Today consumers have the power of choice like never before, based on information available at their fingertips. They don't believe that what they hear is the absolute truth and try to validate their opinion in the others' experiences. After all, what seems to be more reliable? A brand that says the product is the best in the market and that it depends on the sales of that product or a person that says the product is fantastic and doesn't earn anything with that?
The true is that in the era of social media, we are committed to an intermediary, called influencers, who we know are paid to talk about products, but we believe they are fair to tell us the truth. Why? Because we identify with them, because it could be us in their role.
Well, if after all, impartiality isn't what we value, then it's the human essence. And the good news is a brand can have it too.
"Create brands that behave like people — accessible and lovable, but also vulnerable. Brands should be less intimidating. They must become authentic and honest, admit their flaws and stop trying to look perfect.". Kotler (2017)
So I leave you with 5 ways to humanize a brand:
- Show the faces behind the brand
It may not scare many people away, but the most obvious way to humanize a brand is to show the humans who make it exist. All the ideas, messages and values of a brand are the result of the people who created it and who nurture it. People relate to people. Show them. Your employees are the greatest ambassadors of your brand.
Let's go back to math classes when John had fifteen watermelons and ate two. The reason we teach our children through stories is because it is much simpler to understand a concept in practice than it is in theory. Children put themselves in John's shoes. There's an involuntary act here of putting ourselves in the protagonist's shoes and living the story as if it were our reality. And if the story is told well, the character's needs become ours.
- Listen to customers
Customers are the ones who buy your product, so it makes sense they're those who know best what they need. Empathize, understand your audience's needs and desires.
In addition to the benefit of having a product that serves your customers better, listening makes the customer more involved with the brand. One feels more affinity with things to which they have directly contributed.
- Speak the customers' language
A conversation rarely works one way. If you want your customers to talk to you, to interact with your brand, you have to spark the conversation. But you have to make yourself understandable, using technical language with an audience that doesn't know you doesn't get the message across.
- Be authentic
Pretending can work in the short term, but when your customers inevitably understand that you are not being honest, you will lose their trust. Your message will never attract everyone, but if you stay true to what you believe, it will attract those who value the brand and what it stands for. These will be your most loyal customers.
At the end of the day, what's behind a brand are people who want to solve other people's problems through a product or service. Be a good friend and show your customers that you are on their side, to listen, support and help when they need it. And like all good friends, they will support you too.
Font: «Kotler, P., Kartajaya, H. & Setiawan, I. (2017). Marketing 4.0: Mudança do Tradicional para o Digital. Coimbra, Portugal: Conjuntura Actual Editora.»