Each of us reacts differently to adversity. We all develop defense mechanisms when things don’t go the way we want them to, and the way we react doesn’t always match other people’s views. As Kurt Lewin postulated, as early as 1936, behavior involves the combination of two elements: a person – with his or her beliefs, knowledge, motivation, personality, history, etc. – and your circumstances – including the physical environment, but also the friends or enemies around you. The special combination of these two elements, the person and his environment, is what leads to displaying a particular behavior at a particular time and place.

As every action carries costs and benefits, for ourselves and for those around us, a look from the outside would lead us to the conclusion that we are what we say, what we do and how we act. Let’s think that behavior is the basis of human relationships and, as we know that brands are relationships, it also becomes the basis by which people perceive brands, in an area that goes beyond communication.

Today, with more than 4,500 people digitally connected, the various social communication channels are a dynamic, rich and powerful evidence base for understanding the attitudes and behaviors of individuals and organizations. No one escapes this situation, which entails a huge loss of control of information.

Until recently, we lived and worked in a physically-centric world despite the rise of digital channels. We savored the chat with friends, having a beer in a bar. We loved enjoying a movie in the cinema, visiting some stores and touching their products. It was a person we related to and made a decision with, it wasn’t an algorithm that made it for us. There was a paper ticket and a designer bag, rather than a cold, programmed digital platform. That physical environment conditioned, to a large extent, our emotions and attitudes.

This has changed radically. We are now forced, and almost suddenly, more digitally connected than ever, with family and friends; but also with professional collaborators and with all kinds of services. Digital transformation has come upon us at an accelerated pace and it seems that it is something unstoppable from now on.

Videoconferencing, remote work, everything is already in “the cloud”, that digitized space that we have baptized in a way that makes it more human and that is as difficult for us to control as the clouds themselves. Now all our data surfs the networks and can be used in ways we can’t even imagine.

We have already entered a phase of automation that will forever change the way we live, directly affecting the relationship we establish with our environment and also, of course, with brands. Some may think that the rise of chats, Artificial Intelligence, data analytics, and self-service endangers the role of human beings, but is this the apocalypse of the world as we have known?

As the world transforms by incorporating digital versions of life, organizations must understand that they take on a social role and the importance of meeting society’s expectations as the basis for sustainable relationships between them and people. It’s time to take action. Part of the solution is to understand how to reinforce or incorporate human character, generating digital emotional situations. Artificial Intelligence represents a magnificent opportunity to strengthen relationships by facilitating intelligent and accurate responses, including through Human Brands . It is time for the relationship between people and organizations to be talked about, in a natural way as it should never have ceased to be. AI makes it possible to completely reimagine customer experiences with brands.

But this implies a complete change of focus, where there is no room for thinking of transactions before relationships, always considering a point of view that should give priority to the human spirit to improve trust and commitment. The human role in the digital world continues to be fundamental and taking it into account and integrating it is essential to enter and live in this new world.

 

Carlos Puig Falcó

CEO of Branward

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