Three Simple Tips to Humanize Your Brand

amber quettan

May 30, 2023

May 30, 2023


If you know us, you know we’re all about branding. How it’s done and how to do it well. But what’s often not talked about is a key element in successful branding: human connection.

Hi there! We’re Made in July. We’re the warm sand and cool breeze that finds you at the shore. The sitting-by-the-campfire feeling. Looking for an endless summer? We’re the sunset you can’t stop admiring.

Our brand is at the core of all we do for ourselves and for our clients. It’s only natural for us to share our insight into the process.

So, we’ve already talked about brand guidelines and how to define a brand. Now it’s time to dig a little bit deeper.

Humans and branding.

Think about your favorite person (or at least someone you love hanging out with). What makes this human so special to you? Is it something about the way they look? How they talk? How they make you feel? Chances are, the answer is: Yes, all of the above! Essentially, all of those things play some sort of role.

Guess what? Brands are the same. Your brand voice and tone, visual identity, and the ways you connect with your audience are all key factors in humanizing your brand. Looking to make your brand stand out? The secret is to go back to the foundations of your brand (the elements we just talked about) and set them up for storytelling success.

Wait, storytelling?

Yes. The key to a successfully humanized brand is found in the art of storytelling. Let’s discuss how to bring that vision to life. We love breaking down bigger concepts into more bite-sized pieces, and we’ve done it again. Our simple formula for humanizing your brand is:

  1. Craft a purposefully designed visual identity
  2. Create a personal, sincere brand voice and tone
  3. Capitalize on social media

The key to a successfully humanized brand is found in the art of storytelling.

1. Craft a purposefully designed visual identity.

Your brand should capture and give off a certain visual energy. A visual vibe, if you will. The way to claim that aesthetic for your brand starts with the foundations. Establish a brand story, mission, vision, and values statements - and keep those in mind as your brand’s visual identity is crafted.

A highly effective visual identity tells a story that goes beyond the obvious. Remember, this is for humans to look at, and humans are a curious bunch. Maybe there’s something in your logo that has a double meaning. Maybe the color palette is closely tied to your brand’s niche, so it evokes a certain feeling in your audience without them even knowing it. No matter the execution, your visual identity should include an intentional touch. Something you might not notice the first time around.

Take our logo, for instance. At first glance, you’ll see our initials, mij, sitting next to one another in a clean, simple fashion. Gets the job done and looks good doing it. But if you look closely, you’ll see the tittles (yes, that’s what they’re called) of the i and j are connected. Two orbs tethered to one another. That small nod symbolizes the connection between our co-founders. Where Made in July is concerned, their minds work as one. See what we mean? 

2. Create a personal, sincere brand voice and tone.

To reach people, you have to be easy to understand. And it takes even more effort to sincerely connect with them. This is where you really have to work at humanizing your brand.

Develop a general tone of voice for your brand. Does it have a sense of humor? Is it dry and ironic or friendly and bubbly? Does it use puns? By the way, we can help you with this

All people don’t sound the same. Not even in the same households. What does that mean for your brand voice and tone? Make it unique. Start by inventing a brand story that tells the tale of your brand’s mission & reason for being, and explore ways to connect this story with your audience’s wants and needs. Think of two people getting to know one another (e.g. your brand and your ideal customer): What do they have in common? Find these common points of connection. Make it personal. Give your audience a reason to care. A sincere brand voice that mimics human communication will accomplish this. 

Word to the wise: Stay away from disingenuous, robotic language. To put it plainly, don’t be impersonal, unnatural, or uncomfortable. Instead be approachable, personable, and engaged. Your brand won’t ever be a human. But compelling communication will help you connect with your audience beyond the surface level. Sincerity is invaluable and will get you more of the return-on-emotion (RoE) that you’re looking for.

Sincerity is invaluable and will get you more of the return-on-emotion (RoE) that you’re looking for.

3. Capitalize on social media.

To connect with people, you must engage with them. That’s the key. Today we’re focusing on branding, but this moves into how you market your brand as well.

Make sure your brand is present on the platforms where your audience is. The first step is showing up. (For more info on how to make sure your branding is consistent across all these platforms, read our insights on brand guidelines). In order to humanize your brand, it must speak. Let it speak loudly & proudly! Social media is a great space for humans to connect and be social - so why can’t brands come in and join the conversation?

Here’s what this might look like: Post lots of high-value content for your audience. When they engage, engage back. Reply to comments. Respond to their feedback. Build a community. That’s what humans tend to do, isn’t it? Gather, group up, & talk about things they care about. Your brand should be no different. Build that sincere human connection by showing up and showing that you care. Become part of the conversation. Find the party and join it! Capitalizing on social media will prove to be a useful step towards humanizing your brand and forming a sincere relationship with your audience.

That was how. Now, why?

It all boils down to trust and retention.

Consumers tend to trust more humanized brands. And more trust equals more sales. Trust is a highly-ranked deciding factor in many consumers’ purchasing decisions, with a 2021 survey of 1,000 consumers citing that over 80% consider trust an important factor when making a purchase. An even lower percentage of consumers actually trust the brands they use, so trust is of the utmost importance.

And once they trust you, you’ve just got your foot in the door. After that comes retention. A memorable brand makes customers more likely to choose you, and more likely to keep coming back.

A memorable brand makes customers more likely to choose you, and more likely to keep coming back.

Sincere human connection.

There’s nothing in this world like it. While your brand won’t ever be a person (insert AI joke here), there certainly are steps you can take to make your brand feel more human. 

Look at that, we’re humans! We’d love to help you humanize your brand. Let’s chat: Shoot us a note here. Follow us on our Instagram and LinkedIn to see how a humanized brand does things. Wanna know more about branding? We’ve got you covered - read more articles here.