For years big brands have been telling us, the consumers,
how to feel about products or services. If you drink this Coke, you will feel like
you could solve the world’s problems. If you spray your body with Enjoli, you are a woman
who can do it all. And if you crunch these Doritos,
your wishes and commands come true.
Fortunately, over the years, consumers have gotten smarter.
We now know that we can’t save the world by drinking a Coke. And we have also
found out that it’s more than just a perfume that makes the woman. And what do
Doritos actually do for us besides add a little extra padding to a body?
What we are witnessing today for brands is actually quite
the opposite. We, the people, are telling the brands what they do for us or
what we want them to do for us. But, are the brands listening?
Through social media consumers have the opportunity to
express themselves like never before. However, if some brands are still trying
to figure out the social media movement, and doubting its sincerity in staying
power, they will be left behind. These companies will simply be left standing
with no one left to tell their message to.
What has been missing all of these years from the brands’
position is that there was little, if any, humanization of the brands. It was a
stagnant logo. A cute, catchy jingle. Actors acting. We may have had a fleeting feeling of emotion but that’s all it was … fleeting.
Today, consumers expect brands to demonstrate “the who”
behind the logos – that brands are actually people just like you and me … we want to relate. Consumers want their
brands to mimic human nature with all of the emotions we experience: joy,
sadness, failure, honesty, integrity and yes, humility.
It’s strange and exciting, all at the same time, to think
that the humanization of brands is thanks to technology. Really, the answer has
been in front of brands the whole time. My advice to companies today? Don’t
look in a mirror but stick your head out through an open window to see and hear
what’s really going on.