How to Create a More Human Brand

Nike  says its mission statement is “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.” The company’s success is due in large part to the way it empowers everyday people to get active and reach new athletic heights. As the company’s co-founder said, Bill Bowerman said, “If you have a body, you are an athlete.

Through Nike’s branding, everyday humans feel inspired to reach their potential, and your brand can do that too.

Understanding how your brand is a part of the human experience is essential. Once you identify how your brand helps people live better lives. Make that concept the center of your brand’s narrative.

Use Brand Archetypes to Shape Your Story

Most brands can be classified as a various archetype. Sportswear brands such as Nike and Adidas are often seen as the hero. Whereas Disney — a creative, joyful brand is seen as the magician. Great brands use these archetypes to make their brand feel more human. See the wheel below, for examples of other popular brand archetypes. (view more here)


Use Colour to Create Connections

Consistent research shows that the colour of a product’s packaging matters. 84.7% of consumers ‘say color is the primary reason they buy a certain product,’ according to Cheryl Swanson, FUSE Co-Chair and Partner and Managing Director at Toniq LLC, a marketing consulting agency. Colour elicits emotions in people, and by playing with colours strongly associated with various emotions, you can create a strong connection with your consumers. For example, yellow is an optimistic colour, that reminds people of sunshine and symbolizes optimism and joy. Whereas green symbolizes growth, balance, and health.

Click here to find more information about Colour Psychology.

Show, Don’t tell

Rather than using a bunch of generic buzzwords in your copy like “innovator” or “pioneer” or “ground breaker,” show consumers specifically why your company is so unique. Were you one of the first companies to create shoes using 3D printing? Or perhaps the proceeds from each of your products go to charity? Whatever your story is, make sure you share details. This makes your story much more powerful.

Create Inclusive and Diverse Products


Many of Time Magazine’s best inventions of 2017 are products that disrupted existing industries to make them accessible to more people. For example, Fenty Beauty is a makeup line created by superstar Rihanna that offers foundation colours in 40 shades to fit people of every hue. While foundation is not a new invention, few companies have taken the time to create such a diverse range of shades. The product was a success and sold out online and in Sephora stores within days of its first launch. Similarly, Nike made this year’s 25 best inventions list for its inclusive design. It created a sportswear hijab. The Nike Pro hijab is a lightweight hijab designed for female Muslim athletes that helps manage sweat and moisture. By taking existing products and modifying them for a diverse range of consumers, companies like Fenty and Nike tell people that their individual needs matters. Think about ways your company can make your products more accessible to others. Perhaps, it’s as simple as including braille and large font on your packaging to make it readable for people with visual impairments. There are many ways to let your consumers know you care about them through inclusive designs.

Keep it Authentic

Consumers can smell phoniness from a mile away, and lies can be busted in mere minutes with the help of the internet. So don’t make the mistake of overly embellishing your brand’s story. This will break the consumer’s trust in your company and quickly make you a laughing stock. For example, Volkswagen’s recent emissions test scandal lead to negative press coverage and financial losses. Rather than make exaggerative claims about your product, speak to your consumers in a language that is clear and succinct. Not every company has an epic narrative. Often consumers prefer things that are simple, rather than flashy.

Many of us go shopping strategically – with a mission in mind. But often as we browse the store aisles we get reminded of other things we want or need. To a certain degree, shopping is an emotional process. We’re all price conscious, but ultimately our decisions can be swayed. Use the above-mentioned tips to create a human connection with consumers. In turn, over time you’ll turn first-time customers into repeat customers and customer advocates.