Brand value, measured in human capital
Duncan Shaw, chief creative officer at brand design agency, Living Group New York, writes about the importance of human capital in business and how to achieve personalised B2H, or business to human, experience.
As more and more attention is being paid to your or your clients’ brand presence, you can’t afford to lose sight of the reality that your services business is founded on, driven by, and valued for its human capital. We live in a commercial world that has moved past the institutional anonymity of B2B, past the mass media of B2C, and on to the highly personalised B2H experience – business to human.
Even if yours is a business that focuses on companies and corporations, or NGO’s, not-for-profits and foundations, or factories or funds, you are still dealing with decision-makers who are individuals, people just like you. They, like you, have emotions and those emotions drive buying behaviour. And what they want to know about your business is: you. Who are the people who drive your decisions? Who are the experts who deliver your services? What is the culture that nurtures your employees?
The ongoing, and what seems like endless global pandemic, is accelerating the need for better people storytelling as a ‘humanity gap’ has opened and is arguably widening driven by a continued need and desire to work from home and a lack of face-to-face meetings, networking and events.
Start by telling your story clearly online
A winning digital experience for any brand involves a smart balance between content creation and web and social channel functionality. But what will differentiate your brand is how you tell your story – that is, the story of your people.
Surprisingly, all too often, websites fail to offer interesting ‘People’ pages, showing instead only cold, sterile search functions of biographies written in a strange third person. It’s a lost opportunity for many firms because these sections usually have the highest web traffic of interior pages. It’s the place to celebrate your employees, share your unique culture, evidence your diversity and inclusion programmes, and ultimately catch the attention of people who want to do business with you, come work for you and want to stay with you.
Give your people centre stage
Companies must shine a spotlight on their most valuable asset: their people. This begins with developing a brand positioning strategy that aligns with their firm’s values and reveals the human relationships that exist within their value proposition. And those brand values should not just be outwardly-facing. They should be actionable and liveable by the people who work in their business and used to measure professional development.
To further emphasise the ‘human factor’ of a firm, compelling biographies should be written in the first-person, blogs should be reader-friendly, social media posts engaging and online experiences create to deliver film, animation, podcasts and interactive digital content – all this to draw upon the personalities of their team members.
In summary, at Living we feel strongly that separate and standalone employer brands are a thing of the past and instead, by integrating humanity at the very top level of a brand, a company becomes relatable, its purpose understandable, its message deemed authentic to both internal and external target audiences.
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