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Welcome to the Human Era for Brands

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These days, more than ever before, brands are behaving like
people. It's all part of a movement on behalf of many brands that want to be seen
not big corporate behemoths, but as companies that value their customers as
individuals. The latest trend for brands is to be simply 'be human.'
 In fact, Jetblue this
week announced the launch of a campaign called "Air on the Side of Humanity" focusing
on the qualities that make them a carrier that cares about people. "Jetblue
was founded on the mission to inspire humanity, it's always been important to
us," Marty St. George, JetBlue's SVP-marketing and commercial, told Ad Age.
Still, he acknowledges that the company felt it should now
further emphasize the message to consumers in order to help the airline
differentiate itself from its larger competitors. The new ad suggests that
JetBlue empathizes with how difficult air travel can be today, and it reminds
viewers that JetBlue offers award-winning customer-service, free snacks and
more legroom:
"There are competitors trying to make the humanity
claim," said St. George. "We invented humanity in air travel. It's
important to look at our ads and make sure they show our core DNA and say,
'only JetBlue can say that.'
In addition, TD Bank and Liberty Mutual are trying to
distance themselves from being seen as institutions, and have devoted airtime
to campaigns that tout being "human" as part of their brand
platforms. Even agencies are jumping on the bandwagon ' just this week an
agency called "Humanaut" launched. The shop -- where the chief
creative officer is a former CP&B staffer and the lead advisor
and investor is adman Alex Bogusky -- says its platform is about exploring how
"brands and technology collide with humans."
According to a recent study, the most admired brands listen
to the world around them and are open to social influence. They use data to
organize their capabilities around an individual's needs, rather than the other
way around. In short, the most successful companies have recognized that
'fortress' behavior is no longer an effective approach to interacting with
customers or communities.
The site even states, "Of course, we want everything to
be perfect. But we're only human. So if there's ever an issue, we'll keep
working until we get it right. That's what it means to bank human."

About the Author:
Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist of the Marketing Division at IIR USA, has a background in digital and
print journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing,
and technology. Amanda is the Editor at Large for several of IIR's blogs
including Next Big DesignCustomers 1st, and ProjectWorld and World Congress for Business
, and a regular contributor to Front End of Innovation and The Market Research Event,.
She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a Web Editor where
she covered breaking news and feature stories in the technology industry. She
can be reached at aciccatelli@iirusa.com. Follow her at @AmandaCicc. 

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