Remember when branding used to be called “corporate identity?” Back then brands were built on a pedestal—polished and professional yes, but oftentimes with an intentional distance between company and consumer. We were taught to revere them. To put our trust in their size and scale. To value their who and what over their how and why.

How we experienced these brands wasn’t really a consideration. How they made us feel, even less.


Learn More: Humanizing your Brand: A Guidebook


This approach worked just fine in a capabilities-focused, functionally-driven world. But today’s consumers want something different. Something transformational, not transactional. They want to feel an emotional connection with the brands they choose to champion. They want to be moved.

As a result, brands are turning away from seeming too big, corporate and foreboding. They’re trying to be more personable, reflecting their true values and roots. They’re trying to be a whole lot more, well, human.

Smiling Woman

Because we all crave human contact and emotional bonds. We need them to survive and thrive in our always-on lifestyles. Problem is, we’re living in a more disjointed, less human world. Sure, technology connects us like never before. But these digital social networks are no substitute for the real thing. We hunger for something more gratifying. Something real.

But what exactly does that mean? And how does it help drive consumer behavior and choice? Are we talking about creating softer color palettes, lowercase logos and more conversational messaging?

For our team at Monigle, it goes much deeper than that. We believe that the beating heart of the most human brands lies in the totality of their experience. Crack that code and you’ll have a customer for life.


Learn More: Enabling a Consistent Brand Experience


Starting with our Humanizing Brand Experience report, now entering its fourth year, Monigle is leading an industry-wide shift in how best to humanize brands. By leveraging the latest thinking in social science and behaviorist theories, we did an in-depth investigation into how consumers form emotional connections with brands, validating the importance of hundreds of emotional motivators in driving consumer behavior.

Here’s a peek at what we think are the 10 most powerful emotions for creating human brands*:

    1. Individualization

Helping people feel like they matter, and their needs are prioritized

    1. Meaning

Helping people feel fulfilled by finding meaning in their lives

    1. Stress-free

Helping people to reduce the feelings of anxiety and complexity

    1. Security

Helping people feel safe and protected from external factors

    1. Certainty

Helping people feel confident about their future

    1. Freedom

Helping people feel empowered to act independently

    1. Excitement

Helping people feel stimulated and energized through experiences

    1. Belonging

Helping people feel connected to others they identify with and aspire to

    1. Growth

Helping people feel like they are successful and able to be their best selves

    1. Security

Helping people feel safe and protected from external factors


Brands that satisfy these emotional desires will rise above the rest. Building them requires the right balance of art and science, pragmatism and inspiration. And an unbending commitment to making the world a better place for us all.


Learn More: Humanizing Brand Experience: Health Care Edition – Volume 3


Humanizing Brands, Moving People is core to who Monigle is. It is how we partner with our clients, shoulder-to-shoulder, to approach our work in unique and human ways. It is how each brand and experience we cultivate with our clients can be more centered around human connection. And by creating and elevating authentic, human brands, it drives desired connection to and action by consumers.

Merger scenario planning session

We look forward to continuing this dialogue with our industry and our clients – developing in-depth insights into each of these emotional dimensions, and how humanization is the key in innovative branding and experience.

Reach out to us, and let us know your interest in the topic. We’re curious as to how you see humanizing resonate in your industry and experience, and what brands and emotional attributes have you seen rise to the top with their humanized connection?


* Derived from the academic perspective put forward in ”The New Science of Customer Emotions”, Harvard Business Review, November 2015.

Gunnar Jacobs
November 19, 2021 By Gunnar Jacobs