Why Relatability Matters and How to ‘Humanize’ Your Brand in 2021

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Natasha LaneContent creator

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Marketing, branding, and the way customers interact with brands have all changed significantly in the past couple of years.

Article 5 Minutes
Why Relatability Matters and How to ‘Humanize’ Your Brand in 2021

Shoppers no longer want to see elaborate and expensive shoots and over-the-top marketing campaigns. They may appreciate them, but what they’re really looking for is personalization and a way to connect with your brand.

That’s why your goal should be to make your brand as ‘human’ as possible. Here’s why relatability is so important in the current market and how you can achieve it.

Why is relatability important?

The modern-day consumer is looking to work with a brand (or shop from a brand) that they have a relationship with. They’re looking for brands that come off as more than just money-making machines that are in business only for the sake of profit.

You need to prove to your customers that you are truly invested in helping them, which you aim to do by making the best possible product or offering the best possible service. Showing some genuine personality will go a long way here.

Don’t forget that the character of your brand should also appeal to your target audience. If they would prefer to do business with a brand that is more serious, don’t try to come off as whacky and hip.

Ideally, you’ll have already considered your tone of voice and the kind of website design that would best appeal to your audience. If not, you might find that you need to rework your website to make sure it reflects your brand identity and provides the right kind of appeal.

Now, let’s take a look at some of the ways to humanize your brand in 2021.

Reflect your real character

Brands are not people, but they can have plenty of character, personality, and evoke quite a wide range of emotions, just like any individual.

This is a good place to start humanizing your brand: consider what it would be like if it were a person.

Are you more on the goofy and relaxed side, or are you more serious and would speak with a solemn voice that drips with confidence? Are you speaking from a place of experience, or would you like to tell more personal stories?

Determining these traits can help you design a website that exudes the same kind of personality. The website copy, layout, color palette, and various design elements will all be a part of this image.

Sleep Junkie has managed to show off their personality with their copy and the tone of voice they’ve adopted, the style of images they’ve chosen for their posts, and the general feel of the website. It’s informative yet laid back and accessible.

A screenshot from Sleepjunkie showing how the brand get across their personality through copy and colors

Show off your employees and your customers

Naturally, the most obvious way to humanize your brand is to give it a real human face – in other words, to show off some of your employees and customers.

You can do this extremely well on social media, but you can do it on your website as well. It will beat using stock images every time.

Don’t force your teams into photoshoots, though. It’s nice to do a professional shoot every once in a while, but you can also use plenty of casual, even spontaneous images, especially for social media.

You can also showcase your customers – with their consent, of course. User-generated content is great for social media, but you can also do a little section where you feature these images on the website.

Nerd Fitness has done this really well. They often show both their coaches and their clients. They also display real results, which is not always the case in their industry, so this provides another instant advantage for the brand.

Screenshot of NerdFitness website showing off a mix of both their employees and their customers, humanizing their brand

Storytelling and how to capitalize on it

Storytelling is a copywriting technique that serves to show your customers and clients what you’re made of.

It’s a way of telling your story, adding that human touch to the brand. But the key lies in finding the right balance between telling a compelling story and being genuine.

A lot of brands tend to come up with false tales of who they are, how they were created, and what their mission is. While they believe they’re doing the right thing, the fact that they’re not genuine can be seen in their online behavior. When you come up with a brand story just for the sake of having one, it’s difficult to stick to it all the time.

So, to avoid making the same mistake, consider what your brand really stands for and why you are doing business in the first place. If you honestly just want to make money, you might want to say you’ve created the brand as a means to earn a living but that it has grown from there.

Be real and honest, but don’t underplay your business. You’ll find there’s always a story you can tell.

Yellow Leaf Hammocks has an About page that truly speaks about their brand, their values, and why they’re selling their products. Try to emulate this kind of storytelling, laced with your brand’s personality, of course.

Yellow Leaf Hammocks' 'our story' section on their 'about' page showing some of their values

To sum it all up

When looking to humanize your brand, try not to focus too much on the technicalities. Start from a genuine space of personalization. Examine what your brand is and what it would like to be. Once you have a good grasp on that, you’re ready to consider how you can reflect this character with your online presence.

Natasha Lane

Content creator

natashalane.io

Natasha is a lady of the keyboard and one hell of a geek. She has been working for and collaborating with individual clients and companies of all sizes for more than a decade. Natasha specializes in writing about design, branding, digital marketing, and business growth. She is also addicted to art in all its forms and grilled tofu.

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