How Humanizing a Brand Can Make it Successful

Hilary Corna
5 min readJul 23, 2020

As early as the 70s, businesses wanted machine-like efficiencies to reduce operational cost, improve productivity and increase the bottom line. The rules of engagement were different.

Transactions used to take place when companies and customers meet and after that separate ways.

It’s clearly a very dry and disconnected approach to treat customers. There is no human touch to it. But that was history. It’s a totally different story now.

Companies need differentiation, a human face and a personality that customers can relate to and engage with even after the sale. It is very important because their experience doing business with you is what will make them come back for another transaction.

Take an online apparel store, for example. Yes, its’ products are superb, affordable, and fashionable, but then, what experience could people get after buying?

Would they return for more? Is the digital experience enough to engage them after this transaction?

No one is certain, but chances are higher if the brand is more .

That’s where humanization comes in. But what is it, anyway?

Also called anthropomorphism, humanization is putting a face to a brand and giving it human-like characteristics. This enables businesses to connect with customers who have congruent personalities like them.

Let’s take Apple, for instance. Not many people would reach for a Mac (because it is quite complicated to use). But why does it appeal to these customers? It’s different.

People who want to be different prefer it because they perceive the brand as “like them,” relating to their human-like traits — innovative and unique.

Apple caters to customers who want to be unique because it appeals to innovative human nature and the ability to handle complexities. It signals consumers their identities and communicate to them that they’re like the “humans” that they would like to become.

It is a perceptual and cognitive strategy that gives this brand a social meaning that facilitates its integration into their customer’s personality.

How it Drives…

Hilary Corna

CEO | Founder of The Human Way | Bestselling Author | New book #UNprofessional out 9/21 | Host of the UNprofessional podcast | As seen in Forbes, Fortune, WSJ