What Using Humor Says About Your Brand
When a startup finds itself in the brand development phase, eager to create a voice for themselves, it can be an exciting yet tricky thoughtful process. A company might have a hard time establishing whether or not they want to be friendly yet serious, or snarky yet relatable. It’s important to be pretty consistent with the personality of your brand, simply because the voice that your company creates is one that will most likely stick and follow you throughout its’ existence… so don’t mess it up.
At Space Chimp, one thing is for certain – our voice includes humor to a certain degree (or we think so, at least).
Over recent years, there has been numerous studies that point out pretty clearly that brands that approach their voice by including a humorous appeal can gain consumers likability and, in turn, will contribute to higher sales. In fact, in a recent study on the impact of humorous advertisements on customers, it was found that a shocking 75% of participants replied that they would purchase a product based on the humor appeal in an advertisement. This same percent of participants stated that ads with humor absolutely changed their purchase decision.
Beyond making sales, using humor is plays an extremely important role in creating positive relationships and perceptions about a brand. At Space Chimp, we’ve come up some reasons to include humor as part of your brand’s voice.
If you use humor, your audience will trust you more
A series of studies has shown that humor and trust are closely related. When you aren’t afraid to use humor in your messaging (whether it be advertisements or status updates), it proves to your audience that you aren’t exactly afraid of being a little transparent by incorporating a human element. It’s easy to be cut-and-dry when communicating through social media, but it leaves a lot to the imagination. When your brand uses humor, it unveils a metaphorical mask and provides your audience with a sense of trust.
Using humor means you are willing to take risks
Some traditional-geared companies might feel as if using humor is a gamble, and are under the impression that sticking to a more serious way of communicating will make them seem more “professional”. However, being 100% serious 100% of the time certainly won’t set you apart and might be a surprising weakness. Using humor responsibly and tastefully is one of the critical marketing variables which marketers use to differentiate themselves, so choosing to stray completely from humor might give your humorous competitors an advantage. When you use humor in your messaging, it means you are willing to take risks – a quality found in some of the most innovative and groundbreaking companies.
When you use humor, you are perceived as being relatable
It is no surprise that using humor will make your brand seem relatable. Whether it be a masterful use of sarcasm or quickly cultural references, when your messaging makes your audience laugh, they tend to feel closer to your brand. When you use humor, you remind your audience that there is a sense of humanism behind your brand instead of the perception of being a money-grabbing machine. It’s obvious that being relatable helps establish strong business relationships. So don’t be afraid to use humor to remind your audience that behind your brand, you and you team are simply down to earth folk.
You engage with your audience easier when you use humor
Brands that use humor tend to be more engaging, as most humor is directed to create some sort of a reaction from its’ audience. Whether it be a status update or a video advertisement, customers are more likely to respond to, repost, reblog or retweet content that makes them laugh. Additionally, when brands use humor, they tend to be perceived as being more approachable, and customers are more willing to ask about products or services. This is absolutely imperative for startups, as each question could lead to more conversions – and more fans!
It’s important to keep in mind that although humor is valuable in terms of building relationships and differentiating businesses from their competitors, it should always be used tastefully and with their audience in mind.
What are some companies that you believe use humor constructively? Or maybe… deconstructively? We’d love to hear your thoughts!