When you think about a business or a brand, what comes to mind? Maybe you see a company’s logo or think about the latest online ad you were served. Or maybe it’s a little more personal and you see a face. We bet the connection you feel with a company that conjures up a face is stronger than the one with only a general reference. That ability to connect with your audience makes you more relatable. Instilling your business with a personality makes it more approachable and more memorable. It’s also a great way to gain trust, be seen as human rather than corporate, and increase loyalty in your customers. Today’s blog is about how to humanize a brand.
Meet Our Staff
Perhaps the most obvious way to humanize a brand is to let people know about the humans behind the brand! We’ve all seen websites populated with stock pictures of happy staff that are generic and inauthentic. Instead, honour your hard-working employees by showing them off. There are so many ways to include the people who support the business. You can keep things simple with a staff pic. Dig deeper with individual portraits or go even further and include short bios with the images. Have an employee of the month highlighted on your homepage or show the staff helping customers. Invite employees to contribute to a blog and ask them to give some insight into the business and their experience.
Pictures of your staff help customers and potential customers better relate to your business. Use candid shots from the holiday party or have formal head shots taken. Make the images part of your website and share to social media. Highlight a group fundraiser or wish an employee happy birthday. By highlighting the people who support your company, you can humanize a brand and stand out among the competition.
Trade shows are the ultimate networking events and not just some antiquated get-together. Take advantage of an opportunity to showcase your business and truly humanize a brand. When an owner or employee is standing under their logo and talking about their product or service to individuals, there is a direct connection between the two. Even if you have a lot of relevant information on your website, including FAQs, a trade show is still a chance to give attendees a more complete picture. Answer specific questions and go into as much detail as necessary to send that person away with a clear idea of your business.
Choose a trade show based on what you want to achieve. If you want to reach out to local customers, look for an expo featuring businesses based in your community. Target an event that features the specific sector in which you work to find possible partnerships and capture the audience looking for the kind of services you provide. Once you’ve chosen a trade show, give people a reason to approach your booth and engage. Try an eye-catching video, set up a demo, or display swag. Offer your expertise and advise, but try not to push too hard. Make yourself memorable in a positive way and try to get a card or email address so you can follow up on the conversation in a week or two. It’s easy to humanize a brand through trade shows.
User-generated content (USG) can humanize a brand through the power of authenticity. Showcasing the people who are actually benefitting from your product or service helps others see how they can also benefit. When your target is reflected in a social media post or on your website, your company goes from abstract to useful. Invite customers to submit their photos, testimonials, and stories to connect your business to real life applications. Satisfied customers are often happy to give you a shout out or you can encourage this kind of content through incentives likes contests and giveaways. UGC is another opportunity to put a face, or faces, on your business.
Keep it Conversational
Nothing makes people tune out faster than condescending, complex language. Using too much industry jargon or an impersonal tone is a turn off. That goes for videos and written content alike. Don’t talk at your audience. Instead, try using inclusive language that invites them to be part of the conversation. We have a rule of thumb: read your script or content out loud. You’ll hear when language sounds overly formal or complicated such as how “don’t” sounds better than “do not”. Write the way you talk, be succinct, and use simple language and words to humanize a brand.
We all learn from failures and mistakes, which is part of what makes us human. By sharing lessons learned with your audience, you can humanize a brand. We’re not saying to highlight a project that went wrong, we’re talking about showing that you’re always trying to improve. This vulnerability is part of the authenticity that can help you connect with your customers. Case studies are one way to talk about how your business worked with a client. By exploring the process, it lets customers know how you work and possibly how you learned to improve through past efforts.
Tell a Story
Storytelling works especially well for small businesses. Many small shops have a compelling, uplifting, or inspirational origin story. Telling the story of your company has been shown to resonate with people who then remember your business. This personal connection with customers can be formed in a blog, as part of your about us page, or through video. Follow the simple structure of conflict, the start of the business, the growth of the business, and where you are now. In other words, what compelled you to start the business, how did you manage to get your idea off the ground, how has it changed, and what does it look like now? Don’t be afraid to talk about bumps in the road and how you learned and grew over time (see lessons learned) because that’s all part of the story.
Give Video a Try
Video is an effective way to humanize a brand. You can apply it to any of the points we touched on in this blog. Introduce your staff in a single video or roll out single introductions every month or week. Create an about us video that you can play at trade shows and house on your website. Ask clients to make a video as part of UGC or ask them for testimonials. Key West Video has worked on every single one of these projects and we can help you, too! Connect with us today so you can connect with your customers in the future.