What on earth do you mean?

We’re really big fans of happiness psychology. It’s obviously closely aligned to wellness and mental health, but what happens when you apply it to branding and conversion?

The short answer is great things. Not in a fluffy oh isn’t that lovely kind of way that drives your CFO mad, but in a commercial way that makes them smile. 

Our journey began with applying happiness thinking into all our culture work, but we’ve now discovered just how powerful it is when you build it into your brand and brand experience thinking.

The simple premise of happiness - Sonja Lyubomirsky

  1. One of the most startling things we learnt was what determines happiness. According to Sonja Lyobomisrky around 40% of our happiness is down to how we behave, not our circumstances, that’s 10%, or our set point (what we were born with), that’s the other 50%.  So what makes us happy?
    • By optimistically looking forward
    • By  actively engaging in the present moment
    • By  positively remembering the past.

Happiness & brands

Again if we take this back to the essentials of branding, brands can and should do all three for their audiences:

They should stimulate our IMAGINATION by creating and representing positive and optimistic  visions of our futures (which is particularly relevant at the moment). They should be built on an immersive and positive  EXPERIENCE  to  maximise the enjoyment of the moment. And they should build  MEMORY structures by building positive associations and cues to the brand. 


How to apply happiness thinking 

Our intention is not to undermine the powerful and transformative work of Lyobomisrky and her colleagues, but we can draw inspiration from their strategies to apply along the customer journey. 

They range from random acts of kindness, to commitment goals, to building social connections to optimism and more. One of our favourites is Gratitude.

A definition to challenge your thinking: Gratitude

“A felt sense of wonder, thankfulness and appreciation for life*”

Gratitude involves a focus on the present moment. Gratitude encourages happiness, energy, hopefulness, helpfulness and positivity – what brand manager doesn’t want that?

The interesting thing to do is not to think about gratitude at the point of purchase, that’s easy and expected, so the fun lies in how else you can apply gratitude along your customer journey.

Here’s our kick off questions 


How can we show our gratitude? Is it a simple email or a gift like a discount code?

Where would a customer most appreciate our gratitude? 

When would you express gratitude? Purchase, patience for waiting, praise for engaging.

Why would you be gracious?

What’s your language of gratitude?

What’s the value of our gratitude?

Is there a gratitude gesture or artefact that you could be famous for?

Could you apply gratitude to a customer complaint?

How do you vary gratitude and keep your strategy fresh?

Can you encourage customer gratitude to colleagues?

Be one of the first to create competitive advantage

Applying happiness psychology to branding is a new specialism and we’re thrilled with the results we’re getting so far – it unearths new and fresh thinking around UX and CX that genuinely provides competitive advantage. 

If you’d like to find out more about our happiness workshops just get in touch with Sue@thebehaviousragency.com  


After all, what CMO wouldn’t want happy customers?

Get in touch
Sue Benson

By Sue Benson

Managing Director