Trusting brands doesn’t come naturally to people. The bigger the brand, the more distrust they innately possess. All the big names that seem like they’ve had it handed to them on a silver platter have fought hard for every scrap of trust from their customers for a long time. But no matter how big your company is, if you can’t get people to trust you, you won’t be able to sell them your product or service.
The best way to do that is to humanize your brand. Get people to see your company not as a faceless seller that wants to empty their storage into their houses, but as a group of people working to bring a solution to customers’ problems. We give you 5 tips on how to humanize your brand. Stick with us!
1) Tell authentic stories
Tooting your own horn is okay from time to time – when it’s with good reason – but no one would be okay with you constantly talking about how great and successful your company is. Humanize your brand by telling authentic stories. The ones about challenges or failures the company and employees have overcome and the lessons they learned in the process – they are the ones that will make your target audience find themselves in them, relate and sympathize with you. Sometimes, it’s the shared pain of a situation that connects people who wouldn’t usually see or acknowledge that they do have things in common.
Therefore, instead of just painting this picture of a perfect brand, add some relatable – human – flaws people who might need your products or services can relate with. Share true stories of customers who had a particular problem that your company provided a solution for. This will also help you showcase the way your product or service works in real-life situations, which is always good for boosting sales as well.
2) Use humor in stories
By using a note of humor in at least some of the content you publish on Social Media, you are helping in establishing social bonds between your brand and potential customers. If this is something you feel wary about, don’t despair, you don’t have to be a comedian to engage your target audience. You don’t feel like you can create funny enough content? Just share something that already exists on the Internet. There are all sorts of funny images online nowadays and you should definitely think about including them in the visual content shared on your Social Media profiles.
Even if the people it comes across don’t buy from you, they will share your content with people who might and thus point them in the right direction – yours. Be appropriately funny and your potential customers will be able to see you not just as a business whose only focus is to sell a product or service, but as a team of humans who can put aside being serious for a moment and have a little fun.
3) Put your team in the spotlight
You must have heard of employee branding, right? Employees establish their own brand based on skills and experience they have, but as part of a company team. This is also a good way to humanize your company brand as people very much enjoy peeking behind the scenes and it will help your potential customers put a face to the brand name.
Make your employees your brand ambassadors by posting pictures of them in the office setting working on the latest version of your products or services or from a company retreat letting their hair down. Just remember to avoid anything too loose getting out in public – no-one wants to see that. You don’t even need a professional photographer, everyone has at least one phone nowadays and most of them can make pretty good pictures, so why not use them?
4) Share user-generated content
Simply put, publishing user-generated content on company Social Media profiles tells your potential customers that there are people who buy your products and services and like them. And like to tell other people about them, obviously. People are sharers – they like to share interesting and useful stuff on Social Media – so why not encourage that and then acknowledge it by resharing on company profiles? First, your followers will be flattered they were singled out by a brand they hold in high regard and second, it shows to your potential customers that you have a good relationship with people who are already enjoying your products or services. That is how you humanize your brand. You’re not asking for blind trust from those who are considering buying from you – you have satisfied customers speaking on your behalf.
If you don’t already have user-generated content, ask your customers for it (but never offer anything in return for a positive review). You can do this in an email campaign, or add a short survey at the check-out (on e-commerce websites), or you could just create a small contest on Social Media and ask for a picture of your followers and customers with your product, for example – something that you will later share with a unique hashtag. But most importantly, make it fun for people to tell their stories about you.
5) Show you appreciate your customers
Maybe the best way to humanize your brand is to let your customers know you care about them and appreciate them. You could do that by sending a company swag, personalized gifts or offering special discounts to those who buy often from you or just in large amounts. You will create a lifelong fan of your brand for the cost of one care package.
If, however, sending physical gifts is too costly for your company, or inconvenient for some reason, you can always send a virtual gift card or maybe just a thank-you email after a completed purchase. Either way, for a small cost, you will gain faithful brand ambassadors.