In a recent Ad Age cmo strategy post (“The Newest Marketing Buzzword? Human.”), the irony is in the sub-title: “Companies Increasingly Trying to Adopt Characteristics of Their Customers in Order to Be More Likeable.”
Huh? You mean one characteristic of the customer is that s/he is human? Does this mean that some of their customers are not human? Or, does being human now mean something different now? Is it a demographic trait, like ‘watches prime-time sports on TV,’ or ‘plays lotteries’ or ‘eats more vegetarian meals?’ In that case, some customers could be described as being more human than others, some might over-index on ‘human.’
If this is the dawn of the “human era for brands” brands could start by just asking customers simply what’s working well for them in their experiences with the brand and where there might be an opportunity for change. Instead of “Do you measure your call center on how quickly they get off the phone with customers?” Actually, I do want to get off the phone with call centres quickly.
If customers start throwing around the word ‘human,’ then maybe that’s an opportunity to probe on what they mean by being human and what might be better or different in the future for them if they felt the brand was more human than it is today.