There is an increasing transition from institutional-era branding to human-era, the personification of brands and interacting with humans as a human. Consumers, especially millennial, no longer like to be talked at by television or radio ads, they want to be a part of something; they don't want to just buy a product, they want to buy into a brand.
One key characteristic for these new humanized brands is transparency. These brands let people see behind the curtain. No longer is constant improvement an internal company motto, it is communicated to the customer that brands want their help to move forward. And people are willing to respond. We all have interesting back-stories, it is part of being human, and that is what brands are accomplishing. For example, JetBlue’s “Bringing the humanity back to air travel” and their customer bill of rights have been revolutionary for their brand in a way of developing authentic consumer relationships. It keeps information simple for both the company and their audience.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, the airline’s marketing head and executive vice president, Marty St. George says that, “there is no better advertising than when people walk off an airplane and say ‘it’s great.’” Branding relationships in the human-era are expressed in acts, not in ads; it is an enhanced person-to-person interaction. In the human-era, there will be a rise in the need for a company to have cultural insight and how to connect brands to the cultural side of people’s interests. Marketing expands as well, it is now the responsibility of marketing agencies to act as a maestro, harmonizing social platforms and their users to give voice to a brand and navigate changing habits.