claire nuttal quote web

People feeling ‘happy’ about their brand choice may be the key driver to brand reappraisal and bringing in new users. Brands have much to learn from the fresh, lighter in spirit, instinctive tactics of passionate entrepreneurs.

If brands made people actively smile and feel happy about their potential purchase, it could stimulate that same ‘must have it now’ feeling that fashion, entertainment, street food and farmers’ market brands enjoy and get people to come back repeatedly for more.

There are proven direct benefits for your brand if it makes people smile. Shawn Achor in his book The Happiness Advantage suggests that each time you smile, you are rewiring your brain to make positive decisions. The more often your brand is linked to this happy state, the more it signals your brain to mentally shift to positive thoughts about it. He calls it the Tetris effect and it is lasting. A few intuitive brands like Marmite, Nutella and Coke are already making people smile with personalised bottles, jars for Mother’s Day, etc, but in many supermarket aisles the energy, passion and individuality that get people engaged, and buying, are absent.

Take staple categories like cereals, cheese, and bread aisles; they feel tame and faceless. Quite the contrast to the feeling that entrepreneurs like Harry from Oppo, Hemsley & Hemsley or Jamie Oliver convey while talking about their creations.

Some entrepreneurs’ creations may not even be on the supermarket shelves yet, still (to tweak a quote) “the smile and passion of the owner on a street market or an event becomes their logo, their personality becomes the brand, and how they leave people feeling is their trademark that makes them stand out, drive sales and helps them grow”.

Fundamentally, this passion in delivery seems to be underestimated as an influencer, driver and sealer of purchases, yet the continued growth and success of QVC across all digital channels also confirms its importance. The passion that these brand owners/teams get across in a very short space of time and with conviction is key to the dramatic sales they achieve. Should big retailers have their own QVC to help both the established brands share their passion more and new and exciting newcomers tell their stories? Could this be a solution?

So who are your ‘passion brands’? The ones that made you smile, that you connected with instantly and thought “oh I’ll give it a go” despite not really planning to? My mind goes to The Happy Egg Co, The Collective, Jimmy’s Iced Coffee, Up & Go, Lidl Surprises. Does your brand demonstrate enough passion to make people smile and buy more?

Claire Nuttall is founder of the Brand Incubator