By Nicola Fairhead, Content Marketing Specialist, Oracle Advertising and CX
They say you can’t buy happiness, but that doesn’t mean you can’t provide it for your customers. In fact, new research shows that making customers laugh and smile could be what sets your brand apart.
In a recent report from Oracle and five-time New York Times bestselling author and podcaster Gretchen Rubin, we found that customers today are prioritizing happiness—and they’re willing to reward the businesses that make them smile.
A greater desire for laughs and levity among consumers
In a survey involving 12,000 participants in 14 countries, researchers at Savanta, Inc. found that nearly half of respondents (45%) hadn’t felt true happiness over the past two years. 88% said they’re actively looking for new experiences that will make them happy.
These figures present an incredible opportunity. Customers are ready and waiting to be delighted by the brands they engage with. And the higher the premium they place on happiness, the more likely they are to stick with brands that deliver it.
What’s a great way to infuse happiness into the customer experience? Humor.
Incorporating humor into CX is a win for everyone
Ultimately, consumers are seeking out joy wherever they can find it.
For 89% of respondents, online shopping has been a go-to source of comfort—not just because of the products they purchase, but because of the experience itself.
In the survey, 91% of consumers said they were drawn to companies that were funny rather than formal. Whether via a tongue-twisting Superbowl ad, a quirky Twitter account, or a surprisingly sassy chatbot, customers are eager to be entertained.
Not only do customers prefer light-hearted messaging, but they’re more likely to buy from a business again after an uplifting customer experience. On top of that, consumers said they were more likely to spend more money and to recommend the brand to others.
Why this shift leaves business leaders excited, but anxious
The benefits of humor-infused branding are obvious, but how many businesses are willing or able to pursue them?
Clearly the will is there. 89% of business leaders agreed that humor could improve their CX and that they were missing opportunities to spark joy among their customers.
But though most business leaders see the value in humor, fewer than 30% said they embrace it in any area of their marketing, advertising, or overall CX.
So, what’s the disconnect?
More than half of the business leaders surveyed said they didn’t know enough about their clients to use humor with confidence. And if there’s one thing you need to make humor work, it’s confidence.
Most business leaders said a lack of tools, data, and insights kept them from polishing their punchlines. Above all, a whopping 95% cited fear. What if they got it wrong and alienated their audiences instead of uplifting them?
A data-driven approach can help companies harness humor
At first, a data-driven approach to happiness may sound counterintuitive. After all, how can data capture such a human emotion?
Humor may not be an exact science, but one thing is certain: To find that comic sweet spot with your audience—whether you’re planning a stand-up set or a CX strategy—you have to understand them.
“For brands looking to contribute to the happiness of their target audience, it starts with data and knowing your customers,” says Gretchen Rubin. “Only then can you bring the appropriate mix of humor, personality, and brand experience that will drive loyalty and brand advocacy.”
Tools like Oracle Advertising and CX can give you a clearer understanding of who your customers are and what messages will resonate with them. Not only can you tailor every aspect of the customer journey to your consumers, but you can gain real-time insights into their preferences.