Study: COVID’s Left Aussies Miserable & 63% Say Brands Could Do More To Make Them Happy

Study: COVID’s Left Aussies Miserable & 63% Say Brands Could Do More To Make Them Happy
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While the past two years has changed what people value and prioritise, many Aussies are in pursuit of happiness, longing for “the good old days” and looking to brands to make them smile and laugh, according to the Happiness Report from Oracle and Gretchen Rubin, five-time New York Times bestselling author and podcaster. You can read the report in full HERE.

The research report of more than 12,000 people across 14 countries, including 1212 Australians, found that people are searching for new experiences to make them smile and laugh and will reward brands that embrace humour with loyalty, advocacy, and repeat purchases and walk away from those that don’t.

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

It has been more than two years since many Australians last felt true happiness and they are searching for ways to be happy again:

  • 69 per cent of people said the pandemic changed what it means to be happy and 48 per cent have not felt true happiness for more than two years.
  • 32 per cent of Australians have forgotten what it means to feel truly happy, the second highest in the world after the UK (35 per cent). 63 per cent said it is harder to feel happy now versus before the pandemic.
  • To feel just an hour of true happiness, many people would give up friends (55 per cent), part of their income (53 percent), showering (50 per cent), food (38 per cent) for a week.
  • At 77 per cent, Australians are the least likely to look for new experiences to make them smile and laugh. People are prioritising personal connections (81 per cent) and health (71 per cent) to gain happiness.
  • More than half (56 percent) wish money could buy happiness, with 73 per cent willing to pay a premium for true happiness. This is the third lowest compared to other countries, perhaps indicating that Australians still love a discount – even when it comes to their own happiness.
  • Despite this, Australians were the least likely to prioritise financial wellness over happiness (27 per cent).
  • 80 per cent of Australians attempted to find happiness in online shopping during the pandemic, least in the world. Only 38 per cent reported not purchasing when shopping online, indicating that Australians are the least likely to window shop and are likely to convert into paying customers at checkout.
  • 43 per cent said that receiving packages made them happy, but 10 per cent struggled to remember the purchases they had made online.

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

People around the world want brands to make them smile and laugh. At the same time, business leaders globally are scared of using humour in customer interactions for fear of being cancelled. While getting humour wrong can easily offend people – Australian consumers were found to be most forgiving when compared to the other countries surveyed – being least likely to cancel a brand due to being offended (33 per cent).

  • 63 per cent of Australians believe brands can do more to deliver happiness to their customers and 83 per cent said they preferred brands to be funny; this number increased among Gen Z and Millennials (94 per cent).
  • 86 per cent are more likely to remember ads that are funny, yet business leaders said that only 23 per cent of their brands general ads (TV, billboards) and 20 per cent of their online ads actively use humour.
  • 71 per cent of Australians are more likely to click on a digital ad if it’s funny, and 68 per cent are more likely to buy from a salesperson that is funny. While this is the lowest of all the countries in the report, this is still a majority, so the fact that only 13 per cent of Australian business leaders reported their brands use humour to sell seems like a missed opportunity.
  • 64 per cent of Australians would follow a brand if it’s funny on its social media channels, yet only 14 per cent of business leaders said their brand is humorous on social.
  • 63 per cent of Australians would open an email from a brand if the subject line were funnier, yet only 25 per cent of business leaders said they actively use humour in email marketing campaigns.
  • 59 per cent would prefer to engage with a chatbot/digital assistant that is funny, yet only 29 per cent of business leaders said their brands actively incorporate humour into robot communications.

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

Australians want brands 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.

  • 39 per cent of Australians don’t believe they have a relationship with a brand unless it makes them smile or laugh and 34 per cent 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 (77 per cent), recommend the brand to family and friends (76 per cent), choose the brand over the competition (69 per cent), and spend more with a brand (57 per cent).
  • 86 per cent of business leaders see the opportunity to use humour to enhance the customer experience and believe that their brand can do more to make customers laugh or smile.
  • 36 per cent 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 percent) and access to advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (32 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,” 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 humour, personality and brand experience that will drive loyalty and brand advocacy.”

“People are ready to embrace the funny side of life and find joy and laughter in the world around them, which includes brand experiences,” said Christian Ludlow Hyland, senior director Customer Engagement Oracle APAC. “As our research shows, most business leaders want to make consumers laugh more but are fearful of getting it wrong. With the right technology, leaders can harness data and the insight to contextually deliver a happier experience that can then drive lifelong loyalty.”

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Happiness Report Oracle

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