Humanspeak series: Part 3 – Building authentic connections with customers
This article is Part 3 of our Humanspeak series.
Shifting to Human Speak builds authentic connection with your customers
Have you ever had a friend that only talks about themself? It’s an immensely frustrating experience to not feel seen or valued in a relationship. If you ever did have a friendship like that, it probably didn’t last long.
Human Speak represents a shift from a brand narrative that screams, “me, me, me!” to placing your audience as the focal point of your communications. Instead of focusing on what you do, focus instead on how and why it matters to them.
What is Human Speak?
To truly understand what we mean by Human Speak, we must first explore the idea of brand experience. Brand experience means putting the user at the center of everything. It’s like theater in the round – your audience is experiencing every element of your brand. They don’t just see what you want them to see, they feel how the brand connects with them on an emotional and personal level.
You can build physical and digital brand experiences. But what role does language play? That’s where Human Speak comes in.
Human Speak comes from the traditional idea of brand identity. Who you are. What you stand for. What you believe. What you value. But then it connects those elements so that your audience sees themselves–who they are, what they stand for, believe and value–reflected back in immersive storytelling.
How people engage with your brand is the bridge that connects identity to experience. And the language your brand uses is the handrail your audience grasps to guide them across that bridge from who you believe you are to how they experience your brand for themselves.
The challenge with how brands are talking today
Today, most brands are speaking to their audience multiple times every day, across multiple digital and offline channels. The problem is, they’re mostly just talking about themselves.
The shift to Human Speak is simple, yet the process can feel quite radical for many organizations. It’s simple because really, there’s only one rule – talk to your audience like you’d talk to a person you value in your life. Yet, it’s radical because, for most brands, it requires a complete overhaul of the way you’re crafting your messaging today.
When making the leap to Human Speak, there are three main areas to focus your efforts:
1. Tell a story
Integrate storytelling into your messaging as a lever for creating those emotional connections between your customers and your brand. The human brain is wired for stories. When our brains hear a story, the electrical pulses that our minds function on light up.
Neuroscientists like to say, “neurons that fire together, wire together.” This means that when we hear or read a story, our neurons forge connections leading to better recall of the information.
Emotionally compelling stories engage even more areas of the brain, solidifying your brand’s place in your audience’s memory. A good story strengthens emotional connection, and even has the capacity to alter our perspectives and actions.
2. Speak their language
It’s time to stop talking AT your audience, and instead talk WITH them, about them. That means using language that they understand and prefer. No one wants to hear your brand jargon, but if your audience speaks in industry jargon, so should you. Leverage your vocabulary to demonstrate that you know and understand theirs.
For example, if your customer base is comprised of highly technical coders, you’ll want to maintain that technical speak to prove you have the expertise and experience as a brand to solve their problems.
Every brand has a default way of talking, which starts to sound more and more like “inside baseball” over time. Speaking the language of your customers is as much about transforming your existing vocabulary as it is about learning theirs.
3. Make them the hero
If you begin your communications by asking, “What do I want to say?” you’ve already lost. The first question you should ask before any brand comms goes out should always be, “Why does this matter for my customer?” You can have the best content in the world, but if it doesn’t resonate with your audience, it’s essentially useless.
Pivot your language to making your customers the hero by:
– Crafting everything you say around the direct implications for your customer
– Demonstrating how what you have to say will make their lives easier
– Using moments from their journey to really pull them in
Think back to the last time you made a major purchase, either professionally or personally. Now try to remember what motivated you to pull the trigger and, if you can, your exposure to the brand along your decision-making journey. It likely doesn’t matter how impressive the brand sounded in their communications with you. If you couldn’t make the connection between what they’re selling and your own life, that purchase never would’ve happened.
Evoking Human Speak with the help of Monigle
When a brand comes to an agency like Monigle, they need to evolve in some way. That “some way” is typically spurred by a number of different moments in time. This could be a merger, a need to reach new audiences, or a desire to change their brand perception.
Helping brands transition to Human Speak is embedded in our brand transformation process. Together, we’ll discover the right vocabulary to engage your customers with the parts of your brand that will spark emotional connections, influence their buying decisions, and inspire loyalty over time.
Reach out to us today and let’s have a conversation about Human Speak and your brand.