Ok, I get it. You don’t come to this blog for the confessions of a struggling content wonk, you come here to learn useful things. But hear me out and then we’ll get into it, ok?
As of right now, I’ve written, and not deleted, more than 1000 words for this blog post (How many have I deleted? Let’s not talk about it…) and I am not that much closer to finishing it than I was the day I started, which was, I think, right after the crust of the earth cooled.
And this is not that unusual for me. I have a noggin just STUFFED with thoughts and sometimes, no matter how well-proven, factually accurate, or genuinely useful they might be, I have to fight for a long time to pull them out of my brain.
Wait. That’s not quite right. Anyone could shout out ideas. I mean, I do a fair amount of that in casual conversation (please don’t avoid me at parties now that you know that). And HOOOOO Boy, we’ve all come across a blog/video/article that over-promised and under-delivered, right?
So it’s not hard AT ALL to tell people what you know.
The hard part comes when you have to:
That’s how you make it helpful to the people around you.
See, this is, after all, a blog about humanizing your brand, and the number one thing humans need is for us to be useful.
But before we get to the HOW of humanizing your brand, I think the first thing to consider is WHY you’d want to make your brand more “human”.
If it’s a cool gimmick you heard about at a conference and you want to try it out like a new toy, it’s going to be tough for you. There are a lot of ways you can misstep – you’ve probably witnessed some big brands face-planting HARD with this strategy– and it’s only made trickier if you apply the “humanness” like a thin veneer.
Let’s let go of some misconceptions about what “humanizing” a brand means right now, ok?
The goal is to grow a brand that looks, sounds, and feels consistent and authentic in every place it’s going to connect with your audience, and that means asking everyone on your team to get on the Brand BusTM* right along with you.
When you do that:
Which brings us back to being human, right? If your brand is really thinking, acting, and talking like a human – in other words, if it’s all not just a gimmick - it’s much easier for your people-facing team to say and do the right things and create the consistency that builds customer trust.
How do you get there? By knowing yourself and your team, understanding your business, and truly caring about the needs of the people you serve. You see, humanizing your brand has never been about playing make-believe, it’s always been about recognizing how you can connect with the humans you serve and make their lives better in the ways only you and your team can. That’s how you human.
But wait, don’t let me leave you on an empty platitude. Check back here next week for part 2 in this series for the first steps you can take to start humanizing your brand in 2022.
*That’s not a real trademark, and this is probably not how trademarks work, but I thought it would buy me time to workshop my future-bestselling book titled “Get on the Brand Bus” before someone else nabbed the idea.
About the Author: Suzanne Campbell is the Brand & Content Manager on the Exclamation Services Marketing team and the self-proclaimed evangelist for Brand Voice. She’s picked up a lot of smart ideas from a lot of amazing people in her more than 20 years of experience and you can frequently hear them on the Awsomology podcast.