Your customers want to think of your brand as more than just a commercial entity. In short, they want to see the human element behind your business and your brand. When brands successfully do this, it builds trust and rapport with customers. However, doing this well is easier said than done. So, how can you successfully give your customers a first-hand look at the human element behind your business? Let’s take a look at a few ideas.
Have a mission statement. A mission statement clearly conveys your brand’s purpose and goals. In doing so, it can make you seem more human and appealing. As a general rule of thumb, your mission statement should do the following:
- Outline goals for customers, employees, and owners. A healthy business should absolutely benefit customers, employees, and owners. Therefore, a truly excellent mission statement should outline goals for not only customers but also a business’s employees and owners. After all, your business needs to find, keep, inspire, and compensate talented and dedicated employees while also making profits for its owners. When you outline all of this for your customers and show you care about your employees’ experience as well as your customers’ experience, it will make you seem more human and relatable.
- Define a strategic focus on a specific segment of the market. All successful businesses are able to define and appeal to a specific segment of the market. Your mission statement should set goals for whom to appeal to and define the strategy for doing so.
Remember, the key to a successful mission statement is making it incredibly specific and relevant to your business. “The most common reason for a mission statement to fall short is that it is just a collection of buzzwords and clichés that say nothing,” business planner Tim Berry explained in Entrepreneur. “Look at your company's mission statement, if you have one: Would your customers know that’s yours and not your competition's? Don’t do a mission statement for your business unless it has some strategic use. Generic mission statements are just a waste of time.”
Craft a compelling “about” page to showcase your brand’s personality. Just as each person has a different personality, each brand also has a personality. To successfully convey the human element behind your business, you absolutely need to make sure that your brand’s unique personality traits shine through. Think of it this way: A firm selling financial advisory services to retirees is likely to want to come across as serious, knowledgeable, and reputable, while a brand selling sunglasses to millennials is likely to want to come off as fun, stylish, and trendy. Your brand’s personality should be unique to the products or services you are selling and your target market.
Ideally, you will also want to have some kind of unique selling point. “Establishing a brand identity requires something distinctive. For instance, Apple has become known worldwide for their innovative products and minimalistic, aesthetic appeal,” Jayson DeMers explained in Forbes. “When it comes to service companies, Domino’s Pizza used to guarantee that their pizza would arrive in 30 minutes or it’d be free. In terms of a selling point, TOMS shoes donates a free pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair of shoes that are bought.” Once you’ve identified your brand’s personality, you need to convey that personality to your customers. An “about” page in which you describe your brand, the history behind it, and its purpose is an excellent way to do so. Ultimately, outlining who you are is an excellent way to help your customers connect with you on a much more human level.
Invest in blog content that shows off your brand’s personality. Your “about” page isn’t the only opportunity you have to showcase your brand’s personality. You should leverage blog content in order to do the same. Think of it this way: People are much more likely to interact with people that they like and can identify with. The same works for brands. If you have content that showcases your personality, you will be much more relatable as a brand — and, subsequently, you will see increased engagement rates and share rates when it comes to your blog content. Of course, when showcasing your brand’s personality, you will need to be absolutely professional. For example, humor is OK, but make sure it’s appropriate for your audience. When giving customers a look behind the scenes at your business, make sure you aren’t giving away any kind of confidential information.
Make sure customers know about the people behind your business. It’s the people behind your business who really help create your brand’s personality. So make sure your customers know who is on your team! If you don’t have a “meet the team” page on your website, add one. Moreover, don’t just give dry biographies of their credentials. Make sure their personalities really shine through! You can also use blogs and social media to share team updates and let people know when you’ve added new people to the team. Having team members to contribute to your blog and other content is a great way to allow people to identify with different voices and perspectives within your company.
Work to engage your customers on social media. Last, but not least, don’t forget to leverage the power of social media to showcase your more human element. Remember, you don’t have to be perfect. While you don’t want to publicize any major blunders, customers do like hearing about funny mistakes or amusing errors. “No one can relate to a perfect person. Just like no one can relate to a perfect brand. It’s unattainable, it’s ethereal, it’s no fun,” Stephanie Burns, explained in Forbes. “Today’s consumers crave transparency, and nothing is more transparent than being yourself, flaws and all. Let your brand have some short-comings, some flaws, it can’t be all things to all people – but if your brand is real and honest, you can’t help but have brand evangelists. Let your brand have some ‘me too’s’ with your customer and watch the magic of connection. Having a bad day? Me too! Have a dog? Me too! Have an issue biting your nails? Me too! Your brand can have all of these things.”
The bottom line is that when customers feel like they have a human connection with a brand, they are much more likely to make a purchase. “We must infuse humanity into our businesses if we want to create a relationship. A brand must live and breathe on its own, and in order to do that – you must give it life,” Burns said. Ultimately, when you invest in the humans behind your brand, you invest in the success of your business. You should never be wary of showcasing your brand’s personality to your customers.
Want help strategizing how to implement the passion and personality behind your company throughout your marketing presence? Contact 10twelve today!