3 ways to humanize your brand

As the entrepreneur of a small to medium-sized business, hearing the phrase, “You need to humanize your brand!”, may leave you scratching your head wondering what the heck that actually means?

Marketing and technology move so fast today that it is very challenging for small companies with limited internal resources to keep up.  Case in point on the tech angle, take smartphones as an example – every year a new iPhone, Galaxy, etc., are released to the market. We are an instant gratification society and huge consumers of technology which means there is a constant push for innovation and new products and services. Consumers have more choice than ever in history and with most offerings being equal in quality and price, the only differentiator left is the brand’s personality and how it resonates with its target market.


In the voice of Steve Jobs –

“Marketing is about appealing to peoples’ values.”

Humanizing your brand, or rather, putting a human face and some heart into your company’s messaging is essential today. Businesses that are considered to have the most “human brands” were perceived as friendly, responsive, thoughtful and helpful showing a true desire to connect in a real way with their customers and to successfully meet their needs.

Our society and consumer mentality have significantly changed from even a decade ago. Thanks to always-on technology, we are living in an instant response world where consumers can check out a business in the blink of an eye and make a decision right then if it’s a company they want to buy from or not.

Gone are the days of large ad campaigns that attract customers based solely on self-promotional ads that have a theme like, “Our products are the best and here’s a happy housewife (obviously a model) using our cleaning detergent”. To make a real connection with its audience, a company must genuinely express that it cares about its customers and community by showing the values of the business in action and the true faces and voices of the people behind the brand.

A recent report by Braze and Forrester states 57% of consumers say that human communication would increase their brand loyalty and 58% say human communication would increase their likelihood of spending money with a given brand.

The report identified three dimensions to humanizing communication which is: the emotion that is activated, a natural tone and an empathetic approach that is personal and considerate. 

Following are three ways that you can humanize your brand and show some personality in order to make a more meaningful connection with your audience.

1. Share Relatable Content

Content that highlights the problem you solve through real customer experiences and telling stories on how your business helps people will make your brand relatable as customers sense that you understand them and what they are looking for. We all want to be seen, heard and understood as human beings so by making this connection through your marketing, you will come across as more approachable and genuine, thus humanizing your brand.

Create different forms of content (blogs, videos, social posts, images, podcasts, etc.) for the online platforms that are used by your target customers. Information that educates, inspires or adds some comic relief on a consistent basis attracts and maintains attention. Ask for feedback on your content to learn if you are hitting the mark, and express that you want to hear from your community.

2. Be Transparent and Authentic

By showing that your company cares using a tone of voice that is conversational (drop the big words or any acronyms) with some emotional aspects and living your mission and values, you will be successful in attracting like-minded customers. We all want to do business with those we know, like and trust. In order to build relationships that can turn into sales, we have to communicate who we are and what our purpose is, in an authentic and transparent way. If you are the founder and CEO, why did you start the company? What is it about the business of helping others made you start the company? Why do your employees enjoy working at the company? What kind of culture do you have and how can you share that publicly? Interview employees on their roles and outside hobbies and post the interviews on your blog. If something goes sideways in the business, own up to it and be authentic in how the situation is being resolved instead of trying to cover it up. People appreciate honesty and a company with strong values that communicates openly increases trust in the brand.

3. Show Real People

Images, videos and stories of people behind the business are essential to humanizing a brand. Companies may still need to use stock imagery in their marketing at times but it’s important to also have quality pictures and videos of your customers, employees and leadership team doing things that humans do! Give a behind the scenes look at your office environment and shoot a close up of Fido, the office mascot. Highlight employee achievements on your blog and show your CEO running a half marathon for a good cause. Post every piece of human-related marketing content on your social media channels and ask your community to get involvement.

These are a few ways that you can give your customers a peek into who you are as people behind the business to create an authentic personality for the brand that customers can relate to at an emotional level.

Do let us know how you are doing in this area in the comment section and if you’d enjoy more tips like these, sign up for our free e-newsletter.  Happy humanizing!