Need a Brand-Aid? Ten Ways Humor Can Heal Your Brand
Humor doesn’t just heal, it sells. Not only is humor a huge business in and of itself (just skim Neflix for comedy, or peruse the many satirical newspapers and websites), it has value, and adds value, on many levels. Here are ten ways humor can aid your brand, and do some good in the world
1. Customer identification: Everyone has been laughed at in their life, so when a brand can laugh at itself, customers can more easily identify personally with it.
2. Assigning positive traits: Unless it is in bad taste (e.g. racist, sexist, gross, or unsavory) humor almost always conveys positive emotions which carry over to your brand, and add to long-term customer loyalty.
3. It quickly relates the character and values of your brand: Humor removes barriers and can efficiently communicate the character of your brand. Even people with very different opinions can share in a laugh, and that brings them closer together.
4. It provides delight and surprise, and causes people to pay closer attention. A major part of what makes something funny is surprise, an unexpected outcome or turn of events or phrase. And the set up for that, the foresight entailed, is a sign of confidence and creativity. That confidence can carry over to your brand, and create trust.
5. It increases the likability factor of your brand. People like to laugh, people like funny people. It greatly ads to the experience and memorability of your brand.
6. It creates a story around your brand, and people relate and share stories.
7. It increases shareability: Both word-of-mouth and social media sharing. People share humorous stories more often than non-humorous ones.
Humorous posts go viral more often than non-humorous material. A viral post is free advertising. Check out the number of views of this Skoda ad
8. It gives people relief from the daily grind. Humor cuts down on the cognitive-overload of today’s shopper. Good design has been shown to help cut through this state, and customers reward this with brand loyalty.
9. For designers it greases the creative wheels. Experimental research suggests that when people experience positive emotions—including mirth—they demonstrate more creative problem solving and more efficient thinking, planning, and judgment. It is a helpful mindset for getting the internal critic out of the way of generating innovative ideas.
Photo by Karel Choc.
Stop by the B&H studio and the most common sound you will hear are loud outbursts of laughter!
10. It has been shown to greatly increase sales on a wide variety of products.
Example 1: The canned meat SPAM had been declining in sales for any years, when in 2006, instead of suing, they helped promote the Broadway musical "Spamalot," written by Eric Idle of Monty Python fame. The result was an 11% increase in sales over the next few years
Example 2: Old Spice, had become a joke brand: what your dad smelled like. In 2010 they embraced that image, imbued it with over- the-top humour and released a series of videos “Mano a Mano in el Baño” and received over 40 million views on YouTube, with Facebook fan interaction soaring by 800 percent and Twitter followers up by 2,700 percent. Old Spice enjoyed a 107 percent increase in body wash sales within 30 days of campaign launch.
But the most important reason is to put some good into the world. Even if it is just a few laughs
No doubt about it, we live in dark concerning times—and the 24 hour online news cycle only amplifies that. Companies, especially large corporations, have done much damage to people and the Earth, and have become extremely wealthy from it. It is time to put something back.
There are many ways this needs to be done, and one small area—which happens to be a one of the least expensive—is to give some people from the release from this daily grind to clear their heads and regain a sense of agency and purpose through clearer thinking. The best humor always has some truth in it. It makes us think, and makes us think in completely different ways than we do during our daily lives.
Humor is one of the best remedies for anyone suffering physical or emotional pain. It helps us withstand the constant barrage of worrisome events and foolish decisions by others that can have a catastrophic effect on so many. To be able to make people smile, laugh and forget their troubles if only for a little while is a gift, and it needs to be shared.
Michaela Thomas is owner and design director of Butterflies & Hurricanes design studio in Prague, Czech Republic.