Cowling’s Corner: Embrace Human-Centric Storytelling For Better Consumer Connections

Nick Cowling - CEO
April 25, 2024
Woman on Bench

In an era where people are bombarded with an unprecedented volume of marketing messages, the demand for brands to stand out by demonstrating authenticity and emotional intelligence has never been higher.  The consumption landscape is continually changing; people are just not swayed by the dry, factual benefits of products alone. Instead, they are searching for deeper connections and meanings in their commercial exchanges. The cure for your factual content is, of course, infusing the human element into your marketing strategies. Otherwise known as Human-centric marketing, it goes beyond the mere use of relatable language and imagery; it strives to embed a company’s values and ethos into every communication effort. This is not a simple alteration of existing strategy, but a foundational transformation in the core of how businesses present themselves. 

There’s a growing skepticism towards corporate messaging. In response, personalized, story-driven content — grounded in authentic experiences and values— is proving far more effective in building brand loyalty and advocacy. 

Narratives that resonate on a human level often lead to more meaningful audience engagement. In fact I would argue that one person’s story is even more meaningful than a story about a group of people.   I’d urge you to find a story that identifies, and/or celebrates something that’s irresistible – relatability.  This can be done in so many ways.  Brands who wants to attract more talented people should share the spotlight with employees that embody the culture. If you want to deliver on product benefits, then tell the story of how one of your customers experienced it. And if you’re you wnat to discuss the reputation of your company, then tell the story of individuals that saw the community improve.  By illustrating how the collective experiences of individuals contribute to a brand’s story, you reinforce the idea your product, service or company itself is relatable. 

There’s a number of brands that come to mind that have embraced this strategy – Patagonia, Snap, McDonald’s among others. Companies that focus on transparency, embrace their role in society, and infuse their communications with the real-life stories of those they touch, typically enjoy enhanced trust and stronger customer loyalty. And the endurance of this trust isn’t only anecdotal; it is supported by consumer behavior studies and marketing industry reports, time and time again. 

I truly believe the current market dynamics call for a revival of the human element in marketing. By emphasizing the importance of emotional intelligence, empathy, and authenticity in brand narratives, brands can have more substantial & more enduring customer relationships. It’s time to recognize that the true power of a brand lies not in the products or services it sells but in the human connections it fosters and the community it builds.