Brand Humanizing

A humane turn on how we do business in a digital age.

Technology as we know it has a great impact on our everyday lives. From using Siri to activate our alarm for the next morning, driving with no hands in our self-driving Tesla cars and playing games in Virtual Reality. But not just in everyday life is technology making a major impact. We use technology in business on a daily basis and we use it for far more than just sending e-mails in bulk or buying ad space. Businesses use technology to cut costs, save time and reach far more people with just the click of a single button. We all know examples of intelligent systems, marketing automation and Artificial Intelligence, but what does that mean for us human beings in the long haul? And how will that affect your job and your life?

Privacy as a major A.I. bottleneck
Privacy has never before been such a hot topic as in today’s debates. Your data is being sold and used, and combined with A.I. companies understand your needs even before they consciously manifest themselves to yourself. A.I. optimizes for results. And this for example means that A.I. optimizes ads for unstable people because they are more easily to convince. And since A.I. is programmed to be completely rational, ethics and human feelings play no role in what it decides to optimize for. Moreover, A.I. has struck fear to many people in today’s world. People are losing their jobs, and will increasingly continue to do so in the near future. Why? Because there are many jobs around that robots simply can do much better, faster and way more efficiently.

Is that a bad thing?

No. Not at all. It is actually great. We’ll explain why.

We have been doing it wrong
Most of us embrace technology and companies also love investing in newer, bigger and better automation. Especially for marketing and sales. But to be honest, we have been using it all wrong for quite some time now. There are numerous examples of wrong usage in technology, where people behave like robots and robots are expected to show the level of human empathy we can only expect from actual humans. This is where we need to figure out how we can take maximum advantage of our technology and automation whilst also making the most of our own human potential. Let me show you what I mean:

The diagram above explains why:

  • Your automated email blasts to random strangers are quite ineffective on the long-term
  • Robots are better accountants than humans
  • Factory processes should mostly be run by robots
  • Customer services with robot voices are not considered customer friendly
  • Facebook often has gotten into much trouble due to uncontrollable A.I.
  • Unstable people may be targeted by online ads because A.I. has uncovered they are more easily convinced to buy certain products (see this talk)
  • Chatbots provide shitty customer service (due to lack of empathy)

“But, companies such as Amazon are very successful”, I hear you say.

That’s very true! But let’s say all companies around the world start to automate and use A.I. such as Amazon. What would we end up with? Unfriendly and inhumane monopoly machines, run by just a few people and many robots, that start to have trouble attracting customers because most people are left without jobs. Who is your A.I. going to convince of buying your products when there are only a few left with enough money in their pockets? A shrinking economy is never the answer to a prosperous future.

Brand Humanizing: A mindset and way of working that generates customer loyalty
and business growth
Technology is a great thing. And it in fact should be used to automate jobs and processes. But they should only automate the right jobs and processes. Those that humans are simply inferior in.

Basically: humans shouldn’t try to be robots and robots shouldn’t try to mimic humans. Technology should aid humans so they can be more human, not less.

Robots can almost take over every aspect in business except for those that require human contact. All jobs that require human contact shouldn’t simply be automated. In fact, these are jobs that often are understaffed because the company doesn’t see the “value” and because it is hard to “automate” human behavior. Yet, we know that building personal relationships, by humans, is a high predictor for turning one-time buyers into returning customers. Humans can build trust and a sense of mutual connection that technology simply can’t.

This is why jobs that get automated, should not result in the person being fired. In fact, the automation of a job should be celebrated by everyone in the company, because it enables the human in question to transfer to another job that much better aligns with their natural human talents; one that requires sincere human connection, context-aware empathy and ethics. Technology should be leveraged to unleash human potential, not break it down.

Where does the branding part come in?

Actually, the Branding part in Brand Humanizing means it’s not just a term or a “tool” which you can implement like you would with a software add-on. Branding means that the entire organization should adapt the “Humanizing” into their DNA. It’s the core of the brand, resulting in every aspect from thereon forth being tested and done from within the Brand Humanizing DNA of the company.

To be even more specific: the organization should run on Brand Humanizing and not use it as a process or a layer atop the organization. It starts with the mindset of an intrinsic search to use people and their skills to their full potential and wanting to be human rather than being “brick & morator”. When we speak from within ourselves, we tend to be humans and personal. Once we communicate from within the organization, we become the organization and hence think and act like robots and mere entities. Once the humanizing has been adopted into the brand’s DNA, the outside world, such as employees, customers and partners will have a stronger human attraction to the entire organization.

It’s not replacing you, it’s empowering you

The Brand Humanizing philosophy is born from the discrepance between how we use automation now (a.k.a. becoming robots ourselves, spamming people and creating distance between humans) and how we think it should be. We strongly believe automation should help people by taking over redundant tasks, such as repetitive work that needs no empathy or small, standardized communication where no interaction is needed.

It’s not here to replace people entirely, on the contrary. If anything, Brand Humanizing can help organization use automation in a way that the people within it can use their personal skills even more. It can actually help people move into positions where human intelligence, empathy, creativity and emotions are more needed than ever. Brand Humanizing will help people become more personal and processes more automated. The philosophy is both pro-human as well as pro-automation, IF (and only IF) both are used in their respective strong suits.