One of the most striking trends impacting our industry at the moment is the “Human Era’’. Now is the time for brands to embrace their softer side and move away from institutional identities in favor of more personable characteristics that customers can relate to.
With the proliferation of online media, today’s consumers are looking to connect with their favorite brands on a far more intimate level than before and they respond to honesty and transparency – not formality and distance. Global brand strategy and design consultancy Lippincott in its Welcome to the Human Era report explains how “consumers are seeking not just to buy something, but to buy into something” and this kind of deeper relationship creates loyal brand advocates. By opening themselves up, companies are seen as more approachable, more authentic and, certainly, more trustworthy.
Some brands might have an easier job of getting up close and personal than others but traditional ‘corporate’ entities can also get in on the act by adjusting their communications strategies. America’s TD Bank recently unveiled the third phase of its “Bank Human” campaign, which is all about taking a light-hearted look at some of the most common frustrations when it comes to banking. In the UK, booking platform Expedia.co.uk has launched its “People Shaped Travel Campaign” to address one of the biggest challenges to booking online – the lack of personal service – by bringing their staff talking about their own love of travel into focus.
Here are a few tips to make the Human Era work for you:
Tell an authentic story
More than just a company history, your brand story reveals some fundamental truths behind your business, such as its motivations and objectives, by getting to the heart of what you do and communicating it in a relatable way.
Show your true colors
Being transparent is very important and you should try to pre-empt any questions people may have by offering accurate information upfront. Spinney’s supermarket, which recently launched a campaign addressing misconceptions about hormone use in its meat, is a good Dubai-based example.
We’re all looking for some fun to brighten up the day and there’s a lot to be said for making people laugh. Think about ways to inject a bit of humor into your marketing and don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself from time to time.
Customers want to be heard and social media is full of ways to engage in an authentic two-way dialogue that enables clients to offer feedback and allows you to demonstrate how you’re taking it.
JPd is a Dubai-based boutique agency dedicated to building meaningful brands for start-up companies and passionate entrepreneurs. Its services include competitor research, brand positioning, brand identity creation, as well as design, photography and digital assistance.