Humanizing the Brand, Branding the Human

Humanize your brand!

That’s the popular buzz-phrase in marketing circles – you hear it from agencies and ‘thought leaders’.

OK – can we please think about what’s going on here? Please? Purty please, with hot fudge on top?

Yes, organizations need to be better at two-way communications an active listening, etc. No kidding, Professor Feynman.

But that’s different than ‘humanizing’. A brand isn’t human – nor should it be.

Why on earth would you want that? Do you really want that – after all the Supreme Court of the United States conferred ‘personhood’ to corporations.

I guess we get what we ask for, huh?

Or: what we don’t speak against.

The same technological conditions that tempt marketers to humanize the brands they manage create the opportunity for humans to brand themselves.

But…do you really want to be a brand?

Yes, marketing yourself makes a lot of sense – in fact in today’s world we’re all individual PR and Marcomm.

But to brand a human?

You must be kidding me, right?

Is that the kind of world you want? –

A world where brands are pretend-human and humans are two-dimensional brands?

I do hope those of you in PR and Marketing (especially in Healthcare) understand the power you have in the kind of world we end up creating.

You’ve been the loudest and you’ve put the most effort into figuring this stuff out.

So what’s more important to you?

Are you willing to trade being a human for being a brand?

Hurry, make up your mind. Time is running out.

Phil Baumann



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