The Future Belongs to Human Brands

One of the most frustrating aspects of working in advertising is the fact that people find us intrusive and sometimes even detrimental to their content. And most of the time… we can’t say they’re entirely wrong. We’re probably the only industry in the world that people invent technologies to avoid.

The industry is increasingly questioning what brands actually add to people’s lives. A brand is more than a product. You can get rid of a product, but you can’t get rid of a brand (unless you have good lawyers).

Recently, Hubert Reeves reminded us that we’re at a crossroads. The world doesn’t need more products. The saying less is more has never been more timely and relevant. We don’t need another product, we need better brands.

What value are we adding when we use ads to help sell disposable products? What value are we adding when we refresh logos for products who really need to refresh their place in the world?

We all have the tendency to drink our own Kool-Aid and think consumers will be interested in our latest content pieces. But most people don’t have the time, interest or desire to engage with brand content. What actually interests them is how a brand can add value to their life.

At BBR, part of the Humanise Collective, our modern definition of brand goes like this:

“A brand is the sum total of the hopes, dreams and aspirations an organization can fulfill in human lives.”

Given that new, human-centered definition, some brands have the potential to make a difference in our world like never before, sometimes much faster and more effectively than our own governments.

These are the brands that truly care about the well-being of the people who consume them because they are aware of their social, cultural, environmental and political impact. These brands are finding new ways to be relevant, useful and entertaining. They are creating engaging ecosystems, based on experiences that welcome and nurture consumer relationships.

We need to recognize those brands more often and mirror their actions. To do so, I’m putting together a list of brands who, in my humble opinion, understand how to make a real difference in people’s lives.


Embedding good into the product


Warning: cheesy video alert. Nonetheless, they embedded good into the product.



Doing good by taking a stand through action