Human technology: Can digital really replace the human touch?


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In this time of digital disruption, polarization and political and economic unease, connecting with your customers on a human level is more important than ever. It is imperative that brands working with technology find a way to distill the human from the digital, build products and services that fit seamlessly into their customers’ complicated lives, and find the beating heart amongst all those ones and zeroes.

The Brands in Motion 2019 global study, conducted by WE and YouGov, aims to quantify the motion brands experience every day — and understand how this motion is either driven or inspired by technology. It has surveyed 80,000 people over three years and has never seen global consumer expectations decrease. In 2019, consumers continue to have very high expectations for how brands will use technology to innovate.

Brands in Motion 2019 found that consumers everywhere — no matter their gender, geography or generation — are unified on the agony and ecstasy of technology, and they’re optimistic about brands’ ability to harness tech in a human way and make the world a better place:

The good

• 71% of respondents say that changes to technology benefit most people

• 67% say it liberates their work style

• 65% say it makes them more efficient with their time

The bad

• 69% say change is happening too fast

• 59% say that technology is limiting their interactions with other humans

• 52% say it’s negatively affecting their health

What’s possible

• 83% believe brands could be capable of providing stability

• 75% embrace technology to learn how to better their lives

• 74% expect brands to take a stand on important issues[ID1]

“Brands in Motion 2019 shows ever-rising expectations, more empowered consumers, and stronger calls for accountable tech,” says Kristin Flor Perret, SVP of Global Marketing at WE. “How can brands thrive in this high-stakes environment? By moving to a more emotional space, doubling down on purpose, and being human to the core.”

The Drum, in partnership with WE, will stage an event on Thursday September 19, 2019 that gets to the heart of exactly what this means for marketers in an age of robotics, artificial intelligence (AI) and automation — how can tech-driven teams bring a human element to their brand? Brands will take centre stage at ‘Brand Humanity’ and explore the findings of this year’s WE Worldwide Brands in Motion study, which takes a deep dive into the ever-changing expectations, hopes and fears of consumers.

The Brand Humanity evening will kick off with an overview of the Brands in Motion study, before a panel discussion and interactive session that will highlight just how integral social, economic and cultural dynamics are in an age of technology.

If brands want to survive in today’s age, they must be human at their core.

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