6 Human Attributes of Human-Centric Brands (Kotler)

Brand Personality
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Shubhi Kotiya
CxO / Board, Germany

6 Human Attributes of Human-Centric Brands (Kotler)

In marketing, it's being said for a long time: 'The Customer is King'. In the digital era, this saying is truly manifested. Marketers now need to adapt and create brands that behave like humans - approachable and likable but also vulnerable. Human-centric brands treat customers as friends and become an integral part of their lifestyle. As explained by Kotler et al., when they want to influence customers as friends brands must possess 6 human attributes:
  • PHYSICALITY: Brands with a stronger physical attraction have more influence on customers. Physical attraction can come from brand identities like well-designed logos and well-crafted taglines among other things. For example, Apple excels in its industrial-product design and also in its user-interface design.
  • INTELLECTUALITY: Intellectuality is closely related to the ability to think beyond the obvious and to innovate. Brands with strong intellectuality are innovative and have the ability to launch out of the box products & services not previously conceived by others. Examples are Tesla, Uber and Airbnb.
  • SOCIABILITY: Brands with strong sociability are confident about social engagement and they are not afraid of having conversations with the customers. They listen to the customers and their conversations. They respond to their complaints and questions. They share interesting and engaging content and are active on social media. An example is Zappo with its extremely user-friendly customer services.
  • EMOTIONALITY: Brands that evoke emotions can drive favorable customer actions. The brands speak in a language that can emotionally connect with the customers. Dove is an example of a brand with strong emotionalityby increasing self-esteem among women and by encouraging them to love themselves and to appreciate their true beauty.
  • PERSONABILITY: Brands with a strong personality know what they stand for. They are self-aware. They take full responsibility for their actions and they are not even afraid to show their flaws if they make a mistake. Think for example of product recalls.
  • MORALITY: Brands should be value-driven. The brand ensures ethical consideration in all business decisions. Some brands even put an ethical business model as their key differentiator.
⇒ Do you agree these are the main attributes of human-centric brands? Can you think of an additional aspect?

Philip Kotler, Hermavan Kartajaya, Iwan Setiawan, (2017). "Marketing 4.0: Moving from Traditional to Digital", pp. 114-118


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