How to Humanise a Brand Through Storytelling
Building your brand means building customer trust.
This is a vital concept to remember when creating your brand. People turn to brands that they trust. And when they trust your brand, you’ll have a lot of loyal customers who won’t only buy your products and services but will also recommend you to their peers.
Many brands nowadays roll out lofty and egotistical click-baits and content in an attempt to gain customers, but more often than not, this method is counterproductive— if not even downright repelling.
While eventually, your business should be able to tell its success story, it isn’t exactly the best way to introduce your brand. If your goal is to gain the trust of both customers and prospects alike, you should make your brand ‘human’.
Why it is important to humanise your brand
In this day and age, branding isn’t only about pitting product against product; it has also become a competition of creativity.
Businesses have found more and more ways to be creative with their brands, and it’s noticeable that the more creative they get, the more ‘human’ their brands become. But why do we need them to feel human in the first place for people to trust them?
The answer is simple: Humans trust other humans the most.
What makes something trustworthy is how easily we could understand it. And, what makes something easy to understand is when people can relate to it. What better way would there be to do this than to make your brand feel human?
Even in your content, your audience wants to see something that will incite an emotion within them. This is why we see a lot of commercials today that feature tear-jerking stories about family or romance despite their products having practically nothing to do with those themes.
People want to see a brand that will treat them like human beings too: a brand they can understand, a brand they can trust. Make your brand human so that others can see a friend in it, rather than just a product.
Why ego-driven content doesn’t work
In an attempt to elevate one’s brand and show that it’s better than its competitors, some entrepreneurs tend to go the easy route and simply slap their achievements into their hook and end it with “Click here to learn how I generated $500k in sales in just 30 days!”
It may seem like the easiest way to present what your brand is capable of, but the easiest way isn’t always the best way.
Gloating is not attractive for any brand. If anything, it will drive potential customers away, after they dismiss the self-congratulatory content with nothing but an eye roll as they proceed to scroll past it.
Your brand is for your customers, not for you. It is not an expressway to boast about your success. You won’t gain people’s trust by sounding self-absorbed; you will gain it by showing that you care for them. This is where humanising your brand comes in. You’re starting a friendship, not a cult.
At the end of the day, your audience wants to see what they can gain from your brand, and not the other way around.
10 tips to humanise your brand as a storyteller
Now that we have established why humanising your brand is important, here are some tips on how to do exactly that:
1. Personify your brand.
The very first step in making your brand feel human is to give it human traits. Give your brand a personality, as a storyteller would do for a character. The best way to do this is to imagine what your brand would be like if they were to be an actual human being. What’s their favourite colour? What language do they use— do they use a lot of slang? Do they love to ask questions? Do they love to use emojis? Incorporate all of these when creating the website, the posts, and even the logos.
Here are the five main brand personalities to help you decide what you want your brand’s energy to feel like:
- Excitement (cheerful, carefree, youthful)
- Sincerity (kind, thoughtful, wholesome)
- Competence (intelligent, highlighted by leadership, influential)
- Sophistication (elegant, refined, charming)
- Toughness (rugged, athletic, powerful)
2. Make your brand relatable.
A relatable character is someone your audience can invest in. Relate to them like a friend would so they would be comfortable with approaching you.
Tell jokes. Mention popular themes. When your audience finds some common ground with you and your brand, you’ll find that they can trust you more quickly and they’d show more genuine interest in what you have to offer.
3. Speak in a language your audience will understand.
Forego the strict business tone.
No one likes reading formal writing on social media. Set a personable tone instead. Talk to your audience as if they’ve always been close with you. Don’t use big or fancy words that people don’t use in their day-to-day conversations, otherwise you’ll risk sounding pretentious.
4. Be honest.
Honesty is the building block of trust.
Cliché as that may sound, it will always, always apply in your content. Tell your story as it really is. Don’t over-exaggerate. Don’t fake your struggles or the effectiveness of what you’re trying to sell.
If your audience knows who you are and what you can or can’t do, they would know exactly what to expect from you and wouldn’t doubt your capabilities.
5. Be humble.
While it is important to be confident in what you’re selling, it doesn’t mean that you need to sound self-important about it. Don’t look down on your audience; rather, see them eye-to-eye. Remember that your brand is trying to be their trustworthy friend, and only then could you be in a position to give them advice that will help them improve their lives.
If you make mistakes, admit to it.
And while you’re an expert at what you do, don’t assume you know everything. Your brand is a work-in-progress, and there will always be ways for it to be better.
It is in your sincerity that they will be able to truly trust you completely.
6. Be consistent.
People will look for consistency in your brand. It is one thing to establish a good first impression, but it is another to make that impression last. Consistency will make you more memorable to your audience. Your goal here is for your brand identity to be so entrenched in their minds that when they see something related to your brand, they would instantly remember it.
Make sure that all the colours, fonts, logos, themes, styles, and tones in your website and content are consistent.
7. Stay relevant.
Being relatable also means staying relevant. Keep up with the trends, of what’s hot and what’s not. Don’t be afraid to talk about current events and pressing issues. What are your brand’s convictions about social issues like racism, sexism, and other unequal treatment? You’d be surprised by how much support your brand would get by having humane stances on these matters.
8. Show what happens behind the scenes.
While your brand is already personified, it is also important that your audience is reminded that there is a human behind it all. What does your workspace look like? What’s the atmosphere in your office? Who are your employees? The rejection of anonymity will make you both more relatable and more trustworthy.
9. Encourage involvement.
Ask questions in your content. Make it feel like a normal conversation. Help them form their own ideas instead of simply spoon feeding them.
In the same manner, make your posts open to responses. Answer their questions and reply to their feedback, whether positive or negative. If they know that you are responsive, they can trust that you won’t leave them in the dark.
10. Offer expertise without trying to sell.
Lastly, present your product or service in a way that shows that you are giving sound and helpful advice rather than forcing them to do something. As much as you need more sales, it is important to show that they need what you can give and that you’re willing to help them every step of the way.
In summary, as a storyteller, it is your job to present your brand in a way that makes it feel human. Make your brand honest, relatable, consistent, humble, and involved with its audience. That way, you can gain their interest and later on their trust.
To better humanise your brand, join our content workshop. This workshop will teach you the intricacies of personifying and humanising your brand and applying it to the stories and content you post for the next six months.
“If people like you they will listen to you, but if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.” — Zig Ziglar, author of See You at the Top.