Human brands and imperfection
People aren't perfect. Brands shouldn't be either. We think imperfection and quirks are far more interesting – and far more genuine.
If your brand was a person, who would they be?
Whenever we partner with a new business, we ask them this question.
From George Clooney to Jamie Oliver, the answer’s never the same – but the conversation’s always a great icebreaker. It’s the perfect way for us to dip a toe in the water; we get a sense of who the client is, and, more importantly, who they want to be.
That initial conversation paints a picture of how the brand wants to appear in the market. The insights garnered from that inform everything we do for their business in terms of strategy, marketing and even visual identity.
However, this exercise only takes us so far. When describing a brand as a person, the attributes are often aspirational, bordering on unrealistic.
People aren't perfect – brands shouldn't be either
Perfect is boring. At best, it’s a little alienating to the people you want to reach. At worst, it seems totally contrived.
We think imperfection and quirks are far more interesting – and far more genuine.
But how can embracing imperfection translate to creating better brands?
As the world becomes more and more digitally integrated, the quest to make brands feel more human becomes even more important. In a hyperconnected world, where information flows quicker than water, how can brands differentiate themselves and better connect with customers?
From employing a warmer tone of voice to implementing a helpful AI assistant, brands are striving to be more relatable and universally liked. But how can they do this without becoming generic?
The great thing about branding is you can choose to be as different as you want. There are no limits on who your brand can be or what personality it embodies. But, despite that, it's funny how many businesses decide to be just like everyone else.
In striving to be perfect, many brands fall into the dreaded trap of sameness. Instead, they need to delve deeper. Two brands may both wish to appear 'warm' or 'friendly', but what truly sets them apart?
Defining your brand's personality, what makes it human, is about so much more than just the look of your brand – it's about how it looks at the world. It’s about conveying what your brand stands for.
Brand voice is the way you talk to your customers. It’s your communication style and the embodiment of your values.
Brand voice is now more human than ever
No longer constrained to ad copy or a web page, brand voice has been given unrestrained reach. It breathes life into everything; smartphones, homes, appliances – even vehicles – are an opportunity for brands to deliver a more fundamental human experience than anything achieved through traditional advertising.
“More than four billion voice assistants
are now in use. Forecasting suggests
more than eight billion will be by 2024.”
Statista – Number of digital voice assistants in use worldwide 2019-2024
Your brand voice is a huge opportunity to build better connections with customers, whether that be through AI or your social media strategy.
And, trust us, brands that embrace their humanity – warts and all – cut through the noise.
Brands that accept they can’t be all things to all people, acknowledge they have flaws and make mistakes, and use their voice genuinely are more relatable and more human.
These brands invariably form deeper connections with customers and foster enduring relationships for years to come.
Better Known is a creative consultancy building better brands at the intersection of people, design and technology.