‘Humanise’ your brand to connect with customers | Sunday Observer

‘Humanise’ your brand to connect with customers

Customer engagement is about encouraging customers to interact and  share in the experiences you create for them as a business and brand. Pic: Courtesy dmnews.com
Customer engagement is about encouraging customers to interact and share in the experiences you create for them as a business and brand. Pic: Courtesy dmnews.com

Humans connect to, relate to, and trust other humans. If someone doesn’t trust you, would they do business with you? Of course not. This is why providing faces and names to make the Brand emotionally connected is so critical.

Some businesses excel at tying their Brand back to the people behind it, making it relatable and memorable to the customer. But others restrict themselves to a faceless, cold, and corporate environment where one monotone branded voice is used across all types of customers.

Take a second to think about your favourite Brands. Which ones are close to your heart and why? Brands are made by humans, so why do we sometimes feel the marketing messages being delivered are very technical and robotic? If you want success in business you should create a relevant and ‘humanised’ brand to spark a connection and build a bond with your target audience in a meaningful way.

As marketeers, you are trying to gain traffic, generate qualified leads, nurture those leads into customers, retain those customers, and grow revenue - but take yourself out of that money-making mindset for a moment.

Did you ever pause to think that your brand could be 10 times more successful if you stopped pushing solely sales-heavy content and started promoting your brand to your customers so that they could relate to it?. The conviction you should have is that ‘humanising’ your brand is crucial for long-term business growth. To truly ‘humanise’ your Brand, you need to ensure that every touchpoint you have with a lead or customer is personalised.

New era

‘Humanising’ your brand is a big trend in marketing today because there is so much information out there. We are all so overwhelmed with websites, email, tweets and other content that it’s becoming difficult to focus and impossible to choose. Your visitors and users are looking for something more than a high volume of content that’s focused on pushing a product. Your customers want value, they want answers and they want conversation and look for trust.

By ‘humanising’ your company and Brands in the eyes of customers, you can provide that spark that gets them engaged. By going with the same old corporate ‘look at me’ approach, you are giving them a great reason to ignore you and move on. ‘Humanising’ your brand isn’t something you can achieve overnight, but it does begin with one simple premise, namely, trust.

We live in a world that’s interconnected on many fronts. This has led to the proliferation of content and data giving customers accessibility to more products and services. You would think that all this inter-connectivity and information would lead them straight to product or service sales.

Unfortunately, it’s not that easy and it all starts with customer engagement. Customer engagement is about encouraging your customers to interact and share in the experiences you create for them as a business and brand. When executed well, a strong customer engagement strategy will foster brand growth and loyalty.

Businesses that focus on customer engagement are focused on value creation, not revenue extraction – of course value creation in the eyes of your customers will naturally extract revenue.

It’s important to understand that every customer wants to feel you understand their needs and that they can relate to your brand. For fun consumer brands such as Coke this may seem an easier task than it is for brands with more conservative attributes, or those in the B2B realm.

But even these businesses can be ‘humanised’ without trying to squeeze themselves into a contrived persona that won’t resonate with their audience. Today, the goal is not grabbing attention, but earning and holding attention on your brand for sustained sales performance. Naturally, you want your target audience to take action in favour of your brand.

But it’s the rare brand that understands how content and story must interact to add real value versus merely sell a product or service. In B2B situations, you need to recruit people who are masters in public relations – who can connect with and forge strong bonds with clients fast and keep strengthening them.

Some people have it naturally, but some don’t. Don’t you have people falling into both categories? Have you ever thought about it seriously? Have you quantified the lost business opportunity for not having the right people in your service organisation?

Keep your audience connected

Think about your business model and how you can best service your customers. When do your customers need you? What hours do you need to be available to them? The customer experience you provide is key, because it gives marketeers and business owners a way to increase satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy. Social media is no longer a trend or a phenomenon – we’ve all acknowledged it’s a part of our everyday lives. To that end, any good marketeer should see this as an opportunity to engage his audience and build a community.

However, it’s just not enough to simply post status updates and photos on Social Media. To keep your audience connected, it’s about valuable content and creating a shared experience that keeps them interacting with you.

Regardless of the long-term customer engagement model you build, starting small can go a long way. Ultimately, whatever customer experience strategies you employ, be consistent – think about the Brand messaging you employ, your customers’ end-to-end experience from their very first interaction and the various departments these customers will move through. Give them a consistent and exceptional experience and you’ll be rewarded with their trust and loyalty.