We homo sapiens by instinct crave for authentic connection and communication with fellow human beings. It is true for companies and brands as well. They too are human, and it isn’t always evident outright whether a brand is a friend or foe. Put simply, companies are groups of people, gathered in the pursuit of a common objective.
For the most part, the common objective of most businesses is simply to earn profits, maximize the financial benefit for its owners – mostly a group of shareholders. They do not all necessarily possess altruistic, lofty, or philanthropic ideals, nor are they all greedy and power-hungry vultures looking to dominate the world. But they are still the reason the respective group gathers together to work every day.
Apart from the financial aspect, the same things that attract you to a person also draws you to support (or work for) a brand: shared purpose, values, ideas, tastes, etc. We’ve witnessed successful brands like Old Spice, Warby Parker, and JetBlue win us over with fun and authentic communication—all devised by real people you’d actually be glad to share a beer with.
Not all brand communication is meant to dupe you. It’s often about creating a sense of camaraderie and belonging that inspires us to build better products or improve service, to live more productive and meaningful lives. This is the ideal standard which we should strive to achieve for ourselves and the companies we support.
Viewing companies as financial entities, separated from the humans driving them, is myopic and clearly dangerous. When you disregard a company’s humanity, accountability is lost as well. In the absence of accountability, companies do things that exploit humanity. It soon descends into an adversarial relation and subsequent conflict causes us to disengage and retreat into apathy.
But when brands leave behind their humanity and shared objective for working together, they cease to communicate effectively hindering the making of real human connections. They are no longer our friends. And often that’s a shame.
However, clear and authentic communication can prevent this breakdown. Successful brands can thrive or fail based on their ability to articulate their purpose with conviction and transparency. They thus garner support in the form of friends, employees, and followers. Such communication separates the business-minded from the committed, making the friend or foe decision much easier for us. social media marketing
Content is the vehicle through which it is conveyed. The authenticity of a brand is felt in everything from its unique visual style, the tone of the medium and the message itself. Words, images, and data, are all integral to conveying the story. And no matter if it’s informative, inspirational, authoritative or humorous, all help in forging that human connection. Relationships are built and foster accountability.
For better or worse, companies are the most powerful organizations on earth in our modern economies. This is the age of radical transparency. Now, authenticity isn’t a marketing tactic; it’s the essential option for survival. With the shift to brand publishing, it is communication and content that will define a company’s image. The more human a company is, the better it will work (out) for humanity.
Related Post: 2017 Will See The Rise of Influencer Marketing