Like most of marketing’s buzziest new phrases the ‘humanisation of brands’ is actually firmly rooted in sense and it is only the feckless bandying about of the idea that serves to devalue it.
The humanisation of brands is largely referring to the practice of giving a very tangible, human face and personality to your brand, an opportunity unquestionably afforded through social media.
There are a great many ways this can be applied and a great many benefits a brand can gain from, well, being a bit less brandy and a bit more peopley through social media.
But one significant trend to look out for as this continues to be accepted as a very sensible practice is what happens when companies balls things up.
Quite simply, a benchmark for any successful brand humanisation on social is transparency. More pertinently, what does that brand do and say when they make a mistake?
Brands that have successfully integrated this social humanisation into their communications culture will come forward, admit their mistake, apologise in the plainest language and clearly spell out how they intend to remedy matters.
The day of the desperately political non-apology (‘we regret that such-and-such an action may have been interpreted in such-and-such a way’) must surely be drawing to a close as brands and businesses realise that social media is as utterly unforgiving to corporate fudge as it is embracing and rewarding to honesty.
Humanising a brand doesn’t mean turning it into some kind of slobbering social media pseudo-buddy. Attempting to force a relationship like that isn’t going to benefit anybody. But it is an opportunity (maybe even an obligation) to provide a less guarded, more approachable gateway to your brand for those rather handy people who keep you in business.
Andrew is Lead Copywriter and Head of Social here at Together. Follow him on Google+.