How Positive Psychology Can Help Us Build Stronger Customer Relationships


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Positive psychology is one of the most powerful tools available for building lasting and fulfilling customer relationships.

This branch of science, sometimes referred to as the "science of happiness," is dedicated to the exploration of the strengths and virtues that enable humans and communities to thrive. Attributes like empathy, compassion, courage, integrity – science has proven that these, and others, are the building blocks of lasting happiness, not just for ourselves as 'individuals, but for organizations and communities as a whole.

These ideas resonate deeply with consumers today. If you aren't already using positive psychology in your branding and marketing, here's why you should start.

Positivity, empathy, and inclusiveness are what resonates with consumers today.

It's no secret that negative and fear-based marketing messages are much less effective with consumers today than positive, empowering messages.

Take one of the most famous examples: the Weight Watchers titan of the weight loss industry. Until about 2015, the company's marketing relied heavily on a pro-slim weight loss message that had worked for decades.

However, as the company's view on body size became much more inclusive, leaders at Weight Watchers realized how irrelevant this message was. In 2018, the company rebranded its name as WW, with W's standing for “wellbeing that works”.

Think of even more recent marketing campaigns from some of the world's biggest brands. Nike’s partnership with Colin Kaepernick, which was seen as a risk by many, is an example of a brand that values ​​integrity and courage. And it paid off: Nike's reputation with the public has grown since the company released its first Kaepernick ad in 2018.

The public is increasingly interested in positive psychology.

Since Harvard University professor Dr Tal Ben-Shahar offered a course called Positive Psychology, which has become the university's most popular course of all time, the field of study has sparked a continuing and growing public interest.

In fact, interest in positive psychology has been so constant that Ben-Shahar went on to found Happiness Academy, which offers online certificates in Happiness Studies to professionals and academics, as well as a Happier School program for students. administrators and teachers.

How does this affect brands?

Consider that the general public is most likely aware of the importance of things like gratitude, empathy, and maintaining a positive attitude when it comes to nurturing their own happiness. They are much less likely to spend time with a brand that doesn't embody any of these values, or worse, embodies the opposite.

Add to that the fact that research has shown a link between happiness and brand confidence, and you can see why brands that focus on their customer's happiness are the ones that are able to build loyalty over time.

Customers expect more from brands today than they ever have.

Gone are the days when you could promise that your product would make someone happier, more beautiful or more successful, and be done with it.

Consumers have become much more sophisticated over the past 100 years. Now they want authenticity. They want to see brands express themselves, live their brand values ​​- and those values ​​are, whether you know it or not, almost certainly rooted in positive psychology – in tangible ways.

If your business values ​​include “treat everyone with respect” and “be inclusive,” but your marketing is too sneaky, negative, or mean, customers won't give you lip service.

With social media giving us all unprecedented access to the brands we support – not to mention the ability to transition to a brand's competitor with just a few clicks – it's more important than ever that brands tailor their behavior to their values. professed.

Positive psychology can be a great way to build trust, strengthen relationships, and position your brand as an industry leader. It turns out that happiness is a powerful thing.

The opinions expressed here by the Inc.com columnists are theirs and not those of Inc.com.

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