mastering emotional marketing - happiness

It’s no secret – emotion is a powerful influencer.

Brands that can forge a strong emotional connection with their audience are able to increase sales, boost customer loyalty and even get away with charging up to 200% more than their competitors. Yes, 200%. Wouldn’t you like to charge that much more successfully?

Better understanding of our emotional range and how to influence emotions is key.

Studies show that we are capable of four basic emotions – happiness, sadness, a blend of fear/surprise and anger/disgust. When combined, these primary emotions create layers of emotions that cause us to have a variety of reactions. Based on the action you want to elicit from your audience, you can use each of these core emotional segments to strengthen your marketing efforts.

Plutchik's Wheel of Emotions

In part one of this series, we’ll focus on how to evoke feelings of happiness in your audience, why you would want to do this, and what effect it may have.


Using Happiness in Marketing

Of the four emotional pillars that all other expressions derive from, happiness is the one we most often want to extend to include friends, family and social networks.

If you take a look at your favorite viral videos, you’ll likely find that they elicited a warm and fuzzy feeling within you. That’s because across the board, “happiness is the main driver for social media sharing.” These moments of elation make up the majority of the top 10 emotional drivers for viral content. People like feeling good, and they like spreading that sentiment around.


Emotions That Drive Social Sharing

The emotions that drive social sharing



Create a Happy Video

If you want to get the word out about your business, consider creating a cheerful video. Think about how your business or line of products can contribute to your city, community or even the world feeling a smidgeon better.

The SPCA of Wake County made this adoption video in 2011. The goal, of course, was to encourage adoptions of shelter animals. Rather than focusing on the horrors of animal abuse and neglect (which is a reality, and one that Sarah McLachlan effectively reminds us of) this video calls for views to “Take a Chance” on the wonderful animals at your local shelter.

The video managed to accumulate 65,000 hits within 6 days, sending it into viral territory. It was picked up by news broadcasters and even made it all the way to the Today Show. Soon enough it attracted the notice of ABBA, the band whose song is being lip-synced in the video. Though the SPCA of Wake County made this video solely to encourage adoptions and spent just $32 dollars on the confetti, ABBA’s legal team thought it looked too commercial to not be making any profit, and ordered them to take the video down.

By this time it had amassed millions of views and had been pirated and uploaded by other YouTube users. While the SPCA obliged and removed the video that contained ABBA’s song, the outcome was already in motion. Their video continues to circulate, drawing the affections of viewers from Spain, Chile, Japan and Bulgaria who still write them letters, thanking them for their inspiration.

The media attention SPCA of Wake County received from their viral video has put them on the map and gained the patronage of a slew of new donors – something animal shelters, or any non-profit, spend much time and effort vying for. Their community is engaged and expectant for opportunities to be involved.

While you should be cautious of potential legal infractions, consider thinking like Wake County SPCA did – what inspires you? What makes you get up each morning and do what you do?


Inspire Others

Share your motivation and your passion. The story behind your small business and what you do is what people will connect with. It will help your audience feel linked to your mission, and if it makes them feel good first thing in the morning or after a long day of work, they will share it with their network. The bigger your reach, the more sales, conversions and marketing influence you gain.

So tell us – what inspires you?


This post is written as part of a series.  The other parts of the series can be found here:

  1. Part 2: Mastering Emotional Marketing Part Two | Sadness
  2. Part 3: Mastering Emotional Marketing Part Three | Fear


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