Oracle happiness report: More than 9 in 10 Asians prefer brands with a sense of humor

People want brands to make them smile and laugh, yet business leaders fear using humor in customer interactions according to the Happiness Report from Oracle and Gretchen Rubin, five-time New York Times bestselling author and podcaster. The research report includes insights from more than 12,000 people across 14 countries, and 5,254 from JAPAC found that people are searching for new experiences to make them smile and laugh and will reward brands that embrace humor with loyalty, advocacy, and repeat purchases, and walk away from those that don’t.

JAPAC People are searching for happiness in new ways and are willing to pay a premium

It has been more than two years since many people last felt true happiness and they are searching for ways to be happy again, no matter the cost. Here are some findings from JAPAC respondents.

44 percent of JAPAC respondents said they have not felt true happiness for more than two years and 25 percent don’t know, or have forgotten, what it means to feel truly happy.

85 percent are looking for new experiences to make them smile and laugh. People in JAPAC are prioritizing health (78 percent), personal connections (77 percent), and experiences (45 percent) to gain happiness.

To feel just an hour of true happiness, many people would give up friends (62 percent), part of their income (61 percent), showering (55 percent) for a week.

More than half of JAPAC respondents (56 percent) wish money could buy happiness, with 81 percent willing to pay a premium for true happiness.

89 percent attempted to find happiness in online shopping during the pandemic and while 47 percent said that receiving packages made them happy.

Advertising, marketing, sales, and customer service interactions need to change

People want brands to make them smile and laugh, but business leaders are scared of using humor in customer interactions for fear of being canceled.

76 percent of people believe brands can do more to deliver happiness to their customers and 91 percent said they preferred brands to be funny; this number increased among Gen Z (95 percent) and Millennials (95 percent).

Advertising: 89 percent are more likely to remember ads that are funny, yet JAPAC business leaders said that only 17 percent of their brands’ offline ads (TV, billboards) and 14 percent of their online ads actively use humor.

Social channels: 74 percent of people would follow a brand if it’s funny on its social media channels, yet only 12 percent of business leaders said their brand is humorous on social.

Email marketing: 68 percent of people would open an email from a brand if the subject line were funnier, yet only 21 percent of JAPAC business leaders said they actively use humor in email marketing campaigns.

Chatbots/digital assistants: 67 percent would prefer to engage with a chatbot/digital assistant that is funny, yet only 24 percent of JAPAC business leaders said their brands actively incorporate humor into bot communications.

Smiles and laughter pay dividends, but business leaders are afraid to joke around

People will reward brands that embrace humor with loyalty, advocacy, and repeat purchases and will walk away from those that don’t.

56 percent of people don’t believe they have a relationship with a brand unless it makes them smile or laugh and 49 percent would walk away from a brand if it didn’t make them laugh or smile regularly.

If a brand uses humor, people are more likely to buy from the brand again (82 percent), recommend the brand to family and friends (81 percent), choose the brand over the competition (76 percent), and spend more with a brand (67 percent).

90 percent of business leaders see the opportunity to use humor to enhance the customer experience and believe that their brand can do more to make customers laugh or smile.

76 percent of business leaders fear using humor in customer interactions.

87 percent of business leaders state that they do not have the data insights or tools to successfully deliver humor. Business leaders would be more confident using humor when engaging with customers if they had better customer visibility (54 percent) and access to advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (37 percent).

“We’ve all been through some very tough years, and happiness around the world is lacking. We’re starved for experiences that make us laugh and smile, but brands can help,” said Gretchen Rubin, five-time New York Times bestseller author and podcaster. “For brands looking to contribute to the happiness of their target audience, it starts with data and knowing your customers. Only then, can you bring the appropriate mix of humor, personality and brand experience that will drive loyalty and brand advocacy.”

“The customer experience continues to evolve, but at the end of the day, it all comes down to one thing: Making the customer happy,” said Rob Tarkoff, executive vice president and general manager, Oracle Fusion Cloud Customer Experience (CX). “There are many different factors that go into creating happy customers and in this research, we decided to examine humor as it is one of the most nuanced. As the results show, most business leaders want to make consumers laugh more and understand it’s a critical part of establishing a true relationship. To be successful, brands need to put data at the heart of their customer experience strategy.”

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