I just heard about Mondelēz International's new approach to add 'humaning' to its marketing strategy. I'm not sure if the snack giant was reading my thoughts, my group chats, or if they know my dating history and the TED-talk level discussions I have about this very topic, but kudos to bringing the human back to humanity.
I'm going to venture down an atypical path on this blog: my dating life. I don't like to mix business with relationships, but there's a crossover embedded in here and I beg you to stay with me.
If you're of legal age and of legal ability to enter into romantic relationships, you quite possibly have heard of online dating. This form of romantic connection isn't new, nor is it considered taboo the way it once was. Almost everyone knows someone who met through a dating app these days.
Though online dating hasn't changed much in 15 years, what has changed is the brazenness in which people speak to one another. I don't need to dig very deep into my own screenshot folder to read or see the horrible ways in which men have spoken to me. "Send me a picture of your ______" I remember reading once. No "Hi!" no "Hello. How's your day?" He went straight to show me your ______.
Of course, some people manage to make it past the hello and the basics of human decency, and then fall into the despicable category. I've received a few correspondence from potential suitors who, when I've declined to send them pictures of me in my birthday suit, have gone on message-sending tirades about my looks, my personality, and even my role and duty to them as a woman. I should pause here to say that not all of these men are from dating apps. Some of them have been on basic social media apps and even professional networking apps. But I digress. I've heard this kind of indecency so much over the years that my local police precinct and I could be BFFs if we tried (see: screenshot folder).
Being a woman of strong mind and body, I wasn't content to just let the Brazen Bros get away with this. I started speaking up and speaking out about this behavior. Nowadays, when I'm not Digital Doyenning for Food Processing, I'm usually speaking to groups of men and women about how to form better connections with prospective romantic partners, particularly over the written word.
The #1 thing I and my fellow female co-horts tell men is: remember that us lady-folk are human. (Sorry fellas, your gender seems to need the most help with this reminder) There is no magic trick to getting our attention, nor is there a potion you can dabble behind your phone to get us to respond back to you. As I often advise to my well-meaning male friends: Just remember we're three-dimensional creatures and that we aren't in front of you as robots prepared to take whatever words you throw at us.
All of this brings me back to what Mondelēz's new marketing strategy is: Humaning.
According to their site, "Humaning is a unique, consumer-centric approach to marketing that creates real, human connections with purpose, moving Mondelēz International beyond cautious, data-driven tactics, and uncovering what unites us all. We are no longer marketing to consumers, but creating connections with humans." The brand intends on humanizing its snackers in order to connect with them.
I wish I could say I read the marketing strategy and thought "Well, yeah. Of course you should think of your consumers as human." But I didn't. I recognize that most food and beverage companies see me, Little Erin Consumer, as a number that adds in to their bottom line. They, like many of the people I've encountered whilst trying to find a beau, saw me as a thing... and not a human.
Suffice it to say, I read about the strategy with such sweet relief that I almost ran to my local grocer and hugged a bag of Oreo cookies out of pure joy. Through its marketing, Mondelēz has managed to do with snacks, what people still have yet to figure out on apps. (By the way, Mondelēz, if you're planning on launching a dating app anytime soon, let me know. I've got ideas).
Kudos and bravo Mondelēz. You deserve a right swipe for this approach to marketing. I can't wait to watch the relationship bloom.