate types, but real, relatable individuals who are there to help and not just make money.
2. Give your employees a voice—and let them help you listen
While crowdsourcing authentic stories from external advocates is an integral part of infusing emotion into your brand, the same concept can apply to employees. Whether customer-facing or not, every employee has the potential to humanize your brand by sharing their own positive experiences and ideas.
Employees can also monitor feedback on social channels in order to get a pulse on how customers feel about your company, and take action to ensure any issues are quickly resolved.
Customer service and social media expert, Peter Shankman, also a CMAD panelist, advises organizations use employee advocates to strengthen ties with your external community. “Find a couple of voices for the company,” said Peter. “Let them give away information in their own way—a way that people will enjoy, and will be able to use.” Once a few employees start creating more customer happiness and building brand awareness, others will want to join in.
3. Surprise and delight your customers
Often times, the smallest gestures can make a large impact on strengthening a customer relationship and increasing engagement. A hand-delivered coffee, a gift card for a customer’s favorite restaurant, or even beautifully crafted photo-books are also simple yet impactful ways to show your appreciation.
But sometimes, a thank you is enough.
Bryan Kramer, CEO at Pure Matter, and CMAD panelist, provides an interesting perspective on customer appreciation. “A lot of times, brands are playing reactive and they’re trying to be customer service after the fact, but what if we created ‘thank you’ departments that actually reached out before the issues happened?” he asked. By creating a proactive experience, customers are more likely to feel appreciated by your brand. “It puts you in a totally different place when you go to engage with people.”
4. Get company leaders active in your community
A 2014 recent study of social CEO’s revealed that the use of social media helps to build trust—particularly if those participating are part of the C-suite.
Provide some training around the rules for engaging on social media, and invite your CEO and other leaders to tweet and post so that your customers can associate a face with the brand.
Doug McMillen, CEO of Walmart, is verified across all his social media accounts and regularly posts pictures, videos, and status updates about both his professional and personal life. His social media presence showcases Walmart as a humanized brand, with its CEO being approachable and relatable across his social media.
By following these steps, and your brand will create strong emotional connections, and a sense of trust, that only humans can provide.
Learn to Humanize Your Brand with the Influitive Platform
Looking to humanize your brand and connect with your customers? Request a demo today and see how Influitive uses personalized content to turn customers into loyal advocates to boost business growth, retention and profits.