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Marketing "happiness" can build your business By Roy Osing

Happiness has significant implications for marketing to be more effective in contributing to the growth challenges of any organization.

Most businesses today flog their products and services at customers.

They copy best in class companies which inevitable results in no differentiation from the herd

The practice of picking “best in class” and trying to copy what they do (a “best practice”) in hopes that whatever benefits they realize will fall to you is a ...

They are supply oriented with a focus on moving what they produce to market.

Success and survival, in the long term, however, demands that we create value for customers that is both relevant and unique.

And we need to think about EXPERIENCES as the way to do it.

An in-depth study at Cornell University found that experiences bring greater happiness and satisfaction than buying and owning possessions. 

posted by Dawn F on April 5, 2010. I wonder if the average American consumer will ever “get” this idea – you don’t need stuff, people! Happy memories and ...

Deepak Chopra agrees. At a conference in Vancouver he argued that experiences deliver happiness in three ways:

1. Planning an experience creates anticipation and excitement. 
2. Participating in the experience creates in-the-moment euphoria.
3. Remembering the experience creates lasting memories.

Tony Hseih, CEO of Zappos in his first book Delivering Happiness, discusses "how using happiness as a framework can produce profits, passion and purpose in both business and life".

Happiness has a political dimension as well. The small nation of Bhutan has made "Gross National Happiness"the central aim of its domestic policy. 

And in The Politics of Happiness,former Harvard president Derek Bok examines how governments could use happiness research in a variety of policy areas to increase well-being and improve the quality of life for all their citizens.

If countries are trying to understand how happiness can improve the quality of life for its citizens, why wouldn't businesses try to understand how happiness can improve relationships with their customers? 

It makes sense. Happy customers are likely to remain loyal until their supplier does something to annoy them and force them to leave. 

Moreover Happy customers are very likely to be, what Seth Godin calls in his book The Purple Cow, "sneezers", extremely vocal and passionate advocates of the organization.

The bottom line is that happiness has the potential to be an awesome business builder. 

But organizations need to tap into it.

Why do most businesses ignore happiness-through-experiences as the driver of their marketing efforts? 

Why do they instead continue the traditional practice of pushing products at us?


 1. They don't understand the power of the happiness-through-experience strategy over a product-push one.

 2. They've always been product focused; that's the methodology that is taught in school.

 3. Its easier to continue doing what they're doing. To change is tough. It requires a significant effort and it's risky.

 4. The design of happiness experiences is complicated in terms of the customer research required and in integrating product elements to produce a seamless value proposition.

Leaders need to direct their marketing people to get off the product train and get on the happiness train.

About Author

Roy Osing (@royosing) is a former President and CMO with over 33 years of leadership experience covering all the major business functions including business strategy, marketing, sales, customer service and people development. He is a blogger, content marketer, educator, coach, adviser and the author of the book series Be Different or Be Dead

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