The ultimate goal of a growing company is to build long-lasting relationships with its customers — the users of a new product, the attendees of a hackathon, the readers of an online magazine. Your company should aim for this too.
It is hard to imagine how humans can have meaningful relationships with their headphones or wallet, protocol, or even a website with long-form content. People build relationships with other people, whether these are individual connections or community involvement. But how do they do it with a product or service?
Remember a time when you met a stranger and talked to them? If you go to in-person events, you are familiar with this situation. First, you evaluate a person by their looks:
Do they seem interesting?
Do you feel comfortable starting a conversation?
Do they look like they have those sorts of experiences you are looking for right now?
And then you start a conversation.
How do you like it? Is it never-ending small talk? Or did you start discussing something that excites you right away? Is it casual? Or more like a lecture? What about the voice of this person? The speed at which they talk?
Now you have interacted with a person on two levels: visual and verbal. Based on your first impression, would you like to meet them again? What about doing something together over a longer period of time?
And so a relationship begins. From this moment on, it’s a game of human behavior, values, and attitudes from both of you.
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The way we meet and evaluate brands is very similar to the way we meet and begin relationships with people. In the end, there are humans behind every brand.
Because of this, in branding we give products and services a human personality.
If a product was a person:
- how would they look? And what would they wear?
This is your visual identity.
- how would they sound? And what would they talk about?
This is your content strategy.
- how would they behave? Would they entertain or educate you? Are they an easy-going friend or a reliable business partner? Are they fast-paced or casual and relaxed?
This is your user experience.