How to Humanize Your Brand
6 Things You Can Start Doing Today to Go from Robot to Relatable
You may be asking yourself, “In this heavily digital world we’re living in, what is the best approach to lift my brand off a screen to connect with my customers on a personal level? How can I gain their trust so that they’re more likely to do business with me than with the competitor?”
People do business with companies they trust, and—let’s face it—gaining trust isn’t easy. Customers want to interact with humans, not cold, emotionless corporations they can’t relate to. When you’re relatable you build rapport with your customers, and in time those customers will become long-time brand advocates.
Here are 6 things you can do to take your brand from robot to relatable.
#1: Be Relatable
Help your audience imagine a person behind your brand who “gets” them. Communicate with a personality and voice that is both authentic and charismatic. What personality does your brand have? Happy? Nurturing? Funny? (Be excited to help in a witty way, not funny just to be funny, and especially not funny at the expense of your client.) Make sure it jives with your values, too. And then have that personality shine through in everything you do.
A great way to relate to your clients is to show the team behind your brand. Show photos of key players on your team in the “about” section of your website. A photo and short bio—one or two sentences with some personal facts can go a long way in making your clients feel like they know your team and brand. Take time to document company outings or funny in-office moments and share them on your website or social media. Making your team accessible to your audience makes your audience feel a part of your team.
Find creative ways to be interesting and educational instead of turning every interaction with your client into an opportunity to sell them something. Imagine walking into a store and instantly being hounded by a sales-person waiting for you to show interest in a product they can upsell you on. How quickly do you want to get away? Don’t be that person. Instead, give your clients the tools they need to make informed decisions without pushing your offerings on them. While you’re at it, make sure you’re using simple wording your client can understand. Avoid industry jargon; it makes your brand come off as inaccessible.
#2: Be Authentic, Not Perfect.
Be your brand’s true self. No one is perfect and your brand shouldn’t try to be, either. Mistakes are how we learn to do better in the future. Don’t air your dirty laundry, talking about how frustrated a client was when their banner almost didn’t make it to their event on time. Rather, focus on the challenges your team faced when the courier lost your customer’s package and how you hand-delivered the replacement with ample time before their event. Customers can sympathize with you; shared pain acts as a social glue. Make each potential disaster a success story and share the lesson learned. It’s about working through the problem, coming up with creative solutions, and learning from past mistakes.
#3: Be Personal
When sending emails, be considerate of where your recipient is in your sales funnel. If they aren’t a client yet, don’t send them promotional emails. Send them relevant informational emails that can help them make informed purchasing decisions in the future. Send targeted emails specific to their industry and individual needs showing you’ve done your research and are looking to be a partner in their purchasing journey.
In addition to sending specific emails, when addressing clients use more language with “you” than with “we” or “I.” This engages your audience instead of making them feel “talked at.” You foster a relationship in which they are the primary focus instead of your company or product.
Always think about what you say, how you say it, and how it will make the other person feel.
#4: Pull Back the Curtain on the Brand History
Give your audience a chance to feel connected to your brand by sharing something personal with them. A great place to start is with the story behind your company name. How did you decide upon that name? How about your logo or your color choices? Tell them your story, and tie your story into your mission and values. Take time to share the deeper meaning behind your brand, talking about your Why—what pushes you and what keeps you going. This gives them an opportunity to identify personally with your values and realize a long-term relationship could even be satisfying at a deeper level.
#5: Utilize Social Media to be Social
Take this opportunity to use your social media to—well—be social. Talk with your audience, not at them. Create posts that spark conversations, and at every opportunity engage in those conversations. Ask questions in your posts that prompt responses from your audience. Give your audience opportunities to ask questions of you, the expert, and be ready to provide answers to each one.
Don’t merely create your own posts; when a client tags your service or product on their own social media channels, share that content on your page as well. User-generated content shows your future clients that you have a great relationship with your peers and that people enjoy your product. You can also leverage your employees’ networks by allowing them to create and share content that speaks on behalf of your brand. When your employees are the face of your brand, they spread the word to an audience you might otherwise have missed.
Of course, it’s important to have guidelines for when your staff posts content related to your brand. Personal opinions and views expressed in previous posts of theirs could be at odds with the message you’re looking to convey. Setting specific guidelines on what type of content your employees should share when speaking about your brand, or being sure they differentiate on their social media pages that their personal views are theirs alone and are not a reflection of your brand, are important measures to take to protect your brand.
#6: Show Genuine Appreciation for Customers
Show your clients some love by sending them swag, offering them special discounts, and sending them appreciation letters or emails. Keep your clients in mind with periodic, thoughtful outreaches. Make sure each outreach is intentional: having purpose. This presents you as mindful and not aggressive. Send your new clients a “welcome to the family” email after they complete their first project with you, and a “happy anniversary” email on the anniversary of that completion. There are countless creative ways to show appreciation for their business without coming across as “salesy.”
We at Pinpoint have what we call our “client welcome packet.” Once a prospect becomes a client we send them a packet that describes what they can expect doing business with us, as well as featuring key players on our team who they may encounter during their project journey. This upfront communication with our clients allows them to get a better view of who we are and how we are there to assist them.
To become the relatable brand your clients want to interact with, steer away from constantly sales-heavy content and remember to market your brand as a real person. Give your brand a personality and voice that invites people to want to get to know them. When people feel connected and comfortable with a brand they become life-long customers.