Which comes first The Chicken or The Egg?
The world today comprises communities that grow and multiply by association, similar ideologies and emotional connections. The age of relationships bound by blood and contracts have grown thinner and less appealing. With the advent of digital technology, the ties between brands, corporations and diverse communities both grow stronger and adversely distant. Organizations and brands with strong mentions in the world today have understood the need to incorporate emotions and communities into their brand message. The more human the brand, the more humans subscribe to the brand.
The reality of growing brands is what is more important, the product or the people? On one hand, the product belongs to the people. To satisfy, to enable and fulfil desires. No brand would exist without a key offering, mainly the driver for their mission statements and how they plan on achieving them with the use of core values. 70% of the time, products determine majority of the perception an audience have towards a brand. The other 30% belongs to what they say and their feelings to the brand. The people are final consumers, subscribers, stakeholders, audience and whoever basically has direct or indirect impact of the existence of an organization. Focusing on what the people want/need gives rise to the possibility of a new product and downfall of brand. a great scale must be drawn between becoming a people brand and human brand. the difference?
Where a people brand is usually grown by propaganda, lip service and poor product backing, the human brand is less talk-more action, average to standard quality product backing and finally a two-way communication process that allows the people to speak to the brand.
So what makes a human brand; defining and identifying these firms, organizations or corporations maybe difficult, especially with the advancement in technology and media presence on online platforms. To effectively identify these attributes, further division into outward attributes and in-house attributes are definite.
|Outward traits||In-house traits|
|Consumer/user- oriented||Healthy employee relationship|
|Contribution to community growth||Consistent employee growth|
|Open channels for people feedback||Unbiased staff opinion polls|
|Accountable leadership||Transparent management|
|Functional product||Effective company culture|
By highlighting the attributes of a human brand, the next best step is to identify how a brand can be transformed from ‘what it is’ to ‘what it should be’ in reality. Strongly advocating that no organization is born or created with an evil intent to suppress, punish or be selfish within the community where it exists, a few management regimes or external factors may cause drastic change in operations that stray a brand from the human path. At such moments, proper evaluation, review of mission statements or restructuring must take place before ripple effects are felt by the people and economies at large.
Steps to humanizing a brand;
- State clear and achievable goals for both products and people
- Start with the people internally (employees) and move outward (audience/consumers)
- Let the people communicate to the brand
- The brand must learn to speak with one voice across all products, campaigns and platforms
- Measure the value of the brand and its actions against its impact on the community where it exists.
- Lastly, a human brand like every human being must acknowledge when it has a shortcoming, mistake or error and seek for pardon from the community.
In conclusion, the fundamentalism of a human brand is beneficial not just for the good of a brand and the people in a corporate and natural landscape, but for sustainable growth, participation and familiarity. This in the long term, matures into a healthy relationship between both parties. In most cases, brands who have been able to humanize their existence in various sectors not only become key players, but also experience quick return on investments, rapid sales of goods and services and in very likely cases, strong societal belief in the activities of such a brand. In the end, every brand must decide which comes first the people(chicken), or the product (egg).