How Even Basic Human Connections Can Increase Brand Affinity

Breaking through consumer mistrust

Keith Grossman, global chief revenue officer at Bloomberg Media, has picked up on an almost Dickensian underpinning of the transformation sweeping the brand-marketing ecosystem—for brands it’s either the scariest time in marketing, or the most exciting.

“If you look at it from the command to control era where you are a monolithic brand just pushing out your message, it’s the scariest time in marketing and there is no trust in the consumer base,” said Grossman in an interview following the second installment of Adweek and Bloomberg Media’s quarterly “Marketing in An Interruptive World” breakfast series in New York. However, Grossman continued, for brands that take a more human approach in which they say “Here I am, how can I help you?” things are more efficient and effective.

Grossman pointed to simply responding to social media gripes from customers with a text, a tactic he learned in his previous job as associate publisher at Wired, as a powerful way to bond with customers.

“It was the first time I realized that if you humanize your brand and show the consumer base that you care about them it’s a far better place to be in,” said Grossman.

The overall theme of the breakfast was Technology and Humanity. It examined brands, trust and consumers via a Bloomberg Intelligence briefing on the state of AI. The breakfast included a fireside chat with Amanda Rubin, global co-head, brand and content strategy at Goldman Sachs and a panel entitled “Anxiety in the Security 3.0 World: Trust Marketing Strategies in the Age of Distrust,” with Marissa Freeman, chief brand officer, Hewlett Packard Enterprise; Anna Griffin, svp, corporate marketing, CA Technologies; Denise Karkos, CMO, TD Ameritrade; and Peter Mühlmann, founder and CEO of Trustpilot.

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