Corporations are in a crisis of the modern age. People don't really trust corporations and see businesses as faceless profiteers, a sentiment fueled by stories of corporate corruption, the 2008 financial crisis, and the constant bombardment of advertising over the past few decades. Any message coming from a corporate brand is viewed with skepticism.
There is a solution for this, and the idea is simple (although the execution is somewhat more difficult). Since people trust other people more than brands, all you have to do is make your brand look a little more like a person – you have to humanize it.
Here are tips for said "humanization":
- Imagine your brand as a fictional character:
Your brand needs a human voice and a personality, but it's hard to assign those qualities to a logo or company name. Instead, try assigning them to a personal context. Come up with a fictional character that represents your brand, and create all the details. Who is this person? What is his name; How does she dress? What is his favorite food? What are his likes and dislikes? These questions will help you imagine a real personality to serve as your brand's avatar. This is the best way to literally humanize your brand.
- Post group photos your:
Use the power of social media and show the human side of your company through team sports, events, social actions, etc.
- Create a page to introduce yourself to the public:
There is no better way than a page to explain who is behind a brand.
- Don't schedule social media posts:
The truth is, social media tools save time, but they alienate you and make you look fake. You can spend time imagining and creating “personal” posts, but if you do them ahead of time, people will likely notice. Instead, rely on your ability to react to things in the moment – of course you'll be more human, and your users will notice the difference.
- Express yourself simply, clearly and with humor:
Using exclusively professional dialect makes you distant and unapproachable. Humor has a primal way of connecting us. When we laugh together, we tear down the walls and connect with each other. When you make your users laugh, you show them that you don't take yourself too seriously. You show them that you enjoy humor like the rest of us, and that you're not afraid to eschew the formal professionalism of your brand for a little while to have a human moment. Obviously, the type and appropriateness of humor you use will depend on your company, but self-deprecating humor works especially well for audiences. You don't have to be funny all the time, but you should use jokes and tips to make your audience feel good about you.
- Join conversations:
Don't just use media for advertising, but talk to your followers, ask what they like, what they want to see, interact and show your human side. If you see members of your audience commenting on an external post, join the conversation. This shows that you care and that you care about them and not just one-sidedly. The more engaged you are with your followers, the more likely they are to see you as a trustworthy, personable entity. This of course requires more work. But when you interact with people, you'll earn their loyalty, and you'll look good to everyone else watching, too.
- Be yourself:
Don't look for a perfect way to create a "human" voice for your brand. Stop thinking like a company and think like an individual. Act as you would speak and interact with yourself.
- use it Personal Brand in conjunction with your Corporate Brand:
If your corporate brand just doesn't do enough to humanize itself, or if you want an extra boost, you can humanize it by using a variety of supporting personal brands. For example, you could encourage corporate leaders and top salespeople to start engaging more users in social media conversation or ask them to interact (like + comment) and share (share) content published by the corporate brand. This shows users a more human face and a side of the brand that is more “real” and accessible. Additionally, you will get more exposure for the content you publish and possibly better opportunities for new collaborations.
All these strategies have to do with the humanization of the corporate entity and of course by applying them a company can achieve the desired result. Many times, however, instead of making mathematical movements based on calculations and a download of advice, it is much simpler for a company to stop thinking like a company and think like a person. If he implements all that he would do to build a consistent, worthwhile and attractive personal brand then he will be able to achieve this at the corporate level as well.
In the end, everything has to do with man, and only by thinking and acting as human beings towards fellow human beings can we be genuine, attractive and trustworthy.
The article was published in the e-journal Productive Habits 11.2017 Bizman.gr