Branding 101: Embracing the Human Element
Although likes and favorites are replacing high fives and handshakes, the human element has never been more integral to marketing success. In the information age, a startup that fails to resonate with its core consumer base stands little chance of reaching the next level, and even worse, runs the risk of having its campaigns viewed as mere spam. To shine brighter than the competition, you must distinguish yourself from the endless sea of digital defecation polluting the Internet. In order to accomplish this, a significant amount of time and energy must be focused on developing the soul of your brand.
What Is the Human Element?
Computers are powerful, algorithms are smart, but no matter how much technology progresses, humanity alone possesses the ability to process emotions, to decipher the subtle nuances fueling consciousness. We want to connect, whether it be with friends, family, colleagues, or the businesses we trust on a daily basis. This is known as the human element, and so long as people buy products or services, it remains invaluable.
However, you must remember one essential rule. If you try to target everyone, odds are you'll reach no one. You have to identify your core audience, and once that's accomplished, ensure every facet of your organization embodies the principles they come to expect. For example, if you sell yourself on strong professional values, avoid marketing material that is too provocative in nature. Ideally, you will identify the hopes, dreams, and inner desires of your target demographic, and then take measures to adjust your entire brand narrative accordingly.
As the digital revolution continues its onward march, mankind finds itself more connected than ever. This translates into every customer also doubling as a publisher, eagerly broadcasting their experience with you to hundreds, even thousands of people. In light of this, your brand reputation is put on the line with every transaction. To prevent disaster, instruct every employee on the importance of maintaining a healthy relationship with customers, no matter how large or small their orders may be.
Above all, consumers want to feel as if they have a voice, to know that their opinion matters. Needless to say, this demands speedy response times and competent personnel. Granted, you can't expect jubilant, eloquent diplomacy from your employees if they are miserable.
Building a Healthy Company Culture
A company culture can be built on its own, and this is not a good thing. First and foremost, a company must have principles and values. These principles and values are the cornerstones of the company culture. These need to be more than just writing on the walls in the halls. Everything, whether it’s the people that are hired or the processes that are put in place, needs to revolve around the principles and values.
I have included an example of our principles and values (Download Here) in case you want some ideas to get started on building your principles and values. It’s important to remember that your principles and values need to be unique to you and should part of your fabric.
At the end of the day, people still buy from people. As technology professionals that are quick to communicate in several electronic methods, we must not lose sight of the human element that provides your clients or prospects with the interaction they need to either keep or start doing business with you.
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