Astute team hanging out in downtown Nashville.

In the past decade, how we market has evolved because who we’re marketing to has changed.  Most consumers today shop differently than consumers ten years ago. With the integration of technology in almost every aspect of our lives, expectations have changed— and so should our tactics. One of the most notable shifts is the desire for a consumer experience. People look for a certain level of intimacy with companies. They want to feel like they know you. They want to feel morally good about their purchases. They want to feel like they’re investing in the experience you offer.

In the age of curated perception, how consumers view your business is less about your product and more about your culture. It’s a tall order—but not impossible. The trick is to always look for ways to humanize your brand—to welcome people into your culture and to give them a taste of what you’re all about.

Here are three easy things you can do today to give your customers the experience they desire.

  1. go behind the scenes

People love to feel like their getting an insider’s look. Giving a tour of your office or an inside look to production make people feel like they’re apart of the process. Videos or photos of improvements or upcoming projects for both your social platforms and website can be great tools for gaining engagement and building excitement around your brand.      

  1. show us the faces of your company

Your employees are your most valuable asset, and your community loves to know about them. Sharing important moments, like birthdays, marriages, the birth of babies, or work achievements shows that you value your employees as people and foster a community where people are happy to work. Consumers want to get to know the people that make their experience possible. Social media posts highlighting your employees or built out team bio pages are simple ways to give life to your brand.

  1. stand for something

Companies often try to stay out of any potentially controversial topics—and while some topics might need to remain completely off the table, taking a stand can humanize your company. Being involved in your community, or teaming up to fight alongside prominent causes show that you care about more than just your bottom line. Standing up for gender equality in the workplace, or showing how you’re working to make maternity and paternity leave the norm. While somehow these topics can be controversial, they would never stop someone from buying your product—but it reinforces the fact that you are people who make up a company, not the other way around.

I think spending time developing and showcasing company culture can sometimes seem like a waste—or it just becomes an afterthought. But it’s something companies can’t afford to ignore. With these tips in mind, there are two caveats to highlighting your office culture: first, culture for culture’s sake will turn customers away. Be authentic. Don’t splurge for the company team building day that no one cares about just so you can post it on instagram—do it because it builds community inside, which will extend outside. Secondly, be strategic. Lifting the veil doesn’t have to mean you bare it all, or forget to edit. You are in control of how you are perceived. Frame culture moments in your best light, always thinking about how someone just discovering your company would react to it.

Humanizing your brand builds life-long customers. If you sell them on your brand, your cause, your culture, they’re more likely to make that purchase they were on the fence about. Give them something more than your product or service to belong to.