Human Voice: 2021 Brand Guidelines

Human voice

Written by Orsolya Bakos

January 13, 2021

“A person’s world does not revolve around a brand’s product, service, or website… People are only ‘users’ and ‘consumers’ for small portions of the day. said Peter Hartzbech, CEO of iMotions. We couldn’t agree more, therefore we always put the human aspect at the core of our concepts. 

But why is this important? 

First things first, we are social ‘animals’, we have mirror neurons, that allow us to understand another human being. Experiencing feelings and sharing them with each other through empathy is a superpower that comes with humankind. These emotional processes are the basis of many pieces of research within the field of neuroscience and marketing. 

And here comes storytelling into the picture: we always can relate with and connect to emotions, whereas dry facts can be boring or neutral – even within the same topic. So finding your brand’s human voice, showing more emotions, telling more stories is definitely something that should be on your 2021 marketing to-do list. 

So how can you establish that infamous human voice? 

1. Be accessible, friendly, and authentic 

When you plan your contenthave a positive tone-of-voice that treats followers, as you would usually address friends. Talk to them warmly, be encouraging, and show not only your best self but behind-the-scene moments, even challenges sometimes if that’s are relatable to your people (ie. during the lockdowns who talked about the same confusing feelings that we all had as a brand, was highly relatable). A few approaches to deeper connections: 

  • the no-filter trend for authenticity 
  • talking about topics previously addressed as taboos (ie. the Essity Libresse ad about women’s topics) 
  • finding the activist mindset (ie. #blacklivesmatter) – combined with true actions, not only as a banner 

 2. Put your consumers in the spotlight 

While there is nothing wrong with professionally edited, super-precise, and planned content, you could think about how to show more natural content. A good strategy could be to use more UGC (user-generated content) – in the form of re-grams, stories, and website images (instead of the plain packshots). People can connect easily to other people’s brand experiences and opinions, therefore photos, ratings, and reviews can be truly powerful to boost e-commerce. 

Another way of kind attention is true listening – if you pay attention to what your consumers are saying about your products or solution, and you make it clear that their opinion matters, they’ll feel appreciated. This approach can lead to higher levels of loyalty. 

3. Work with creators 

Influencers, especially nano and micro-influencers have that ‘one among us’ feeling. Followers feel as if they know the person they follow, they feel related and if they have a chance to meet (i.e. during a sponsored brand event) they really treat them as old friends. Influencers can show your products in a context that really matter to your target group, they can create stories that catch the eye and inspire brand usage. Almost half (44%) of Generation Z has made a purchase decision based on a recommendation from a social influencer (Kantar, 2020). 

A good example of taking humanness into account: Mondelez is a company that understood the need for change and introduced a new strategy of ‘humaning’. As they say: ‘We will feed the hunger for human connection in everything we do by being fully consumer-centric.’  

If you would like to discuss how you could enrich your marketing with the above-mentioned tools and you are ready to really show your brand’s human face, contact us for a free evaluation of your needs and possibilities!