“Do well by doing good.”
– Benjamin Franklin
According to academic research, human beings immediately size up other human beings based on the perception of two traits: competence and disposition. The two things we immediately try to ascertain when meeting a person are if they’re nice and if they’re smart. These two traits – competence and warmth – are the essence of brand humanity.
Brand humanity is the attempt by corporations to project onto themselves the desirable human traits of nice and smart – that they’re competent, capable and efficient, as well as honest, well intentioned, and compassionate. Follow this guide to establishing brand humanity, which your customers so desperately crave.
Care About What Your Customers Care About
In one of our previous blog posts, the author makes the case that a business can increase customer loyalty by catering to the needs of parents. Shopping with children can be fun, but it is often stressful, trying, and frustrating. By offering activities for and simply being friendly toward children, you are showing their parents – your customers – that you care about the things that are most important to them – their kids. Suddenly, your for-profit business seems to be a collection of people looking out for the needs of other people.
In a recent business article, Domino’s Pizza was profiled as a brand humanity success story. When the ubiquitous pizza chain came up with a new recipe, their CEO went on TV, announced the changes, and then apologized for sticking their customers with the previous recipe that wasn’t very good, and asked for a second chance. Their profits immediately skyrocketed and the brand emerged with a new, polished image as a company that apologizes and asks for forgiveness when it makes mistakes, just as decent people should.
Be Good to Your Workers – and the World
People don’t mind when companies make money – even if their top dogs become fabulously wealthy. But when that wealth appears to be built on the backs of neglected employees who are barely scratching by, the company can come off as a cold, calculating entity driven only by profit.
Ben and Jerry’s is one of the most successful businesses in American History, but the corporate image of the duo’s ice-cream empire is the epitome of brand humanity. Aside from campaigning since their brand’s inception for social, political, and environmental justice, they’ve always offered generous benefits, time off, maternity leave, and lots of free ice cream to all their employees. When they started their company, Ben and Jerry instituted a policy that no executive could earn more than five times what was paid to entry-level employees. They got rich – very rich – but spread around the wealth enough to get a reputation as a company that cared about the little guy.
Brand humanity is the process of establishing your business’s image to be the opposite of what is expected of a corporation. Yes, you’re in business to make a profit, but your drive for success must be tempered with a sincere and consistent attempt to improve the lives of your workers, leave a positive impact on the world, and show your customers that you’re one of them – a real, live human being who likes money as much as the next guy, but not at any cost.
Consider using LeSaint Logistics for your business to improve your business’s efficiency and allow you to focus on your brand’s reputation and success.
About the Author
Andrew Lisa is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. He writes about business management, branding and profiles time tracking software.