Our summer intern Josh Stein provides insight into how humanity can supercharge a brand, and how to achieve it.
In an increasingly cluttered and claustrophobic marketing world, the importance of a distinct and engaging brand is not just important, but essential. But what exactly is a brand? It’s not a logo, a color scheme, a single ad, or even a complete campaign. In fact, defining and more importantly, assessing, a brand has eluded marketers and advertisers for years. But recently, researchers have attempted just that.
Using 350 evaluation criteria, researchers developed the “L2 Digital IQ Index”, a test that looks at a company’s digital presence and then scores the strength of its brand. After applying the index to 45 auto brands, Ford emerged as the strongest brand and the only company to earn a “genius” rating. Ultra-luxury imports, such as Lamborghini, Ferrari and Rolls-Royce, on the other hand, earned a “feeble” rating. The test takes into account all aspects of a company’s marketing communications, weighting website marketing the heaviest and social media presence the least.
But knowing which brands have a strong digital presence doesn’t help us definitively pin down what makes a brand great.
According to Pam Moore, CEO and founder of Marketing Nutz, humanity is the answer. Moore argues that great brands are those that live, breathe and communicate like a person, rather than a faceless organization. Why? Because humans are the ones reading your communications, deciding whether they like you and ultimately talking about you with their friends.
To help you humanize your brand, we’ve distilled her pointers into three key building blocks:
- Create relationships – the best human brands listen, connect and respond to their audiences, as well as their own employees. They value two-way communication.
- Be knowledgeable – great human brands know things. They know about their target audience, their competitors, their product, and most importantly, themselves. They don’t lie about who they are, and they embrace tough truths.
- Fake it – since you can’t be an actual person, do everything you can to act like one. Develop a distinct personality, tone and language for your brand. Show compassion and demonstrate that your brand can think. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. We humans sure do.
Brands are constantly growing and evolving. Accordingly, so is what makes a brand great. Tell us: which are your favorite brands and what makes them great?