Tim Washer. Keynote Speaker + Event Emcee

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Tagged ‘Humanize‘

Humanizing the Brand… It’s Not Rocket Science


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We can send a person to the moon, but still struggle to humanize corporate brands.  NASA has successfully done both.   As BuzzFeed reports, a seven-and-a-half year-old aspiring astronaut named Dexter, submitted his cover letter and curriculum vitae visualized in a crayon infographic.  NASA responded by granting the youngster his first flush letter, and a bunch of other cool space stickers and photos.  Sometimes, it’s just that simple.

 

Dexter's NASA letter

Dexter’s mom posted an image of the letter to Reddit yesterday, and it has over 200,000 views, plus coverage in The Huffington Post, Fast Company, and Abilene Public Radio.

I know this takes a little time and effort for a corporate communications or social media team to respond, but sometimes doing the right thing, albiet simple, can have a huge impact on a brand’s public image. For B2B brands, a good part of the social media budget and objective should be geared toward these type of engagements. It’s a much more efficient use of resources than over-analyzing ROI.

Not all brands can offer a potential future trip to outer space, but a simple reply creates a connection, which could lead to a deeper relationship. I remember being impressed when Nordstrom noticed my tweet.

I wasn’t quite as moved as when I received an auto-pen handwritten reply after writing my U.S. President when I was Dexter’s age, but a department store is no match for the charisma of William Taft.

Comedy at the B2B Forum


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Edgar Rolando Diaz Emes was the first to reply when I was looking for help to film a telecom exec in Latin America. He works for Telefonica Moviles in Guatemala, so I figured he’d have some tips. He responded even faster than my former college roommate, maybe because I don’t owe him for a semester’s worth of cable bills.

complexity

Edgar helped me as if we were longtime buddies, although I had only talked with him briefly at a MarketingProfs event. But that’s the kind of immediate camaraderie you fall into with this group. Possibly because it’s helmed by Ann Handley, known in the industry as the “Brad Pitt of B2B Social Media.” She and her crew share a contagious spirit of fun and encouragement, along with a profound knowledge of social business.

The presentations are some of the most practical and useful I’ve seen at any conference. Think of it as SXSW without the tacos. It’s clear from the speakers that their intent is to authentically share “here’s what worked, here’s what failed, and here’s what we’ll try next time.” As part of a case study panel,  Elbert Lin discussed Boeing’s Design Your Own Dreamliner app,  Michael Brenner gave the backstory on SAP’s Business Innovation blog,  I talked about how we produced a B2B documentary on a shoestring budget; and offered a few ideas on how to find a storyline and produce it inexpensively. And then we had a little more fun in the closing session. [see video]

If your life involves creating content or storytelling in B2B or even B2C, you should join us in Boston, Oct 3-5, for the B2B Forum. It will be a fun and inspirational time — the opening keynote is Baratunde Thurston, former director of digital at The Onion. You’ll leave with a list of brilliant yet simple ideas you can start to implement the following week, and a dozen new friends who will support your social marketing projects and reply to you faster than your jaded college roommate.