Humanizing the Brand
Does your brand pass the Jung and Myer test?
There was a time when brands were aspirational and were marketed with the product as the central focus. However, as we move towards an informationrich market, brands are trying to create a more intimate relationship with its target audience. They are looking for ways to engage with the consumers in a way that builds a more personal connection leading to a community that is centered around the brand. One way is to create campaigns that speak about the “why” of the product rather than focus on its specifications. The why tells the consumer the need and purpose of the product in their lives. The other way is to create a brand that, in itself, speaks to the consumer. We must appreciate that it is the brand and not the product that is speaking to the brand. This implies that the brand becomes an entity that engages with the consumer with or without a product, a brand that embodies a set of traits that is uniquely its own. A brand that could take the famous personality test created by Jung and Myer and actually get a diagnosis. The emergence of the brand as “human” entity is deep-rooted in the current scenario where choices are many and the consumer needs more than just product excellence to choose a particular brand.
Intimacy over Sales
Brands are increasingly moving away from pursuing sales as the sole barometer of the success of a brand. We are now looking at a market that is aiming to not just enter the homes of the consumer but also their lives, in a very real way. Customer intimacy is one of the most difficult things to achieve for a brand. To do that, it has to become more than an impersonal entity. It, thus, takes on a personality of its own. People respond to what the brand symbolizes and form a bond that is independent of their purchase choices. Those who find a resonance with the brands tend to look at it more favorably and build a relationship with it. Such a connection is impossible if the brand remains an unreachable abstract. By humanizing the brand, the consumers are able to find a common ground with it. Apple is one of the biggest examples of how a brand goes beyond its product. It is able to charge a premium and maintain a loyal following on the sheer power of a human brand. Its underlying characteristics appeal to certain people who have made it the massive brand that it is today.
Cut through the noise
We have a multitude of brands that across industries and platforms that are vying for the customer’s attention. When you reach out to your consumers as a brand that stands for a set of principles, you are essentially asking them to trust you. After all, if you do not trust someone, would you do business with them? This establishment of trust helps you cut through the content noise that the consumer is put through. When your message goes
beyond the how and why of the purchase and focuses on the brand, you catch their attention. For example, Nike has built an entire community of athletes, especially runners, through their outreach programs and their running app. To be a member of the Nike running club, you do not have to buy Nike shoes. Thus, they are looking at a larger goal of building a strong sense of solidarity among the running community. They stand for fitness and physical health and are focusing on rallying like-minded consumers. This moving away from sales to engaging as a brand as a human is what helps you distinguish yourself from other competitors.
Don’t just promote, engage
Brands are made by people, for people and yet their promotion is largely standard giving it an almost robotic feel. Humanisation tackles precisely this problem by reinventing the brand to become more interactive, engaging and by default, more interesting to the consumer. When you promote a brand, the consumer is able to identify the real motive of the act- to convert the target audience into buyers. In fact, most consumers have become apprehensive of empty promotional techniques. Such brands have no recall value in the mind of the consumer and are simply lost in the crowd. However, when you try to build trust based on the merits of your brand’s characteristics alone, it gives the consumers a warmth that they can relate to. It is this feeling that stays through the brand’s high and low times creating a loyal band of consumers who remain dedicated to the brand. It is also this affinity that creates a pool of consumers who promote the product in their circles. All the major brands in the world are those that have been able to navigate the subtle art of promoting in the capacity of a humanized brand.
Humanisation of the brand derives from a simple fact that humans respond to entities that behave or think like them. Just like people, they want a brand that understands them and what they stand for. A brand can no longer relegate itself to its products and company and must become a functioning entity in itself. Through engaging social media campaigns and programs that define the brand’s personality, firms must establish their presence in the market. Most brands have thriving community building exercises that not only reaffirms the brand’s relation to the consumer but also the relationship they have with each other. This creates a powerful sense of belonging with the brand at the nucleus of it all, the binding factor. In fact, it would not be wrong to say that brand humanization has become an essential part of any marketing exercise. It has become the very essence of what is to be marketed and to whom. The brands must now pass not only the quality tests but also the Jung and Myer test if it is to survive and thrive in the market today.