Marketing that appeals to humans, not “consumers”.

As business owners and marketers, it is important to understand that our customers/audiences are humans, they are not just consuming what we are producing. You might say “Of course… I knew that”. But do you really?

Often we tend to share things the way that we would like them to be shared with us but do so without fully understanding the dept of why those things appeal to us in the first place, and why they can get us to act. If that is the way we market to our customers, then we are marketing to consumers, not to humans.

How to market to humans.

To appeal to the needs of humans, there are ways of thinking and strategies that you need to consider focusing on to improve the outcome of your marketing efforts. A few of these strategies are below:

  1. Provide a sense of security – as human beings, we have a need to feel safe/secure/ protected. A brand’s ability to convey that sense of security can realize much better outcomes to marketing efforts because this would appeal to our basic human instinct. For example, with the current state of the country with COVID19, the majority of brands took the time to send emails or make posts about how they are taking steps to protect their customers by performing extra sanitizing steps, enforcing social distancing, etc. If you planned on purchasing from a brand but were unaware of their safety measures to protect you, would you still support them in these times?
  2. Build trust – as humans, we also have the need to trust and to connect. A brand’s ability to build trust with its audience can go a very long way with increasing brand loyalty and even brand growth because as humans, we tend to share the things that work well for us, the things we connect with, and the things that make us happy. This can lead to a lot of word of mouth, which helps to grow your business among an audience that is already coming to the brand with a higher level of trust.


  3. Appeal to the senses – ever heard the saying that “Scent is the strongest sense tied to memory”? Well, I believe that is absolutely true. The idea behind that is that if you smell something somewhere, and even a much later time you go to another place and you smell the same thing, it is likely to bring back the memory of where you were when you first experienced that smell.

So using strategies that appeal to all the senses have a higher chance of your brand being easily recalled when your audience sees, hears, smells, tastes, or touches something similar or the same, after they have had an experiential exposure to your brand.













  1. Appeal to the emotions – emotions rules the world. Well, maybe not so direct, but emotions are incredibly powerful and often guide our decisions. So, if you appeal to the emotions e.g. using storytelling and tearjerkers, you are likely to see better outcomes as these strategies help to build a sense of connection with the brand.

  2. Use imagination – use your brand to engage your audience and provoke the imagination. This facilitates a sense of connection and usefulness of the brand because the audience can see how the brand could somehow play a role in their future plans that they have. For example, for a food and beverage business, suggest how the brand can help your audience to provide for their guests at life event celebrations such as graduations, weddings, baby showers, etc.


There are many other ways to ensure that we are marketing to humans and not consumers. This is a topic that I would like to expand on at a later time, but for now, let us start with the basics of first realizing that we have to market to our audience as the humans that they are, and these humans have wants, needs, desires, and emotions that drive their decision making. That is why it is important that we market to these innate human traits, and not based on what we think our audience wants to consume.  

Check out last week’s post

The Marketing Mix and why gender is not the best segmentation to use.

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