The marketing equation is simple: convince someone that they’ll be
happier if they buy your product or service and you’ll make a sale. Do
it often enough, and you’ll be rich. But does buying your offering really
equal happiness, or are you selling a pipe dream?
The psychologists have concluded that our brains are wired for wanting and also for happiness. So it would seem logical that when a want is satisfied, then happiness increases. Unfortunately, it isn’t so. Sure, there’s a quick high from achieving the goal, but that doesn’t last, and doesn’t truly increase your happiness. As well described in Eric Weiner’s book The Geography of Bliss, happiness comes from: creativity, community, freedom from failure, and not thinking about if you’re happy.
People deeply know that once their basic needs are satisfied, more things won’t truly make them happy. But if you watch enough media, it’s easy to be swayed to thinking that the latest car, dress, self-help book, CD, or electronic gadget will make you happy, desirable, and a leader.
As a business owner, do you pander to “common wisdom” and try to link your offering with your prospect’s happiness? Or, should you appeal to some lesser emotion and add a dose of logic to build your marketing message?
If your goal is to sell something once, then you’ll be tempted to do what’s easiest, most inexpensive, most common, and “works”. If you goal is to develop a long-term relationship with your customers, then don’t lie to them. You’re not selling happiness. You’re selling solutions to their problems. Happiness is your customer’s responsibility. It’s not sexy, but it does treat people with respect and not simply as business opportunities.