Branding is one of our favorite topics. Building a recognizable and popular brand is the goal of every business owner. Some brands seem to do better than others at winning loyal followers and fans. What’s different about them? They humanize their brand. In this post, we list 12 ways to humanize your brand and start building a loyal fan base.
What do ‘human’ brands do differently?
8 Ways to Humanize Your Brand
1. Give more value to relationships and less to money. One thing that divides businesses from people is the ruthless pursuit of profit. Naturally, if you don’t pursue profits, your business will fail, but if you put too much focus on the dollar signs and not enough on the relationships you’re building with customers and other brands, you fail to humanize your brand. To make your brand more likeable and human, put more value on connecting with others and building those relationships. With this focus, the bottom line will take care of itself.
2. Think like a person, not a business. When you’re crafting tweets, blog posts, or creating copy for your website, don’t write like you’re submitting a formal report. Be human (within the guidelines of your brand tone and voice, of course). Stuffy, formal copy doesn’t come across as human and familiar. Users trust and prefer content that is written the way they tend to speak or write, so don’t get too far away from your own voice when writing content for your brand.
3. Make other humans your priority. Human brands make people their priority. Whether it’s coworkers and colleagues, subordinates and contractors, or customers and clients, human brands care about the people they engage with. That means all business decisions are considered and weighed based on how they will affect the people involved, and that’s a major characteristic of human brands.
4. Listen more than you speak. If you really want to become wise, you stop speaking and start listening. The same is true for brands. If you want to be a humanized brand, you have to learn to listen first. Keep an ear to the ground to find out how your audience responds to your content and services. Pay special attention to negative feedback, and here’s the really revolutionary thing: If you’re consistently receiving negative feedback, make changes based on it. Show your audience that you listen and act upon their concerns.
5. Show your personality. Your brand personality doesn’t have to be funny or carefree to be human. Think of all the people you know and their variety of personalities! Feel free to show your brand’s personality, whether it’s snarky, fun, serious, inspiring, or hip. Just be consistent in your brand communications.
6. Don’t be afraid to stand out. Just because other brands aren’t doing it yet doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. If you have a fun or interesting idea to try, do it! Don’t be afraid to look silly or get frustrated. People love to see their favorite brands acting human! Post a video of your staff doing the Cha Cha Slide, or a short rant about an industry topic. You’ll find that your audience loves to see the “human” behind your brand.
7. Own your mistakes. Pobody’s nerfect (Thanks, Pam) and that includes your brand. Making mistakes is part of life and business, and the sooner you understand that, the better off your brand will be. When you make a mistake, don’t run from it or profusely apologize. Own your mistakes and everyone else will follow your lead. Don’t let others break the news of your mistake–be the first to announce and own your failure.
8. Just be there. We want our friends to be there when we need them. If you want to humanize your brand, you need to be there when your customers need you! Respond to questions and comments as fast as possible. It lets the sender know you value them and want to ensure the best experience possible for them. Make sure there’s always a friendly voice to answer your phone, or add live chat support to your website–just be there.