Interbrand, Human Truths, customer research, customer insights, consumer research


Connect Arena: New models for human truths, brand economics and experience

Humans have an innate need to connect; understanding that universal truth more deeply is a natural place to start in our exploration of this arena.

A landmark Harvard study that tracked people over an 80-year period concluded that good relationships help us live longer and be happier. This finding holds true in the opposite direction: we also know social isolation is a death sentence. So, what happens when we’re in the midst of a multi-year global pandemic that threatens to deprive us of those critical close, physical, emotional bonds? We struggle, and we adapt.

In part, that adaptation meant accelerated innovation fueling new experiences that are transforming our social interactions. As we’ve had to increasingly rely on technology to stay connected, we’re reassessing its impact in our lives, leading us to wonder if there could be such a thing as too much connection. We find the balance when we eliminate friction and noise to focus on the connections that matter most: those that bring us positive human energy.

Interbrand’s Human Truths team explored our fundamental need to connect – with consumers and brands both in and out of the tech realm. Our need for social interaction is timeless and universal but the ways we satisfy that need are changing dramatically.


This points to durable truths upon which to build more relevant experiences. In the Connect Arena, brands can accelerate growth by understanding, activating and optimizing the interactions that create positive human energy, bringing us together, helping us live long and happy lives.

Interbrand, Human Truths, customer research, customer insights, consumer research


In this report, we’ve outlined eight factors brands can use to assess and optimize the portfolio of social interactions they deliver.

With this model, brand leaders can identify pain points in current experiences, growth areas for new experiences, and threats from competitors. At first glance, everyone is focused on solving for new channels and dimensions, converging in a complex and crowded hybrid space, but there are plenty of moves to be made with other factors.

What might it be like if HP or Philips added social interactions to the experience of replacing ink cartridges or toothbrush heads? We initially bristled at the idea of adding social to banking with Venmo, but then suddenly it became fun to see two friends you didn’t think knew each other just shared a pizza. If Phillips can bring us together brushing our teeth, imagine what they could do with lights, or even MRI machines. What if Netflix turned “Watch Together” into “Cook Together”? If social interactions through our kitchen appliances were woven into the show, would we choose Smeg or Samsung to become a part of the experience?

The brands that find ways to create positive human energy in the interactions that matter will be the ones we bring with us on the long and happy lives we’re all striving for.

Find out more about how the models could work for you and your business.