Use humanity to elevate your brand

December 5, 2018 - Posted by Aesthetic

At Aesthetic we love the age of technology (with a human touch). Where/when/how technology should be incorporated is an important and balanced consideration when we create the strategy for each brand experience, and from partnering with dozens of brands over the years we can attest that it’s a critical consideration for brand leaders too. Making the user experience as frictionless as possible is a core focus for many leading companies, and technology is often the main enabler — the ease of online shopping, AI chatbots anticipating your every need, voice activated personal assistants, the list goes on. The benefit to consumers permeates modern life, and the rich data from each interaction serves to continuously improve the technology at our fingertips.

Yet despite the inarguable power of technology there’s a part in each of us that craves human interaction, and it’s important to keep that connection alive. This article by former clinical psychotherapist turned workplace culture expert, Barbara Bartlein, shares some fascinating insights of the power of face-to-face contact. When people interact directly the chemistry of connection doses us with a reward of dopamine (the pleasure neurotransmitter), and serotonin (the neurotransmitter that helps maintain mood and regulate the body’s internal clock). Humans are wired to seek out proximity to one another, and creating the opportunity for meaningful shared experiences taps into those instincts.

The science behind human connection is as important in our professional lives as it is in our personal lives. In 2015, APCO Insight —a global opinion research site— conducted a survey of senior executives in mid-large companies to investigate the value of face-to-face meetings. The research found that 95% of business professionals believe face-to-face meetings deliver a return on investment, while 92% of executives say face-to-face meetings are a higher budget priority than technology or research. Yet the relentless pace of business means people often fall into the habit of channelling everything through technology —rather than using technology as an enabler to create a smoother experience, while reaching out to create something more meaningful. It is in this context that brands can break out of the mould to authentically connect with their audiences, a strategy that builds loyalty and creates advocates, while also making professional life more fulfilling.

An exceptional example of a brand tapping into the power of humanity is Airbnb’s OpenHome campaign. The digital disruptor of the tourism and accommodation industry uses its incredible reach to enable people to open their homes to strangers in need:

Through Open Homes, hosts have already offered temporary housing to over 11,000 people who needed to leave their homes because of disasters, conflict, or illness.

By facilitating the act of giving between people, an experience which is thoroughly aligned to the purpose of the brand, Airbnb has created a movement that deeply embeds their values both within the culture of the organization, and throughout their wider network of hosts. The benefits of the initiative are not limited to the recipient of the accommodation —research shows that the act of generosity triggers our biological reward pathways. This thoughtful campaign truly gives back to participating hosts, creating deep personal connections through a ripple of positivity.

Your extra space can turn into a meaningful experience, not just for someone in need, but also for your community, family, and self.

There is beauty in human-centered experiences that engage a person’s mind, captures their heart and benefits the world in which they live. OpenHomes provides Airbnb with the opportunity to partner with charitable organisations and create genuine content from powerful human stories.

The sum of the campaign is an alignment between brand, audience and humanity. Unlocking emotional responses that result in resonance, affinity and brand loyalty.

Creating experiences that springboard off the humanity at the heart of each brand is what sets Aesthetic apart, our synthesis of strategy and creativity means that every activation will speak to the values of your brand and resonate with your audience.

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