If you delve into how people do business in the past (let’s say around 1980s), you can see the big difference in the rules of engagement between that time and today. Businesses and consumers would only meet when a transaction was taking place. Otherwise, everyone went their separate ways and had their own space. Good news, such kind of cut-and-dried detached relationship was left behind in the past.

Things have greatly changed and much more personal now. Thank goodness to the worldwide web, companies can reach their target consumers in countless of ways that business owners back in the day could only dream of.

People these days are more connected to one another, which is why it is important for brands to build a sincere connection with their customers (current and potential) if they want to survive in the current market. Companies who are able to foster a more emotional connection with their customers and community of supporters have a strategic advantage as opposed to those who don’t.

So if you think your company remains distant and too corporate, today might be the right time to take action and humanize your brand a little more. Here’s how:

  1. Start from the inside out

Brand humanization can be quite a task so before you go your way out to inspire and connect with your customers, you must have a full understanding and recognition of who you are and what you do. A good starting point is by taking a full-fledged initiative with your employees. Give them a voice, allowing them to share their knowledge and insights. Nobody knows your brand better than the people working for you, so highlight your workers and give them all the possible opportunities to showcase the good things customers can benefit from you.

Michael Dell, CEO of Dell Computers helps in humanizing his brand through hosting group video chats with his customers.

  1. Offer an emotional connection

Consumers of today are smart and can immediately tell whether you are sincere or not. And as such it would be impossible to fake being authentic and genuine, more especially if you want to gain their trust and support. Beyond your products and services, if you want to develop a much deeper emotional connection between your brand and your supporters, reveal the passion and cause that lies at the core of your company.

Always, a brand of feminine hygiene products did a great job at this in their #LikeaGirl campaign.  While the company’s mission is to target all the girls and women all over the world, at the heart of their video ad is a powerful message that aims to win the confidence of every girl.

  1. Capture Behind-the-Scenes Moments

Loyal customers, in particular, will be more than delighted if they see what goes on behind your company’s closed doors. Upload photos of your employees hard at work or just goofing around the office on your company’s website or social media accounts. This gives you the opportunity to put a face behind your company’s logo, enabling your customers to have a connection to an actual person. When they are able to see how great it is to work for your company, they will be more than pleased to trust your professional skills and advocate for you.

  1. Listen and Respond with Action

It is one thing to offer your customers the opportunity to voice out their desires and completely another thing to show them you have listened by taking an action. When you veraciously listen to someone, not only do you gain their trust but their respect as well.

Seamly, a surplus fabric company surprisingly did an incredible job at this. They take listening to a higher level by aligning customer feedback with production. In order for them to create a new design, they ask people for feedback on their website, allowing them to contribute some ideas on how the new apparel will look like and then they begin producing it.

By being human and showing your customers that they have been heard can help you nurture a deeper connection for a lifetime. Connecting with your customers in this manner will surely yield to beneficial results – not only will they write for you, they’ll also be spreading the word to the entire community.

  1. Be Available

Humanizing a brand will not be successful if no actual humans are available to do it. Regardless of the medium used when communicating with your customers, you must always be available. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to answer their questions or solve their problems every single minute of the day. Show up more than once a day and give ample time getting back on their issues.

While many companies are failing to be available to their audience, only showing up when they feel like doing so like when they want to brag about their latest reward won or have some promotions, you should have a goal in mind whenever you make your presence available – that is to inspire and connect with your audience and help them achieve their individual objectives.

Be simply proactive and responsive with what your customers desire and fans at the heart of all.