By Anastasia Lloyd-Wallis
Head of Insights, Retail Doctor Group 

The journey to creating a human brand that truly resonates, builds trust and inspires loyalty.

From the human’s brain to the human brand

We want to take you on a journey that involves your brand and the way you think about it. Think of your brand as a human being. It’s made up of a unique set of values, which create its personality. This personality attracts consumers who these exact values resonate with.

Humans connect emotionally to others who share the same set of values and the same applies to a brand. These values are emotional and largely subconscious. Humans build friendships based on trust and the implicit knowledge that shared values are consistent and reliable. The same applies to building friendships with a brand.

Humanising your brand requires you to tap into these subconscious and inherent values and understand the consumers on an intimate and emotional level. So, let’s take a look at how we do this. It’s all about tapping into the power of the subconscious.

  • Our left brain is more pessimistic. It uses logic, detail-oriented facts, words, languages, the past and the present, math and science to comprehend events and acknowledge orders or patterns. This part knows the object’s name and is ruled by perceptions. Hence, it forms reality-based strategies, leading us to choose practical and safe actions.
  • Our right brain, on the other hand, is associated with feelings. It is a “big picture”-oriented optimist that uses symbols and images, the present and the future, philosophy, and religion. This part can “get it” (i.e., meaning), believe, appreciate with spatial perception, and is fantasy-based. It knows the object’s functions and is ruled by imagination. This part of our brain represents possibilities, impetuous and risk-taking actions.
So why is it important to tap into the subconscious mind?

To really understand who your customers are you must first understand their personalities. This is because customers with different personalities interact with your brand in different ways:

  • “I want it here and now!”
  • “I want to see, feel and touch the product before buying.”
  • “I want to be excited!”
  • “It takes too long to navigate and place an order.”
  • “I prefer to speak with someone in person.”

They also have different journeys to purchase, preferred channels for interaction and triggers for purchase. For instance, how they use social media is different for each personality type as they use it to fulfill a different need. Some are looking for praise, whilst others comfort and reassurance and some purely want to be entertained.

Understanding your customers’ use of each platform and what they expect at each touchpoint can help you build your human brand. Because they use different channels, devices and have differing expectations, if you don’t really know who they are, you run the real risk of being in the wrong place, at the wrong time and in the wrong way.

Are you sending the right signals (both conscious and unconscious) at the right time?

Think about your in-store experience. Is it designed with different consumer segments in mind? Is it designed with the right imagery? Does the design create zones in the store that target the identified segments? Have you thought about the appealing in-store categories?

The same applies to the online experience. How do customers want to use this space? For discovery? For speed? For pleasure? For creating relationships with you?

It is time for you to understand and utilise subconscious decision drivers by understanding their underlying motives. Here is what we do.

First, we find out who your real customer is. When we scan your database, this has two benefits:

  • On an individual level, we can assign a personality type to each of your customers, so you can start targeting the communications sent out to them (information on specific products, topics, values, colour schemes etc.)
  • On an aggregate level, we will be able to understand who moves towards your brand and who your brand appeals to most.

Next, we advise you on what resonates the most with them, from colours, designs to themes etc.

If we identify a particular consumer segment one segment that is most interested in making their life easier, we could then start thinking about:

  • The three best product designs from each category
  • How we can optimise the categories: Since they are time-poor and love your concept of only the 3 best designs to choose from, which makes the decision process fast and easy.
  • Next, we will find out which designs appeal most to them and specifically focus on communicating about quick processes in newsletters and other forms of communications. (Possibly even a subscription model to save them time).

Thus, with an understanding of your brand’s human emotions, you can convey this to your desired customer segments through emotional marketing and a personalised retail journey. You can now create an emotional connection with your customers.

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