Unless you’ve been sequestered at a Senate hearing or live under a rock, you know that a successful business depends on a memorable brand. And, humor is a big part of your brand’s forward momentum.
So What Makes a Memorable Brand?
A Passionate Tribe
Think of ardent Mac users or the guy who would rather eat dirt than drink anything besides his favorite beer. These are the people you must cater to in order to maintain the momentum of your brand. They are evangelists you couldn’t afford if you were Jeff Bezos.
“It makes a lot more sense to delight the true believers. They deserve it, after all, and they’re the ones that are going to spread the word for you.” – Seth Godin
A Personal Platform
Successful businesses today really have two brands that merge into one – the product and the person. This is where the human factor comes in. Today’s buyer wants to know something about the people behind the company.
A Clear USP
Your unique selling point (USP) is what sets you apart from the nearly 60,000 businesses that are launching their brand for the first time this month.
“Here’s a copywriting secret for the modern world: If you have a killer, bionic, bullet-proof USP, the copy writes itself.” – Perry Marshall
Where Does Humor Come into the Picture?
Your unique selling point is what makes you memorable and humor is often the best way to connect people to it. In other words, humor is generally the best fuel to stoke your brand’s USP engine.
Let’s face it – business runs on serious but people don’t. A recent USA Today poll, 58% of women ranked a man’s sense of humor above physical attractiveness. 37% of men ranked a woman’s sense of humor above how comfortable she is with her sexuality. In other words, somebody in New York didn’t make up this idea that having a sense of humor is important for the continued growth or your brand.
Four Benefits of Humor in Telling Your Story
Set aside all the marketing mumbo-jumbo and your brand is best defined as your story. Your USP. The reason humor puts the pop you need to create the connection with your customer or client base you want is:
It Creates a Lasting Positive Reliance on Your Brand
There’s a reason people watch far more comedies than dramas – they enjoy funny. Who hasn’t quipped, “Can you hear me now” or from back in the day, “pay me now or pay me later.”
It Makes Your Brand Relatable
One of most memorable Super Bowl ads in 2018 was the one for Tourism Australia. Chris Hemsworth and Danny McBride seem to be doing a remake of Crocodile Dundee when they realize they are really in a commercial. The ad ends with the two actors enjoying all that Australia has to offer with other happy tourists.
It Isn’t Boring
There aren’t many businesses that have Hollywood producers lined up, vying for movie rights because what you do has the Q factor. Well placed humor takes the boring out of the equation. A little self-deprecating humor does wonders to put life into widgets.
Don’t give your audience a list of reasons why you’re better than all the other brands out there; boasting doesn’t craft meaningful relationships with the audience. Instead, poke fun at your weaknesses or find a clever way to play with the stereotypes associated with your brand. This strategy gives you a “unique transparency” that customers will naturally gravitate towards, says Jennifer Taylor of Squibble Live.
Cognitive neuroscientist Sophie Scott explained this phenomenon during a recent Ted Talk. She says that people are 30 (not 3) times more likely to laugh when they are with other people than when alone. That kind of laughter is contagious, especially when the people involved know each other well.
Because humor is social, Social Media is the perfect medium for viral branding. The best ad campaigns of the last few years have been those that accompanied traditional print and TV with social media campaigns. YouTube is a perfect channel for expanding your humorous ad campaign in ways that just can’t be done through TV, radio, or print.
IKEA’s Mänland locations at several stores around the world have generated 500 billion views, likes, and shares. I mean come on – a daycare where men can hang out, play video games and poker, watch the game, and drink beer while their partners take all the time they want in the store is funny.
The only problem is that the closest IKEA to me is a six-hour drive away on a good day.
An agented novelist and full-time freelance writer, Tim G specializes in SEO content writing, full-length non-fiction ghost writing, and has written and developed corporate and educational application training materials.