Silicon Valley brand guru, Allen Olivo, recently spoke at an industry forum, where he highlighted how important it is for brands to be human.
“You don’t want to have to keep rebuilding and rebranding your company and lose track of what you stand for. In the world where everything is changing, a way to create sustainability in your brand is to come at this from the point of view of humans. It’s about sculpting your brand based on human outcomes, because it’s humans that buy products and make decisions.”
“Don’t shortcut it, because that’s the thing that gives you your North Star. When you have to transition, or if there’s an issue or you stumble, you can come back to what you believe,” he said. “If you don’t have it, you don’t know where to go and your customers don’t know where to go.”
“Find the essential, universal truths for your brand. Connect the story through the highest common denominator, not the lowest. When you go up high, you can hang a lot of stuff on the clothes line, but it’s very hard to build up if you start low.”
“What are they going through as human beings, and how do you find places for your brand to add value? Because you’re not going to change the customer journey,”
“The stuff that defines the business is on the bottom of the pyramid. Most organisations, however, have built their brands there. But that model is unsustainable. Someone is going to do it cheaper, faster or better – it’s going to happen. “You have to base it on the higher level of how you do what you do and why you do it.” Olivo said in reference to Maslow’s ‘Hierarchy of Needs’.
Olivo offered up three ways successful brands humanise their engagement:
- The first is they have a point of view on how stuff gets put together.
- The second thing human brands do is signal intent. “This is about saying, if I want you to stay with me, and be part of my ecosystem, I have to let you know where I’m going internally as well as externally,”
- The third thing human-oriented brands do to gain authenticity is solve for universal human truths.
Olivo goes onto give examples of brands following each of these paths.
You can read the full recount of Olivo’s talk here.