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The human brand
Branding people, humanizing brands
Karen Russell, University of Georgia
• The Human Brand: How We Relate to People, Products
and Companies
• By Chris Malone and Susan T. Fiske

The Human Brand
Susan Fiske: Eugene
Higgins Professor of
Psychology and Public
Affairs at Princeton
Chris Malone:
marketing consultant;
wo...
Warmth

Competence

• Kind, friendly, goodnatured
• Sincere, honest, moral,
trustworthy
• Helpful, tolerant, fair,
generou...
Warmth & competence
USPS

BP

Brands

Hershey’s

Rolex
• After 9/11, the U.S.
airline industry was in
a dire situation
• No one wanted to fly

Example: SWA
• Three key decisions
• No layoffs
• No pay cuts
• No-hassle refunds for any customer who wanted one

Southwest Airlines
• Combined, shed 160,000 employees in the 10 years
following 9/11
• Laid employees off because people weren’t flying
• Try...
Southwest

“Big” airlines

• In 2003 earned more than
all other airlines
combined
• Best-performing stock
• Fortune “Most ...
Repeat patronage does
NOT equal loyalty

• “As anyone who has been
frustrated with the service
provided by their wireless ...
Cheap grocery store

Trader Joe’s

• You have a loyalty card
• You are rewarded for
shopping there
• You don’t enjoy shopp...
• A relationship-building strategy that involves attracting
and keeping customers by consistently putting their best
inter...
Mess up + fix it with
good intentions = most
loyal customer

• “The best time to win customer
loyalty is when you make a
m...
We are much more
predisposed to trust
other people than we
realize: our general
expectation is to
expect good things
from ...
Conditional

Unconditional

• If we believe the partner
is self-interested (like a
company) we behave
with cautious trust,...
Lifetime guarantee on
everything they sell
We think they deserve
to be successful

Example: L.L. Bean
Shared moral and
cultural values =
Choboniacs

Example: Chobani
Compliance: we go
along with a
requirement
We buy Domino’s
pizza because it’s
cheap

Levels of loyalty
Identification: we feel
inspired by the
company
We buy Domino’s
because the CEO
admitted it used to be
bad and we identify...
• Internalization: we share the company’s values
• We buy Domino’s because it exemplifies respect and
integrity

Levels of...
Based on what you know so far, how would a Groupon deal affect LOYAL
CUSTOMERS, COUPON USERS, EMPLOYEES?

The Groupon effe...
ENTER THE INTERNET
How do warmth and competence work online?
• Study of retailers: Sears, Walmart, Best Buy, Macy’s
• Pattern: customers ranked each brand as more competent
than warm,...
• Research on Zappos proves that websites aren’t
automatically lacking in warmth
• Zappos actually ranked HIGHER in warmth...
• Encourages customers
to call, email or chat
• Highly trained to
“Deliver the wow
experience”
• Prices are the same as
re...
• Earns high scores for competence
• Wins loyalty through low prices, speed and ease
• There is no human interaction

Cont...
“…the mobile, social,
and digital age leaves
no place for CEOs to
hide.”

CEOs can *be* the warmth
• AceMetrix research shows that good ads featuring CEOs
out-perform other ads in effectiveness
• The most effective CEO ad...
http://youtu.be/PprzM
__4nlc

Example: John Schnatter
• Most CEOs are hired to make money, not to build loyal,
long-term relationships with their customers
• People who lack wa...
Brand stories –
“creation myths” (how
and why the
organization formed in
the first place)

Humanizing brands
• When people start to think they “know” someone they’ve
never met
• Horton & Wohl (1956) "Mass Communication and Parasoci...
• http://www.apcoinsight.com/methodologies/tools/elmodel.aspx#.UuPltP30BlA

Brands the world likes
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The Human Brand

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Lecture notes based on The Human Brand by Chris Malone and Susan Fiske for Digital Reputation Management course -- photos removed for copyright purposes

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The Human Brand

  1. 1. The human brand Branding people, humanizing brands Karen Russell, University of Georgia
  2. 2. • The Human Brand: How We Relate to People, Products and Companies • By Chris Malone and Susan T. Fiske The Human Brand
  3. 3. Susan Fiske: Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs at Princeton Chris Malone: marketing consultant; worked with Coke, NBA, Procter & Gamble The Human Brand
  4. 4. Warmth Competence • Kind, friendly, goodnatured • Sincere, honest, moral, trustworthy • Helpful, tolerant, fair, generous, understanding • INTENTIONS • Efficient, capable, skillful, clever, knowledgeable • Confidence, appearance of ability to carry out their work • ABILITY How we judge others
  5. 5. Warmth & competence
  6. 6. USPS BP Brands Hershey’s Rolex
  7. 7. • After 9/11, the U.S. airline industry was in a dire situation • No one wanted to fly Example: SWA
  8. 8. • Three key decisions • No layoffs • No pay cuts • No-hassle refunds for any customer who wanted one Southwest Airlines
  9. 9. • Combined, shed 160,000 employees in the 10 years following 9/11 • Laid employees off because people weren’t flying • Trying to balance supply and demand • Took 10 years to return to year 2000 level of passengers travelling by air Other airlines
  10. 10. Southwest “Big” airlines • In 2003 earned more than all other airlines combined • Best-performing stock • Fortune “Most Admired” lists for years • • • • Results More planes More routes More revenue (less profit) More passengers (if you include overseas)
  11. 11. Repeat patronage does NOT equal loyalty • “As anyone who has been frustrated with the service provided by their wireless carrier, cable company, or the dominant airline at their nearest airport can attest, our continued purchases are typically not a sign of our loyalty. Rather, they are more often a sign that we are essentially being held hostage…” A question of loyalty
  12. 12. Cheap grocery store Trader Joe’s • You have a loyalty card • You are rewarded for shopping there • You don’t enjoy shopping there • You have “loyalty” cards to multiple stores • They don’t offer loyalty cards • You like shopping there, even if it costs more • You are loyal without a loyalty program A comparison
  13. 13. • A relationship-building strategy that involves attracting and keeping customers by consistently putting their best interests ahead of those of the company or brand The principle of worthy intentions
  14. 14. Mess up + fix it with good intentions = most loyal customer • “The best time to win customer loyalty is when you make a mistake.” • IBM executive quoted by Arthur Fink Loyalty formula
  15. 15. We are much more predisposed to trust other people than we realize: our general expectation is to expect good things from someone until proven otherwise Trust
  16. 16. Conditional Unconditional • If we believe the partner is self-interested (like a company) we behave with cautious trust, thinking harder about cost/benefit • Not surprised if betrayed • When we believe the partner has worthy intentions, our brains don’t have to think as hard • But betrayal has a much higher price Types of trust
  17. 17. Lifetime guarantee on everything they sell We think they deserve to be successful Example: L.L. Bean
  18. 18. Shared moral and cultural values = Choboniacs Example: Chobani
  19. 19. Compliance: we go along with a requirement We buy Domino’s pizza because it’s cheap Levels of loyalty
  20. 20. Identification: we feel inspired by the company We buy Domino’s because the CEO admitted it used to be bad and we identify with his brave statement http://youtu.be/AH5R5 6jILag Levels of loyalty
  21. 21. • Internalization: we share the company’s values • We buy Domino’s because it exemplifies respect and integrity Levels of loyalty
  22. 22. Based on what you know so far, how would a Groupon deal affect LOYAL CUSTOMERS, COUPON USERS, EMPLOYEES? The Groupon effect
  23. 23. ENTER THE INTERNET How do warmth and competence work online?
  24. 24. • Study of retailers: Sears, Walmart, Best Buy, Macy’s • Pattern: customers ranked each brand as more competent than warm, but their websites were rated even more competent than warm than their stores • Online stores seem impersonal, even if efficient and convenient • Retail stores have more opportunities to demonstrate warmth (people, conversations, worthy intentions) Store vs. online
  25. 25. • Research on Zappos proves that websites aren’t automatically lacking in warmth • Zappos actually ranked HIGHER in warmth than in competence, even though it has no physical stores • A company can demonstrate warmth through policies, practices, and website functionality And then there’s Zappos
  26. 26. • Encourages customers to call, email or chat • Highly trained to “Deliver the wow experience” • Prices are the same as retail Zappos customer loyalty team
  27. 27. • Earns high scores for competence • Wins loyalty through low prices, speed and ease • There is no human interaction Contrast: Amazon
  28. 28. “…the mobile, social, and digital age leaves no place for CEOs to hide.” CEOs can *be* the warmth
  29. 29. • AceMetrix research shows that good ads featuring CEOs out-perform other ads in effectiveness • The most effective CEO ads deliver messages that are “direct, trust inspiring, communicate a no-nonsense style” and show the CEO to be “genuine and authentic” CEOs in advertising
  30. 30. http://youtu.be/PprzM __4nlc Example: John Schnatter
  31. 31. • Most CEOs are hired to make money, not to build loyal, long-term relationships with their customers • People who lack warmth and worthy intentions are incompetent to lead in a new, transparent century The problem
  32. 32. Brand stories – “creation myths” (how and why the organization formed in the first place) Humanizing brands
  33. 33. • When people start to think they “know” someone they’ve never met • Horton & Wohl (1956) "Mass Communication and Parasocial Interaction: Observations on Intimacy at a Distance,” Psychiatry • One-sided relationships Parasocial relationships
  34. 34. • http://www.apcoinsight.com/methodologies/tools/elmodel.aspx#.UuPltP30BlA Brands the world likes

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