People everywhere describe their relationships with brands of all kinds in deeply personal ways—we hate our banks, love our smartphones, and think the cable company is out to get us. What's actually going on in our brains when we make these judgments?
Through their original research, customer loyalty expert Chris Malone and social psychologist Susan Fiske show that we relate to companies, brands, and even inanimate products in the same way that we naturally perceive, judge, and behave toward one another.
Early humans developed a kind of genius for making two specific kinds of quick judgments: What are the intentions of other people toward me? And how capable are they of carrying out those intentions? Social psychologists call these two categories of perception warmth and competence, and they drive most of our emotions and behavior toward other people—and in today’s modern world, toward businesses too. As a result, we become devoted to certain companies, brands, even products, but we also have high expectations for loyalty from them in return.
Having evaluated over 45 companies across 10 separate studies, Malone and Fiske offer in-depth analyses of companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Hershey's, Domino's, Lululemon, Zappos, Amazon, Chobani, and Sprint, showing how they manage to achieve success and sustain it—even recovering from major missteps—by forging genuine relationships with customers.
The Human Brand is essential reading for understanding how and why we make the choices we do, as well as what it takes for companies and brands to earn and keep our loyalty in the digital age.
"The HUMAN Brand is a brilliant synthesis of psychological science and marketing wisdom. Engaging, insightful, and deeply original, an essential book for every business reader." Dan Gilbert, bestselling author of Stumbling On Happiness and Edgar Pierce Professor of Psychology at Harvard University
“How do we earn the lasting loyalty of others? Chris & Susan provide some fundamental, yet powerful insights into building relationships that matter. They challenge us to ‘come out from behind the curtain’ and to lead with courage, conviction and heart. Never before has the humanization of brands and leadership been so vital to success.” Jay Gould, President & Chief Executive Officer, American Standard Brands
“The HUMAN Brand is a must read for those who want a truly evolved understanding of how to earn loyalty and create lasting relationships with customers. It's a timely look at how modern corporations hold onto customers... and how we drive them away.” Beth Comstock, Chief Marketing Officer, General Electric
“This insightful book explains in simple terms why trust is at the heart of every healthy relationship, not just between people, but between companies and their customers. It will cause you to completely rethink your current approach to customer relationships, and that’s a good thing.” Tom Long, Chief Executive Officer, MillerCoors
"Malone and Fiske offer compelling new evidence on the dangers of excess focus on short-term shareholder value. Their anecdote-rich book is helpful for any business concerned with how to retain customer loyalty and trust in these complex times." Dr. Noreena Hertz, Cambridge Economist and bestselling author of EYES WIDE OPEN: How to Make Smart Decisions in a Confusing World
“In all the noise and all the confusion, these insights on what really matters for corporations to maintain true customer loyalty are invaluable." John Williams, President & Chief Executive Officer, Domtar Corporation
“This book offers truly ground-breaking insights on the psychology of customer choice and loyalty. It challenges us to rethink what really matters to our customers and what it takes to build strong and authentic relationships with them.” Ann Muhkerjee, Chief Marketing Officer, Frito-Lay North America
“Chris Malone has a unique talent for uncovering customer insights that challenge conventional wisdom and uncover new growth opportunities. In The HUMAN Brand, he and Susan Fiske offer a new way to understand brands that can be used to deliver more memorable customer experiences that drive profitable growth.” Ravi Saligram, President and Chief Executive Officer, OfficeMax, Inc.
“Today’s technology makes it appear as if marketing has become more complex. In fact, it hasn’t – especially for those brands who think and act like ‘the shop on the corner.’ People’s connection to what they buy, and who they buy it from, is what’s important. That’s been the same for generations. The challenge is in making large brands appear ‘small.’ The Human Brand cuts through the complexities of ‘marketing local’ in the digital age to tell the simple truth: connections are key.” Patrick Doyle, President & Chief Executive Officer, Domino’s Pizza, Inc.
“Susan Fiske’s renowned work on warmth and competence explains how we unconsciously judge people and companies. The HUMAN Brand is a must-read for anyone with an interest why we make the choices we do.” Jennifer Aaker, coauthor, The Dragonfly Effect, and professor, Stanford University Graduate School of Business
“By re-focusing us on the primal foundations of survival, The HUMAN Brand takes a major, comprehensive step towards understanding the real drivers of commercial success. If you care about what ignites, engages and sustains deep, strong relationships with your brand and company, read this book.” Susan Fournier, coauthor, Consumer-Brand Relationships, and professor, Boston University School of Management
“The insights detailed in this book have completely reshaped our thinking and approach to building lasting alumni relationships and financial support. Our resurgent alumni results in both areas are a testament to the timely and timeless value of warmth, competence and worthy intentions.” Dr. Daniel J. Curran, President, University of Dayton
“The important insights in The HUMAN Brand helps explain why B Corporations are able to attract the best talent and the most evangelical customers, and why they deliver lasting benefits to our society and to shareholders.” Jay Coen Gilbert, Co-Founder of B Lab