Social Samosa presents the ultimate guide to taking a humane approach towards your marketing efforts, making brand communications a part of daily conversations and lives of consumers.
A brand can be interpreted in several ways, it can be a company with a legacy, a solution to a problem, the definition of cool, a symbol of luxury, an emblem of class, and so on… And a lot of it has to do with your brand's approach, or rather your brand's humane approach towards marketing.
Ever wonder how and why anything Netflix puts on their social media handles becomes a part of the consumer lingo or the meme world? Netflix as a brand has embraced the colloquial advantage that its content offers. A perfect example of how the brand took a consumer tweet about how Radhika Apte is all over their platform and converted it into a meme movement that none could resist.
Many such Indian and global brands have become a daily stop for consumers as they speak to them in their language, satisfying their needs, and lending a helping hand when they need it. Here we decipher how brands can be an organic voice in the social chatter through a humane approach i.e.make your brand feel less like a brand and more like a companion.
Listen… That's It. That's The First Step
Social Listening is not a new concept and neither are its benefits unknown. What would be new here is the increased relevance of social listening in an era where opinions are denser than information. You not only need to know what a consumer is saying about your brand, but how they’re saying it - Was it an appreciation post, memes were the language used, or were you trolled?
It will also help your brand conclude whether the image you put out is in line with the image the audience perceived. Each time you listen to social conversations around your brand, you gain more information about what your audience wants, likes, and dislikes.
You can accordingly alter your approach, adapting to the consumer’s needs and tone.
Build A Brand Personality
If your brand was a human, what characteristics would it have? Ask yourself this question before building a brand personality that would prevail through the brand's existence. Whether it would be witty and humorous, intense and informational, serious and on point? Pick the traits that best suit your offerings.
Every brand you may think of that has managed to maintain a humane approach, would have at least one such personality characteristic that you the audience associates with them. For instance, Durex comes off as witty and eccentric with their communications. They have managed to hide the pillow talk under the blanket of wordplay and subtle creatives, as marketing condoms in India can get tricky.
Peg Your Content Around One Core Theme
All of Tinder's communications are pegged around dating, whether they are tapping a topical, putting out a Tweet, collaborating with a creator, or just in general their marketing strategy as a whole.
So, if Tinder was a human, it would be easy to remember them as 'the one who always talks about dating' or someone you could go to when you wanted a few tips or feel good first date jokes. Similarly, their audience would recall them if the topic of dating crops up in their daily lives (or just their mind). A common core theme helps you create a top of the mind recall, making you the one-stop destination for all things around that one topic.
Respond With More Than a Reply
When India won the test series against Australia at Gabba, Zomato DM's were flooded with users asking for offers to celebrate the historic win. To which Zomato responded with more than a reply.
The brand first built on this recurring occurrence with a meme and followed it up with a post announcing that they have updated the apps with promo codes offering discounts.
Your brand goes a long way when it converses with personalized communication as opposed to AI replies, but it goes further when it listens to what the consumer wants, and responds with more than a reply. It offers them a solution or fulfills a demand; not only do these earn consumers’ trust but also help them understand that the brand cares for them.
Consistent Brand Tonality
While it is important to show the brand's human side to tap this genre of marketing, it is also vital to sustaining a consistent tone throughout all communications on every channel, medium, and platform.
You do not want the audience to think your brand has multiple personalities. This outlook is also important for brands that operate in multiple verticals. A consistent palette of words and a scheme of colors can help keep the tonality consistent.
Represent Your Brand Through A Mascot
The materialization of your brand's personality in the form of a mascot is effective to give your marketing efforts a humane approach. While the mascot doesn't necessarily need to be a human, its characteristics and traits can be. It also makes your brand easy to identify.
A mascot can be used as a recurring thread for varied concepts and campaigns. The prime example is the Amul Girl. The round-eyed, chubby-cheeked little girl, the abstraction of Dr. Verghese Kurien, has remained as relevant as the current topicals, with a legacy that dates back to as far as the summer of 1967.
She is as human as any brand can get. The mischievous little girl can poke fun, acknowledge a pop culture event, stand up for important issues, and do a lot more.
Consumers are Humans First
When the pandemic first hit, operations came to a screeching halt. People were struggling with their daily lives in every aspect. Who do you think they took notice of during this phase? Brands that attempted to sell them their products or the brands that helped them deal with the crisis?
Consumers are more than just data points, a target audience, a research form - they are humans too. Various brands went beyond the good ol’ sell with every possible help one could think of - from workout sessions to DIY cooking, from activities for kids to webinars with role models, brands had them covered.
Tap Topical Creatives
The most organic way to be a part of the social chatter and gain substantial engagement is to tap topical trends. The duration a trend lasts has decreased, but the number of trends have increased, that can help fill up the content calendar.
Choosing the right trends, strong brand integrations, a high creative quotient, are few of the factors that need to be in order.
Humor Goes A Long Way
Humor might possibly be the most cherished quality amongst humans. You ever heard of a person who doesn't like to laugh? Me neither. Unless you voluntarily want to avoid this tonality, there is no industry that cannot be humorous with their communication. It can be used to market everything from mutual funds to medicines.
There are several brands who have ingrained this in their communication on multiple or all channels. These include brands who have a legacy of efficient campaigns or even the up and coming ones.
Burger King has managed to marinate their communication in humor, and use it as a common tone for various subjects, whether its grilling McDonald's or conveying their preventive measures.
Most brands began considering empathy as an important trait since the arrival of the pandemic but it has always been an important characteristic that separates an inanimate brand from a humane brand.
You do not need to necessarily be empathetic towards your consumers, you can be understanding and caring towards the underprivileged or marginalized communities, animals, social issues, an occurrence that is relevant to your brand or aligns with your mission statement.
These efforts towards humane marketing will only be complete if you match your actions with your words and visuals. Presenting your brand as a responsible part of society would need aligning both.
To become a brand that a consumer looks forward to hearing from, instead of an ad that is skipped or a voice that is too promotional, these steps need to be taken at the right place and right time, and also as required.
Communications are subjective and should be customized according to the brand, sector, and audience. Although, to ace this genre of marketing irrespective of these elements, a brand should think like a human first.
At AliveNow Creative Tech Studio SAMMIE BSMB we're focussed on acknowledging the work of humane brands that have managed to shatter the barriers of modern communication through innovative marketing tactics.