It’s been a big week for Braze.
On Oct. 3, the customer engagement platform announced an $80 million Series E round, led by Meritech Capital Partners. The announcement came as the company kicked off their fourth-annual LTR conference in New York City.
But the Braze team had another announcement up their sleeve. On Oct. 4, Braze unveiled Braze Alloys, the company’s first partner marketplace. According to Matt McRoberts, VP, global partnerships & channel development, Braze Alloys will allow customers to seamlessly connect with product partners within the Braze platform.
Currently there are 45 companies participating in the partner program, including newly-forged partnerships with Google Cloud, Twilio, and AccuWeather. The Google Cloud partnership expands Braze’s cloud storage capabilities, adding to relationships with Microsoft Azure and Amazon S3.
“This establishes Braze as a genuine multi-cloud offering,” Jon Hyman, CTO, Braze, said.
Creating more ‘human’ marketing experiences
The focus of Braze’s LTR conference centered around bringing humanity to customer engagement. As Braze CEO Bill Magnuson noted, the way brands fit into consumers’ lives is becoming “increasingly complicated,” especially as new touch points (like voice assistants) become widely adopted.
These experiences “natively and seamlessly transition from one interaction to another,” Magnuson said. Brands need to provide the same type of journey.
To do this, brands need to be more “human.” But what does that actually mean?
Braze partnered with Forrester to find out. Forrester surveyed 3,081 consumers and five “major” brands to gauge sentiment on what makes a brand “human.” The result was the “Brand Humanity Index,” unveiled at LTR on Thursday.
According to Dipanjan Chatterjee, VP, principal analyst, Forrester, “brand humanity” consists of three core components:
Being Natural: Brand that “speak like a person,” using the right tone, and in a clear and understandable way.
Being Emotional: Provoking a sense of emotion in brand marketing efforts. Chatterjee noted one of the most important elements was conveying to audiences the idea of a brand as an ally — the notion that as as company “I watch your back.” “In what you communicate, you must activate emotions,” Chatterjee said.
Being Personal: In this case, “being personal” means showing an understanding of individual consumer behavior, and working to fit consumer needs. This can be done by communicating through preferred channels and mediums, at times when consumers are most receptive.
To achieve this, brands need to balance creativity with emerging technology. As technology evolves, so does the human experience.
“We have to be more human, but we have to be more human with machines,” Chatterjee said.