Humanize Your Brand

Raise your hand if you’ve ever had to call in for customer support and been talked to like you’re just another faceless transaction.

We’re going to assume 99% of you raised your hands. If you’ve never had a call like this, consider yourself lucky. They’re the worst. The hold music is usually horrible, but the real kicker is the robotic, programmed nature of the whole thing. The entire conversation feels like you’re being talked at, not listened to.

So how can you make sure your business makes customers, and future customers, feel heard?

Connect with your customers & humanize their experience

In every way you can. As often as you can.

To humanize your brand means taking the time to understand your customers’ challenges. It’s about incorporating empathy and contextual awareness. Simply put, it's about seeing your consumers as individuals. 

Now, we’re not just talking about automatically inserting someone’s name on an e-newsletter as a way to “personalize” it. Humanizing means recognizing that people aren’t static or fixed data points. (Married, home-owning female with two kids, age 35-40 living in Minnesota) They're people and people change. Their attitudes change. Brands need to show an understanding of this by meeting their customers where they’re at and speaking to them as people.

The benefits of putting time into connecting with your customers has been seen time and time again. Businesses that succeed in truly humanizing their brands relate deeper with potential customers, provide more meaningful experiences, encounter more return business, referrals and greater customer lifetime value.

humanize your brand blog

How does design fit in all of this?

Design has everything to do with connecting with your customers! Design can, and should, be used to make your brand more personal and memorable. It's how your brand can quickly and effectively relate with your customers and potential customers.

In fact, all experiences with your brand should be designed. If you don’t craft how your business is represented, consumers will create their own perception of who your company is and what it stands for. And what they come up with may be wildly different than what you’d like to be known for...

Defining your brand, illustration by Šek Design Studio

Whether it’s your storefront, logo, or social media posts, making strategic choices about your design comes down to understanding your audience and understanding what your business is all about.

Time for a real example.

If you're in the Duluth area, you've likely seen The Rambler food truck out and about, but do you remember what their first truck looked like?

Check it out below. It initially had a cartoon-ish looking boxcar background with block letters and a silhouette of a "hobo" figure with a food sack over his shoulder.

The Rambler food truck old design

In working with The Rambler, we identified their customers (and the owner's) personality and proposed some changes to their brand design. All the adjustments were made to better match and connect to their audience — festival goers, music fans and arts lovers.

Even in keeping with the same general theme for their truck design, we were able to make some big improvements.


The new design is a much more realistic interpretation of a weathered, wooden boxcar. One that looks like it belongs on the docks. The logo was created to have the feel of an old weathered, hand-painted sign. A nostalgic nod to the history of Duluth.

The hobo was transformed into a musician (based vaguely off of Rambler owner, Jonathan Reznick) with a guitar over his shoulder. A more fitting piece for the crowd they serve. This change also helps the business avoid connecting itself with a homeless stereotype.

The Rambler's new tagline, Roam. Eat. Repeat., not only creates motivation for customers to come back, it’s also incorporates language that fits with the overall brand.

The Rambler messaging, created by Šek Design Studio
Rambler Logo created by Šek Design Studio
Šek Design Studio is a branding and design firm located in Duluth, MN

This is how you take something that 'works fine' to something that strikes a chord and speaks to its audience — even if they don't realize it.

To see, and learn, more about the branding work we did for The Rambler, visit our work page at