5 ways to Humanise your brand

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With the advent of social media, a new era has opened up for brands and with it a plethora of challenges. Brands are now directly in touch with their consumers interacting one on one. This is both an opportunity and complex at step he same time. Today companies have to step down from their ivory towers and don a much more human face to engage with their consumers. Today, humanising your brand isn’t a marketing strategy or a unique idea, its a basic requirement for your brand. Here are some simple steps to get you going.

1.Have a brand DNA and persona in place

The first step to humanising a brand is to imagine your brand as a human. Imagine your brand as a person and define his or her personality. What  is your DNA? IS your brand serious? Fun? Responsible? How old is your brand? Whats the tone of voice and style off voice? How does it react to various situations? What are the values? The clearer this is defined and educated across the company, the more cohesive and integrated the voice becomes. If the DNA is set in stone, then everything else follows easily. Remember consumers don’t buy products, they buy aspirations.

2. Create a content bucket

Instead of reacting on the fly on social media and across platforms, define what information defines your brand. What do you want to say? Avoid bombarding consumers with offers and discounts but information that is engaging. Define what your brand is speaking each quarter, what you will share, what you want to say. What does your brand believe in? What are you championing? Do you have a CSR program?  Whats happening behind the scenes? What trends will interest the consumer? Set goals and targets and measure results and effectiveness regularly and recalibrate.

3.Know your consumer

If you don’t know your consumer, you can never speak  their language. Who are they? What do they do in their spare time? What media do they use? What engages them? Do your homework and study the trends, gather user research and keep your eyes and ears open. Without an intuitive understanding of the user, the brand will never speak their language. If you are a brand attracting teenagers, you better know your demographic and their language and mindset before you connect  them and come across like a granddad at a beach party!

4.Be authentic and unique

A big no no for brands is sounding rehearsed and like a robot. Well rehearsed cold communication which sounds fake will backfire. Its alright to make mistakes and owning up and sharing your weaknesses authentically connects well with consumers. Apologise and make amends with complaints immediately, Share stories, little victories and milestones so the audience can grow with you and take ownership. Avoid automated messages and ready birthday wishes. A brand thats humanised will sound unique and connect and engage allowing the consumer to become evangelists.

5.Connect emotionally 

Brands that tug at your heart, make you smile, get inspired, laugh, think, act, cry or get goosebumps will install a deep ingrained sense of long term loyalty. Vitality is linked to emotional connects and people love to share what they liked and connected emotionally with. Humour always connects and engages. Stay politically correct unless your brand persona is otherwise. Finding common interests with your consumers based on your product category works. Continue this connection offline too as your brand supports causes, sponsors relevant events.

Remember emotional connectivity and engagement across every consumer touchpoint and deliver a humanised brand experience and watch your brand equity sky rocket.

Having fun sketching! 

I am managing to take out precious time every day to sketch. Still exploring quotes and concepts that inspire. The addition of using water color pens has allowed a add a dash of color to bring alive these ideas. I am also having a blast with the ribbon style 3D typography that’s allowing the words to look fluid and free. 

   
         

Visual notes: Converting learning to doodles.

A collection of scans from my sketch books of notes I have taken at various seminars and coaching sessions. I use the notes to visually summarise the learnings such that I never forget them again. When I do glance at the notes years later, everything comes rushing back clearly. These have served me well.

I have shared here a few examples of pages from my sketchbooks. They are concise capsules of the ideas I pick up.

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One of the most important tools in business- a mastermind

Napolean Hill in his book “Think and grow rich” talks about the Mastermind being critical for success and speaks about the subject in detail. He first defined the mastermind as a “coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose.”

Hill’s concept of the “Master Mind” was inspired by Andrew Carnegie, wealthy steel magnate. According to Hill:

“Mr. Carnegie’s Master Mind group consisted of a staff of approximately fifty men, with whom he surrounded himself, for the DEFINITE PURPOSE of manufacturing and marketing steel. He attributed his entire fortune to the POWER he accumulated through this ‘Master Mind.’”

I have a mastermind group and the strength it adds to my life is immeasurable. We meet at least once a month and follow an amazing structure that directly correlates to becoming a catalyst for clarity of thought, vision, ideas and brainstorming on millions of subjects. After each meeting, I walk away with purpose, armed with clarity and eager to implement the ideas.

I wanted to share this video of Napolean Hill speaking about what a mastermind is. I am also sharing a few links I found online on how to set up a mastermind, run it and get the best out of it.

 

http://christinekane.com/7-real-life-tips-for-creating-a-successful-mastermind-group/

Great blend of architecture and fashion

 

Hotel The Exchange is an independent fashion hotel in central Amsterdam that playfully weaves together fashion and architecture in unique rooms ranging from one to five stars.

At Hotel The Exchange fashion meets architecture in the most unexpected and inspiring way. Rooms are dressed like models by young designers from the Amsterdam Fashion Institute (AMFI), allowing guests to sleep in fashion and wake up in style.

Hotel The Exchange * Amsterdam Fashion Institute | Design Gallerist | Rare & Unique Products.

Home grown brands

We are making a film on Home grown brands. Branding work done for clients of ours at Ideaspice,
who have started businesses by themselves and successfully transformed them into brands that have connected with their consumers.

We are covering 6 entrepreneurs across industries and asking them to share their story and challenges and inspire other start ups and business men. They will also share the impact of branding and design on their differentiation.

Today is the last day of shooting. We are currently at M2M, (made to measure) which offers bespoke suits for men. Last week we shot at little champions, a Pre school, Pantry cafe and Farada, Arabic footwear for men. For all these projects we have been involved from the naming, branding, design and interiors. Today we will also be interviewing the young entrepreneurs behind Fuego, a Mexican lounge in souk al bahar, dubai and milestone, a landscaping firm.

I will share the videos soon. Looking forward to the end product.

Umair Tareen from digitally films is directing the film and Asif limbada is the Director of photography. The film is being shot in Red Epic and Leica lens. The rushes are looking super!

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