Technology may greatly impact the way that businesses run and consumers purchase products, but this hasn't changed what customers expect from the companies they're buying from. The humanity in brands is something that they continue to look for before deciding on companies to rely on. According to Fast Company, people are exposed to more than 5,000 advertisements per day. The ones that stick out are those that establish an emotional connection with viewers.
A recent survey by planning and consulting firm Gensler found that 87 percent of the 2,838 participants choose to buy from brands they feel connected with because the companies match their values. In fact, the survey also found that once this connection was created, customers were wiling to pay a lot more for that brand's products instead of switching to a more affordable competitor. As a small business owner, how do you humanize your brand and establish that emotional connection that customers crave? Use these small business tips to personalize your brand.
1. Use actual faces in your ads
Using cartoons or actors as the faces of your advertisements may seem like a good way to represent your brand, but this might not have the best outcomes for attracting your target audiences. According to LinkedIn, one of the most efficient ways to establish a humanized brand image is using staff members or customers in promotions. Whether it's direct mail or television ads, when potential customers see real people selling and buying your products or services, they'll know they would be dealing with a customer-oriented company.
Even updating your business' website with employee bios and behind-the-scenes pictures of staff working can help humanize your brand and show consumers that there are real people with values and personalities that they can relate to waiting to serve them.
2. Interact with consumers online
There should be a way for consumers to leave comments or ask questions on your website and social media page. However, providing this source for answers isn't enough to put your company ahead of the competition. You should have designated staff members who are checking your site to ensure that they answer all customers' questions in a timely manner. Not only will this show that your business is dedicated to listening to its customers and responding to feedback, but that there are real people offering assistance when needed.
3. Establish a message you want to get across
Part of humanizing your brand is connecting with people's values and personalities. To do so effectively, you have to know which values and personas you want to focus on appealing to. For example, if your business sells toys or products to families with children, have your employees tell stories on your social media page about their kids and how using your products has created a safer or more enjoyable environment for their families.
This will highlight that your products or services are sold by people who value the safety of their families. You can apply these storytelling techniques to your website's "about us" section as well. Once you know that this is the message you want to get across to your customers, you can get creative with how you'll integrate it into your marketing efforts.
4. Humanize your writing
Whoever writes your marketing content should avoid using jargon or any technical terms that not all of your customers will understand. It's often a good idea to make your writing as casual as possible while remaining professional. Writing in the second person may read as a more natural conversation versus a formal advertisement for viewers. If appropriate, adding some humor into ads and website descriptions could appeal to consumers.