Brands are acting more humane to get in touch with the consumers and build up relationships. With social media, this is easier than ever before. But, how do we pick a brand over another brand? If brands are more personal, then we must treat them more carefully as well just like the people we surround ourselves with. They are part of our everyday lives and we want to make sure that we can trust them.
As we are faced with hundreds of brands on a daily basis, there are always ones that will stand out. In the past, you could not interact with them as people can nowadays. The choice is broader and you approach the brands that seem suitable to you to select those favourite ones. So, what makes them stand out? What does a brand have to do for you to want to know it better? What do you do when you want to get to know the brand better? Before, brands would have an untouchable image, now they are all yours to explore. You may ‘meet’ briefly, but what happens when you want to stay in touch?
Staying in touch
Say you have been wanting to try out some new coffee and you came across two new ones in store, but you just couldn’t decide. You loved the colours they both used, but the names sounded unfamiliar, yet you were still attracted to them enough to research them at home as you were on a mission to try something new. You went on their Twitter and decided to send them a little tweet saying how impressed you are with their packaging. You were really impressed by both of their social media efforts, with Coffee X having over 500,000 followers! Surely it must be really good?
Just as brands are more human, it is easier for them to make mistakes and disappoint their audience. Meeting a brand, getting to know a brand and staying in touch is easier than before, you don’t need to write a letter to a company, you interact with them just as you do with your friends on their social media accounts. How do you usually react when a friend forgets to reply you? Or never replies? You get to know them and then the relationship is damaged. This is the same with brands. Coffee X with its 500,000 followers ‘forgot’ to reply you, however, much to your surprise, Coffee Y tweeted you back thanking you for the nice comment and asking you to send them your address so that they could send you a free sample. You were delighted with one and completely disappointed with the other. So, who is left?
Coffee Y managed to tick all the boxes for you. You were so impressed. You didn’t even wait for the sample to arrive, but you went to the store and bought some of their delicious coffee. You know that if you have any kinds of questions they will be ready to answer you, always there for you, just like a real person: a friend.
Trying to be human and friendly is a risky business, as it is so much harder to please everyone. It also depends on your personality as well, whether you are the kind of person that has hundreds of followers and hardly talk to any, or whether you build up careful relationships that are durable. Do you look for brands that have the same characteristics as you?
If brands were one of us, who would be your best friend?