Sunday, May 16, 2021

CEO InsiderChief Executive Insights

Humanize Your Leadership Brand to Impact, Influence and Inspire Others

These are the days of branding and marketing whether you are a spiritual leader, religious leader, business leader, political leader or an academic leader. With the advent of social media, people started using technology aggressively to build their credibility and enhance visibility. There are celebrities including film stars, cricketers and sportspersons who hire marketing people and social media managers to click photographs with their pets and post on social media. They meet poor people in developing nations and the less fortunate; click photos and upload on social media platforms especially on Instagram to enhance their visibility. They want to show visually that they are committed to making a difference. Are they honestly humanizing their brands?

“Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.” —Jeff Bezos.

Humanize Your Brand

By leveraging social media, ordinary individuals excelled as extraordinary individuals by branding and marketing aggressively. There are several celebrities who bank on the support of other celebrities to leverage their brands rather than to extend opportunities to the average individuals and upcoming ambitious individuals. Such celebrities hardly humanize their brands.

When you look at Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr and Nelson Mandela they worked for their causes, not applauses. They walked their talk. They did not crave for publicity and visibility. It was the people who spread their ideals and ideas, and struggles and sacrifices through word of mouth and built their credibility and enhanced their visibility. However, in this internet age, most celebrities pump their money to build their brands and market themselves aggressively to create more wealth. They hardly walk their talk and make a difference in the lives of people.

Brand Humanization

Humanizing your brand means giving a human dimension to your brand by connecting with your audience and touching their lives. It is to connect with your audience emotionally, not mechanically. It is to covert invisible elements into visible elements and intangible aspects into tangible aspects. It is to include emotions with a humane touch to your brand. It gives a competitive edge to your leadership brand.

When everyone involved in social media is human why cannot you humanize your brand? To humanize your brand, you must emphasize emotions, egos, and feelings. Therefore, brand humanization can be defined as the process of giving a human dimension to your band by involving emotions, egos, and feelings to connect with your audience quickly to touch their lives and make a difference. In this age of automation, it is essential to emphasize human elements to your brand due to the dearth of physical proximity.  Humanizing your brand is a marathon, not a sprint. It requires regular efforts, energy, enthusiasm and time to humanize your brand.

Tips to Humanize Your Brand

If you can humanize your brand with egos, emotions, and feelings you will be successful as an individual leader and organizational leader. Here are some tips to humanize your brand.

  • Emphasize social issues to bring social change.
  • Take up a few core issues globally and highlight them.
  • Focus on average individuals and their issues to explore ideas.
  • Include emotional elements to touch their hearts and offer inspiring ideas to ignite their minds.
  • Accept your mistakes and apologize.  Don’t worry about flaws. Accept flaws and failures because nobody is perfect in the world.
  • Keep people before profit.
  • Avoid short-term temptations.

Be agile and active. Engage your audience on your social media platform. Encourage agreement and disagreement. Be honest and transparent. Observe ethics and etiquette. Build trust and goodwill in the audience. Build social media warriors and soldiers. Build brand ambassadors and evangelists. Walk your talk and go the extra mile. Above all, learn, unlearn and relearn to humanize your leadership brand constantly.

There are people who kick up controversies to get noticed on social media. They want instant fame on social media. Such tactics don’t help them in the long run because a consistently growing graph is essential to building your brand on social media. However, there will be occasional setbacks in career graphs. When you look at the authentic influencers they mean business and grow consistently on social media with meaningful dialogues and discussions by sharing great content consistently and adding value to their audiences.

If you think that brands are like humans on the move, you will personalize, engage, and inspire your audiences effectively and successfully. When you look at global companies including Google, Apple, Facebook, Nike, Coca-Cola, South West Airlines, McDonald, and Starbucks, they humanized their brands successfully. They emphasized customer delight which is far ahead of customer satisfaction. When you humanize your brand you can achieve customer delight.

People have become much wiser and smarter than ever before because social media has thrown everything open to assess individuals and their activities. It reviews and offers feedback instantly. The audiences watch their leaders from all spheres; branding and marketing tactics and assess authenticity. Hence, ordinary individuals who aspire to excel as extraordinary individuals and successful individuals who intend to become more influential must add value to others by humanizing their brands and making a difference to the world.

Have you read?

Professor M.S. Rao, Ph.D.
Professor M.S. Rao, Ph.D. is the Father of “Soft Leadership” and the Founder of MSR Leadership Consultants, India. He is an International Leadership Guru with forty years of experience and the author of fifty books including the award-winning See the Light in You: Acquire Spiritual Powers to Achieve Mindfulness, Wellness, Happiness, and Success (Waterside Productions; January 16, 2020). He is a C-Suite advisor and global keynote speaker. He brings a strategic eye and long-range vision given his multifaceted professional experience including military, teaching, training, research, consultancy, and philosophy. He is passionate about serving and making a difference in the lives of others. He trains a new generation of leaders through leadership education and publications. His vision is to build one million students as global leaders by 2030. He has the vision to share his knowledge freely with one billion people globally. He advocates gender equality globally (#HeForShe). He was ranked #1 Thought Leader and Influencer in HR globally by Thinkers360. He invests his time in authoring books and blogging on executive education, learning, and leadership. Most of his work is available free of charge on his four blogs including Vision 2030: One Million Global Leaders. He is a prolific author and a dynamic, energetic, and inspirational leadership speaker. Professor M.S. Rao, Ph.D. is an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine. Follow him on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn.