Social channels and tools offer a tremendous opportunity for business to create and sustain valuable relationships with customers, partners, employees and others. Digital technologies make it possible for brands to interact with their constituents in ways that are far more immediate, direct and authentic.

In short, it means that companies can “humanize” what the world has previously considered to be a distant, faceless brand entity.

But tools and technologies, alone, aren’t enough for this “brand humanization” to take root and flourish. What really makes a brand more “real” is its organization’s commitment to engage in a whole new level of open communication. And that’s the rub.

Stepping Outsidesnea the Brand Comfort Zone

Transparent, open communication can develop positive attitudes and behaviors that ultimately translate into business value. But opportunity often brings challenges along for the ride – and brand humanization is no exception. This concept challenges organizational structures, processes and norms at every level.

So, what does all this mean for professionals who focus on the “human” side of business? How can we lead constructive change and help our organizations breathe life into brands?

That has been the focus of our TalentCulture community this week, as we’ve examined brand humanization up close and personal – each of us adding our own experience and interpretations to the mix.

Humanization – New Term, Classic Approach

We invited an expert to help shape and guide the week’s conversations. Leadership consultant, speaker and author, Jamie Notter is deeply familiar with brand humanization. In his latest book, “Humanize: How People-Centric Organizations Succeed in a Social World,” Jamie examines effective social business strategies, as well as the operational impact of embracing a social business philosophy.

It’s not easy. Cultural transformation never is. But by remaining focused on classic “human” principles, “Humanize” offers a roadmap that organizational leaders can use to navigate through disruptive waters. These principles served as a useful backdrop for our community’s exploration this week. Here’s what happened on our journey…

NOTE: For complete highlights from yesterday’s #TChat Twitter forum, be sure to watch the Storify slideshow at the end of this post.

#TChat Week-in-Review

SAT 2/16
Sneak Peek video: TalentCulture Community Manager, Tim McDonald, kick-started the week by asking featured guest, Jamie Notter, to define brand humanization and its benefits. Thought provoking!

SUN 2/17
TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro called upon business organizations to rise to the challenge in her Forbes.com post: “Dear Leaders: Humanize Your Brand”

MON 2/18
#TChat weekly preview laid out the week’s events: “Real Brands Humanize”

TUE 2/19
#TChat Radio Show:
Our hosts sat down with Jamie Notter for an up-close and personal discussion about the “human” side of business brand stewardship.

To frame the conversation, Jamie wrote a blog post, “7 Tips for (Seriously) Humanizing Your Brand.” It’s a must read!

WED 2/20
#TChat Twitter: Jamie returned, along with his Humanize co-author, Maddie Grant. This time, he moderated our freewheeling #TChat Twitter forum, as 250+ participants shared more than 1000 tweets that delivered 1.5+ million impressions. Now that’s what can happen when real humans show up and open up in a live digital exchange!

NOTE: For highlights from yesterday’s #TChat Twitter forum, be sure to watch the Storify slideshow at the end of this post.

Closing Notes & Highlights Slideshow

THANKS: Again, thanks to Jamie Notter for sharing your insights with the TalentCulture community this week. You brought clarity, context and dimension to this important topic.

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events inspire you to write about brand humanization or other organizational issues? We’re happy to share your thoughts. Just post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week, we’ll look at branding from another angle, by exploring branded entertainment and the World of Work! Save the date for #TChat Radio, Tuesday, Feb 26, at 7:30pm ET. And #TChat Twitter Wednesday, Feb. 27, at 7pm ET. Look for more details next Monday via @TalentCulture and #TChat.

Until then – we’ll see you on the stream!

Image Credit: Thumbprint via stock.xchng

#TChat INSIGHTS Slide Show: “Real Brands Humanize”

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