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  • Writer's pictureTumi Erasmus

Humanising the Brand: How Genuine Connections Fuel Success

In today's world, we're bombarded with ads and brand messages every day. But consumers crave something more than just being sold to. They want genuine connections, not just with other people, but also with the brands they choose to support. That's why humanising your brand is no longer a fad, it's a strategic necessity. It's about building trust and loyalty that leads to long-term success.

This approach has a name: Youpreneurship. "Youpreneurs" are a new breed of entrepreneurs who build businesses around their personal brand and expertise. You leverage your unique skills, experiences, and personality to connect with your audience and create a thriving business. But how do you, as a brand, develop a relatable and humanised personality? The answer lies in the power of storytelling and transparent communication.

The Power of Storytelling

Connecting Through Narrative

Stories have captivated us since the beginning of time, and for good reason. They spark emotions, build empathy, and make information stick in our minds. For brands, storytelling goes way beyond advertising. It's about crafting a narrative that resonates with your audience on a deeper level. Here are three ways to use storytelling to humanise your brand:

  1. Share Your Origin Story Every brand has a unique journey. Sharing your origin story – the spark that ignited the idea, the challenges you faced along the way, and the milestones you've achieved – creates a sense of authenticity and relatability. This transparency not only humanises your brand but also builds trust. Consumers appreciate knowing the faces behind the brand and the passion that drives it all. 

  2. Highlight Your Values Today's consumers, especially Gen Z, care deeply about values. They want to support brands that align with their own beliefs. By clearly communicating your brand's values and showcasing how they influence your business decisions, you can form a strong emotional connection with your audience. Do you know what Your Brand's Core Values are? If you have never really given this deep thought before, look inward. What are the guiding principles that drive your business decisions? What problems are you passionate about solving? What kind of impact do you want to make on the world? Then think about your "why": Why did you start this brand? What problem were you trying to solve? Answering these questions can help you identify and embody your values.

  3. Showcase Customer Stories Your customers are the heart and soul of your brand story. Sharing their experiences and testimonials can make your brand more relatable and trustworthy. User-generated content, such as reviews, photos, and videos, not only humanises your brand but also acts as powerful social proof, demonstrating the real impact you have on real people.

Transparent Communication

Building Trust Through Openness

Storytelling sets the stage for connection, but transparent communication is what keeps that connection strong and authentic. In today's world of misinformation, honesty and openness are more valuable than ever. Here's how to use clear communication to humanise your brand:

  1. Be Upfront About Your Offerings: Manage Expectations and Build Trust Don't try to be everything to everyone. Identify your product or service's core strengths and highlight them clearly in your marketing materials. Be upfront about any limitations or areas where it might not be the perfect fit. This builds trust by setting realistic expectations from the start. For example, if you sell handmade leather shoes, emphasise their high quality and unique craftsmanship. However, also acknowledge that genuine leather requires specific care. This honesty positions you as a reliable source and avoids disappointing customers who might not be prepared for the upkeep.

  2. Create a Conversation, Not a Monologue: Show You're Listening Humanising your brand means being accessible and responsive. Social media is a perfect platform for two-way communication, but it takes effort beyond just posting. Here's how to truly engage:

    1. Respond to comments and questions promptly, even the critical ones. Acknowledge concerns and offer solutions or explanations.

    2. Host Q&A sessions or live streams to directly connect with your audience.

    3. Run polls and surveys to gather feedback and understand your audience's needs and preferences.

    4. Show appreciation for positive feedback. A simple "thank you" goes a long way in building relationships.

  3. Admit Mistakes and Take Responsibility No brand is perfect, and mistakes happen. What matters most is how you handle them. Here's how to turn missteps into opportunities for growth:

    1. Admit faults quickly and sincerely. Don't try to cover them up.

    2. Take responsibility for the issue and explain what steps you're taking to fix it.

    3. Offer genuine apologies and compensation if necessary. Demonstrate that you care about your customers' experience. For example, if you accidentally send out a faulty batch of products, proactively reach out to affected customers, offer a full refund or replacement, and explain the steps you're taking to prevent it from happening again. This shows your commitment to quality and customer satisfaction.

Humanising your brand is not just a strategy, it's a necessity. By leveraging the power of storytelling and maintaining transparent communication, brands can forge genuine connections with their audience. These connections are the foundation of trust and loyalty, essential components for long-term success. So, tell your story, stay transparent, and watch as your brand transforms into a beloved and trusted companion in the lives of your consumers.



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