5 Ways To Humanize Your Brand

by Steve Bocska
Steve is the CEO and founder of PUG Interactive Inc., a company specializing in maximizing lifetime customer value through relationship orchestration. With over 20 years of experience in the gaming industry, Steve focuses on applying loyalty, engagement, and gamification to enhance user experiences in non-game contexts.

The process of humanizing involves endowing your brand with human-like attributes to help bridge more authentic relationships and establish rapport with your intended demographic. This means embedding relatable qualities and characteristics into your brand’s essence. By doing so, you create an opportunity for customers to genuinely connect, viewing the brand as more than just a faceless entity, and instead, as an entity that understands and addresses their needs.

Let’s look at some ways to make your brand more human-like:

Define Your Brands Values
Just as every person has a distinct personality, brands too can exhibit unique personalities that set them apart in the crowded marketplace. To define the personality of your brand, you must delve into the heart of what your brand stands for, uncovering its core values, beliefs, and defining characteristics. This foundational work serves as the compass that guides your brand’s actions, communications, and interactions.

Start first with core values. These are the fundamental principles that underpin your brand’s identity. They represent every unshakable belief and ethical standard that your brand upholds. Whether it’s a commitment to sustainability, innovation, or customer-centricity, these values act as the bedrock upon which your brand’s personality is built. When these values are consistently demonstrated through actions and messages, they not only attract like-minded customers but also form the basis for an authentic and enduring brand identity. Taking this further, establish a set of founding that encapsulate the broader convictions that drive your brand’s mission. These can reflect the philosophies your brand holds about its industry, its impact on society, or some other unique perspective it brings. These beliefs can be a very powerful rallying point, drawing in customers who share a similar worldview and creating a community of supporters who resonate with your brand’s purpose.

Humanize Your Story
One potent way to achieve a stronger brand-customer connection is through the art of storytelling. An origin story is often the easiest and most effective place to start as you can not only offer insight into the company’s humble beginnings but also provide a glimpse into the passion, dedication, and vision that propelled it forward. This narrative creates a bridge between your brand and your customers via any relatable challenges, aspirations, and triumphs your brand has encountered along the way.

The story should also include the brand’s mission, providing an invitation to your customers to be a part of something larger than just products or services. It’s a declaration of your brand’s purpose — the reason it exists beyond profitability. Avoid corporate jargon and sterile language. Instead, use a conversational and authentic tone that resonates with your target audience. Speak the way real people speak. When customers understand and sympathize with your mission, they feel a sense of alignment and shared purpose. This emotional connection is what transforms a transaction into a meaningful relationship. By transparently discussing your brand’s values, you invite customers into your ethical framework, allowing them to stand with you in supporting causes they believe in. This moment also provides a good opportunity to highlight the real people within the company who pour their energy, creativity, and expertise into making your brand what it is. Introducing the faces behind the scenes humanizes your brand even further. By showcasing the diverse talents and personalities that drive your brand’s success, you turn a corporate entity into a relatable group of individuals. This helps customers connect on a personal level, fostering a sense of trust and familiarity.

Show Vulnerability
In a world filled with carefully crafted images and narratives of brand strengths, embracing vulnerability and fallible humanity might seem counterintuitive. However, unveiling your brand’s sensitive side can be a distinctive strategy that can help forge more authentic relationships and connections with your customers.

No one is immune to making mistakes. Neither are companies. Acknowledging errors openly and honestly demonstrates the uniquely human qualities of humility and authenticity. By addressing missteps, you show it’s run by real people who are not infallible. Such transparency not only diffuses any negative impact but also showcases your commitment to accountability. Customers appreciate brands that take responsibility and use missteps as opportunities for growth. When you share the challenges and failures your brand has encountered , you’re trusting customers to share a privileged part of your journey. Customers who are aware of the hurdles you’ve navigated are more likely to root for your success and stand by your side. Also, revealing how you’ve overcome those obstacles not only highlights your brand’s problem-solving capabilities but also serves as a source of inspiration for your audience. It demonstrates that setbacks are not roadblocks but stepping stones. Sharing the strategies and approaches you’ve employed to triumph over adversity can provide valuable insights to your customers, positioning your brand as a relatable mentor figure in their lives.

Relatable Content
One of the great challenges in today’s digital age is creating content that resonates with your audience. Achieving this is paramount for building a strong brand presence and fostering lasting customer relationships. To build credibility and trust, the focus should always be on generating content that offers genuine value to your audience. Educational content can empower your customers with knowledge, helping them make informed decisions and establish your brand as an authority in your industry. Inspirational content, on the other hand, taps into emotions and can create a strong connection between your brand and your audience. Lastly, entertaining content injects a dose of fun into your interactions, making your brand memorable and enjoyable to engage with. Crucially, ensure that the content you produce reflects your brand’s core values and speaks to the interests of your target audience, demonstrating an authentic understanding of their needs and desires.

Another strategy to help humanize your brand involves showcasing content generated by your customers. Customer-generated content can take the form of testimonials, reviews, user-generated videos, or social media posts. But regardless of the form it takes, sharing these contributions not only shows you appreciate their input and value their relationship, but also provides your engaged customers with a sense of vanity and prestige through recognition of the effort they put into their contributions. Personalization is yet another key to delivering tailored experiences. By utilizing insights you’ve collected about your customers, you can go beyond generic interactions and create much more meaningful connections. For example, addressing customers by their names adds a touch of familiarity, making them feel valued and recognized. Recommending products based on their past behaviors and preferences demonstrates that you understand their individual needs. Moreover, crafting communication that caters to their specific needs or aspirations can greatly enhance engagement and conversion rates. However, it’s crucial to handle customer data responsibly and transparently, ensuring privacy and compliance with data protection regulations.

Just for Laughs
Introducing a touch of humor to your brand’s messaging possesses the potential to dramatically revitalize the way you connect with your audience. The sprinkling of a well-crafted joke can work wonders, shifting your brand from a distant corporate entity into an approachable and memorable presence in the lives of your customers. This transition isn’t merely cosmetic; it represents a fundamental shift in how your brand is perceived – a shift from a transactional relationship to one that is grounded in authenticity.

Humor, when wielded skillfully, becomes a bridge that spans the gap between your brand and your audience. It’s like sharing an inside joke with a friend – suddenly, there’s a shared moment that makes the interaction more personal and relatable. Imagine a software company sending out a playful email on April Fools’ Day, introducing a fictional product that “turns bugs into butterflies” – a lighthearted nod to the challenges of software development. This kind of messaging adds a human touch, making the brand appear more personable and friendly.

Remember that becoming more human-like doesn’t mean trying to mimic human behavior exactly. It’s about creating a brand that genuinely cares, connects, and communicates with people in a way that resonates with their emotions and aspirations.