Oracle research (credit image/Pixabay/JudaM)New research from Oracle Fusion Cloud Customer Experience (CX) and Gretchen Rubin suggests that 45% of People have not felt true happiness for more than two years. They are searching for ways to be happy again, no matter the cost. People want brands to make them smile and laugh however, business leaders fear using humour in customer interactions.

The Happiness Report includes insights from more than 12,000 consumers and business leaders across 14 countries. It found that people are searching for new experiences to make them smile and laugh. They will reward brands that embrace humour with loyalty, advocacy, and repeat purchases, and walk away from those that don’t.

Gretchen Rubin is the five-time New York Times bestselling author and podcaster.
searching for happiness in new ways

  • 45% of people have not felt true happiness for more than two years. 25% don’t know or have forgotten, what it means to feel truly happy.
  • 88% are looking for new experiences to make them smile and laugh. People are prioritising health (80%), personal connections (79%), and experiences (53%) to gain happiness.
  • 53% wish money could buy happiness, with 78% willing to pay a premium for true happiness.
  • 89% attempted to find happiness in online shopping during the pandemic and 47% said that receiving packages made them happy. 12% struggled to remember the purchases they had made online.

The need to change

People want brands to make them smile and laugh. However, business leaders admit their brands rarely use humour to engage with customers.

  • 78% of people believe brands can do more to deliver happiness to their customers. 91% said they preferred brands to be funny. This number increased among Gen Z (94%) and Millennials (94%).
  • 90% are more likely to remember ads that are funny. Yet business leaders said only 20% of brands’ offline ads (TV, billboards) and 18% of online ads actively use humour.
  • 77% of people are more likely to buy from a salesperson that is funny. Yet only 16% of business leaders said that their brands use humour to sell.
  • 75% of people would follow a brand if it’s funny on its social media channels. Yet only 15% of business leaders said their brand is humorous on social.
  • 69% of people would open an email from a brand if the subject line were funnier. Yet only 24% of business leaders said they actively use humour in email marketing campaigns.
  • 68% would prefer to engage with a chatbot/digital assistant that is funny. However, 27% of business leaders said their brands actively incorporate humour into bot communications.

Smiles and laughter pay dividends

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

  • 48% of people don’t believe they have a relationship with a brand unless it makes them smile or laugh. 41% would walk away from a brand if it didn’t make them laugh or smile regularly.
  • If a brand uses humour, people are more likely to buy from the brand again (80%), recommend the brand to family and friends (80%) and choose the brand over the competition (72%). Or spend more with a brand (63%).
  • 89% of business leaders see the opportunity to use humour to enhance the customer experience. They believe that their brand can do more to make customers laugh or smile.
  • 95% of business leaders fear using humour in customer interactions.
  • 85% of business leaders state that they do not have the data insights or tools to successfully deliver humour. Business leaders would be more confident using humour when engaging with customers if they had better customer visibility (55%) or access to advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (32%).

The evolving customer experience

(Credit image/LinkedIn/Gretchen Rubin)
Gretchen Rubin, author and podcaster

According to Gretchen Rubin, “We’ve all been through some very tough years, and around the world, we’re short on happiness. We’re starved for experiences that make us smile and laugh, and brands can help.

For brands aiming to contribute to the happiness of their audience, the process starts with data and knowing your customers. Only then can you bring the mix of humour, personality, and brand experience that will drive loyalty and brand advocacy.”

Rob Tarkoff, executive vice president and general manager, Oracle Fusion Cloud Customer Experience (CX), said, “The customer experience continues to evolve, but at the end of the day, it all comes down to one thing: Making the customer happy.

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.”

Research methodology

Research findings are based on a survey conducted by Savanta, across the US, UK, UAE, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, China, Singapore, India, Australia, Mexico, Brazil, and Columbia in January 2022.

More than 12,000 consumers, including 3,125 business leaders across marketing, sales and customer service, were interviewed. They were asked general questions about the impact of the pandemic on happiness. Openness to seeing an emotion like humour inserted into advertising, marketing, sales and customer service activities as part of the overall customer experience.

Enterprise Times: What this means for business.

They say you can’t buy happiness. But that doesn’t mean businesses can’t use humour to enhance sales. In fact, making customers laugh could be what sets an enterprise apart from the competition.

People are prioritising happiness, and they’re willing to reward companies that make them smile. Even the United Nations have published a report investigating happiness sentiments worldwide. There are no particular surprises with Oracle’s Happiness Report. However, it’s still useful for B2C brands looking to develop, maintain or curate digital relationships with particular target audiences.

Gen Z and Millennials are particularly likely to engage with brands that embrace humour. This explains the continued growth and success of brands such as TikTok, who provide the platform for disseminating these messages. Often humour is the key ingredient within these communications.


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