Jan 29, 2019

Brand Building in 2019: Humanizing Experience


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In an increasingly chaotic era driven by global political and economic unrest, relentless technology shifts and evolutions, and shrinking windows of personal and physical space, brands are working to carve out new opportunities with experiences built on kindness, caring and creativity to reach heads and hearts on a deeper level.

One clear way this is coming to life is in the visual representation of branded experiences. Rather than viewing tech as a platform demanding we give up part of ourselves to a machine, we shift towards an era where services are purpose built to amplify the human capability, with messaging that digs deeper into insights to understand the modern challenges consumers face. From apps, to websites, to the physical hardware itself, more playful, non-threatening, friendly approaches are front and center.

Where it gets real

Uber’s restage this Fall featured a softer, refreshed logo and bespoke set of fonts. Meanwhile, dating app Grindr created a new initiative called Kindr in an effort to foster more inclusivity and a welcoming environment to support the queer community.

In the realm of social media, platforms are working to address mental health and the increasingly negative impact it has on users—especially Gen Z. Facebook launched an Online Wellbeing section that includes a Youth Portal to help young people use the platform appropriately. Google’s similarly coined Wellbeing Initiative is working monitor behaviors along with installing custom reminders on YouTube that encourages breathers from binging and more conscious consumption.

Another area on the radar are brands empowering women of today with more open discourse. Women’s wellness company Lola is working to destigmatize sexual health with its “Let’s Talk About It” campaign. With a public hotline about common sex questions and concerns available to the public, the brand received over 1,600 phone engagements from both men and women in the first week alone.

The trend continues to female dressing as well, with an emerging brand Tuxe, leading the way. As a team of women, dedicated fashion designers, certified performance coaches and psychologists, Tuxe offers free performance coaching (with every blouse, bodysuit and pencil skirt) in an effort to help customers feel more confident and more in control of their personal and professional life challenges.

Why does this matter?

As the push and pull of tech continues to create unforeseen challenges in reaching consumers, brands will be forced to create initiatives that are authentically tied to their values and a reason for being—having an ethos that consumers don’t necessarily have to “buy” to believe. Integrating life and work in a way that feels purposeful will continue to be top of mind as brands look to lead with heartfelt solutions that lead to some semblance of consumer loyalty.

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