Happiness Archives - Puris Consulting
Do You Hygge’ and Does It Make You A Happier Brand?

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Posted on: October 27, 2015

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About two weeks ago San Diego went through a nasty heat wave. The high temperatures were relentlessly in the 90s for that entire period of time. Normally, I would manage to get through it, but it was October.  I yearned for Fall. I was sad and angry.  Once again, I was rethinking living in San Diego, much to the chagrin of my family.

In that two-week stretch, all I wanted to do was to wear a sweater, pull a fleece blanket around me and snuggle under it with a cup of HOT tea.  Without getting heat stroke and making my husband fear my sanity, I couldn’t bring myself to wear the sweater and cuddle under the blanket.  But, I did have a cup of hot tea (well, more like tepid, but I pretended it was really hot) every evening.   My husband was very kind and just looked at me funny from the corner of his eyes. Mostly because he knew how happy it made me to drink my hot tea and pretend like it was Fall outside.

So am I crazy?  Why do I yearn for the coziness, hot tea and sweaters?  Am I just an East Coast gal transplanted on the West Coast?  I dare say not.

In developing peoples’ brands, I always preach the happiness factor: if you are not happy, you cannot sell happiness. Happy branded people are the only brands others notice and buy/hire.

So what does this happiness have to do with getting cozy?  Well, for years I’ve had a theory that people who live in four weather climates are happier brands. Why? I now have the answer.

It’s called Hygge’.  This is a Danish term for the notion of getting snuggly in the winter, spending time with family, relaxing, enjoying life- even if it is cold, dark and wet outside- much like it is in Denmark for about 5 months out of each year. As Suzanne Nilsson, a hygge’ teacher, explains the term hygge’ is “the absence of anything annoying or emotionally overwhelming; taking pleasure from the presence of gentle, soothing things.”  These things include candles, tea, family/social gatherings.

These things are also all the things we would all tend to do more of in climates that have that fourth season of winter.   My friend Pam is from New Hampshire.  She has said on too many occasions that there was such a sense of community in New Hampshire, particularly during winter.  Pam notes that in winter, neighbors just knock on each others’ doors, go in for dinner or for a cup of (get ready for it…) tea!

So could there be truth to my belief?

There are definitely many studies linking gratitude with happiness.  Gratitude does not rely on material things.  If you’re not yearning for more “things” to buy, then your gratitude cycle is more likely to continue meaning you are more likely to stay happy longer, making you a more attractive brand.

As if I needed more proof, I got it on Friday when I was having lunch with Ian McDougall, the General Counsel of LexisNexis.  Ian noted that he had worked in New Zealand for a while and had noticed that despite the fact that people in New Zealand had higher cost of living with lower compensation, they seemed happier.  Why? Ian noted that New Zealand (much like Denmark, perhaps?) was full of breathtaking outdoor life.  It appeared to Ian that most residents found happiness, not in spending their money buying more things, but in spending time outdoors.  So happiness is a function of “being”, rather than “having”.  Folks in New Zealand sound much more likely than not of being happy brands (yes, I’ve met many of them and they were all much happier than the general US population, if I may generalize).  That sounds like hygge’ to me.

What does this mean for you?  Consider, if you want to be an effective brand that attracts others to you emotionally:

  • Take time to just “be” and do nothing. When was the last time you sat around with a cup of hot tea and spent time with friends?
  • Perhaps not buying so much in terms of material things, but consciously look to create opportunities for yourself to be with others in situations that require more of you “being” rather than “doing”.
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Top 3 Tips To Move People To Buy Your Brand

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Posted on: October 5, 2015

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As the statistic goes, 78% of everything we buy is based on how we “feel” about it (product or service) and NOT the content.  When I think back to any of my current purchases (for products or services), I’ve bought over 90% of them because  I “liked” them.

Now you may think, who buys toothpaste outside necessity of content?  Everyone. Otherwise, there would only be one brand of toothpaste instead of so many of them all competing for your dollars.

Same thing for professional service providers.  There are so many professionals doing the same thing out there.  The name of the game isn’t how great you are at your job (you’ll have to prove that to me after I hire you), but whether you “move me” to want to hire you.  That’s actually good news and it’s all based on your individual brand- as a human being.

I remember the days when I practiced law. Towards the end of my 14-year career when I no longer wanted to practice, I was an entirely different brand.  I don’t think I could have moved anyone to want to hire me, plain and simple.  How could I- -I didn’t want to be a lawyer!

So here are three ways to move me to buy your brand as a professional service provider:

1. Be likeable– You can’t count on your intellect and ability to do the work to get you clients and a magnificent brand.  Would I want to be your friend? Would you want to be your own friend?  Stop and think, how like-able are you?

2. Create emotional resonance with me– I remember when I practiced in Washington DC, the common small talk question was, “what do you do?”  I was a victim of asking that question, too.   It was just awful and left the conversation very dry and cold.  Now it seems people have stopped asking that question.  However, we still talk too much about our work.  Stop telling me how great you are at what you do for a living.   Start telling me about yourself as a human and then I’ll emotionally connect.  From there, I’ll buy anything from you.

3. Find your happiness– It’s becoming more common to have dialogue on being happy these days.  But do you really own it?  I know it is hard.  I consciously practice being happy each day. Some days it is really hard for me to find that happiness for myself. So I get mad at myself, then sad and then come back around to give it another go. If you can’t be happy, then you can’t emotionally move me with your brand.  Why? Because happiness is the only emotion that sells. It’s contagious and leaves your brand unrivaled. 

 

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