As we make our way through the ABC's of marketing and design terminology, you wouldn't naturally assume that "joy" would be on that list. But it is, for two reasons, and let me tell you what they are.
First, marketing is crucially dependent upon making an emotional connection.
It has been shown time and time again that people make emotional decisions to buy, which they then rationalize with logic later on. Human
beings feel first, and think second. With this in mind, let's examine how you as a marketer/business owner can use this concept when
promoting your products or services.
If you really want to reach your target audience in a memorable and effective way, you must connect with them emotionally.
- Obviously, the range of human emotions spans more than just joy. There is a variety of emotional triggers that can cause people to react — fear, envy, guilt, desire, greed — but the point is that you need to appeal to some emotion if you want to be effective. And the stronger the emotion, the more impactful it will be.
- Even with some of the negative emotions mentioned above, the driving impetus behind them all is that people strive to avoid things that cause them pain or discomfort. People just want to be happy. Your marketing should show them how your product or service can make them happy. How can you bring more joy into their lives?
- A word of caution: if your goal is to intentionally manipulate people in order to manufacture an emotional response, don't. At best, the result will seem forced and unnatural. At worst, you will completely turn people off if they perceive you as being coercive or unethical. At times, the line between genuine storytelling and outright manipulation can start to seem a bit fuzzy for some in marketing. So, stay on the right side of the line — simply make it your goal to clearly show the emotional benefit of using your product or service.
Look to big brands for inspiration...
Even if you are selling something that seems impersonal or unemotional, there is always a way to connect with your customers on a more visceral level. Take, for example, the commercials Google created years ago advertising the Chrome browser. How did they make something as cold, boring, and technical as an internet browser resonate with people? Easy; they answered the question, “What can our product do to help our customers improve their lives?” Google’s “Dear Sophie” commercial used real human emotion to grab the viewer’s attention and leave a lasting impression.
There is also a bonus lesson here: art imitates life. You don't have to be a creative genius to figure out how to connect with your customers; simply look around you and observe their experiences. The "Dear Sophie" commercial was actually based on a true story, a real dad who experienced real joy watching his daughter grow up.
Secondly, particularly if you are a business owner, what you do should bring you personal joy.
If what you do doesn't light your fire, why are you doing it?
Many entrepreneurs decide to start a business because they want to do what makes them happy every day. Over time, sometimes this joy can get lost in the day to day hustles of running a business. If this happens to you, it is important to always get back to what made you passionate in the first place.
- Passion is infectious. As you talk about your business and are excited about it, you cause other people to be excited about it, too. There is no greater marketing than infectious excitement, and guess what? It starts with you!
- If you manage employees, do you foster a joyful work environment? The Role Joy Plays in Workplace Morale is a brief article about a company culture centered on joy and the benefits it brings. Do you need to make your workplace more joyful?
It all comes down to what's in your heart of hearts...
Joy, and other emotions, are vital to successful marketing messages.
Keep in mind, though, that joy is also vital to both your business' success and your own psychological well-being.
We only have one life to live on this side of eternity. So, whatever you do, don't lose your joy.