There’s been a ton of research into the idea that ‘money can buy happiness’. The consistent conclusion is that money can buy happiness, but it greatly depends on how you spend that money. For example, purchases of an item do tend to have an impact on happiness. However, that happiness is typically short-lived, and can actually have the opposite affect if the item becomes outdated or less useful. Can you remember the excitement you had when you bought your first iPhone? Probably not, because a few months later the next version of the iPhone came out, and yours was ‘old news’.
On the other hand, research into how purchases can drive happiness has found that when we spend our money on experiences, the happiness enjoyed is more long-term. This happiness can be increased if we share those experiences with others. For example, if a family purchases iPhones together, that happiness will be short-term because soon the technology will become obsolete. Plus the purchase can even become a source of disappointment if friends and acquaintances purchase newer phones that have more functions and capabilities than the now outdated iPhones that your family owns.
But if that same family had instead spent that money on a trip to The Grand Canyon, they would not only enjoy happiness from the trip itself, but for the rest of their lives, they could share that experience and re-live it through story. They could also share their experience with other people that had visited The Grand Canyon. So the value of the trip and its impact upon the family’s happiness is long-term. In many ways, the happiness that the family enjoys from the trip can actually increase over time.
So how can you apply this research into your content creation? By focusing on the experiences associated with your product. This applies even if you are selling a product such as a smartphone, or if you are selling a local destination. My friends in the tourism industry have known the power of selling experiences for decades. So if you actually are selling experiences such as a destination or a waterpark, or similar, then using the experiences with your content is much easier.
If you are instead selling an actual product, then create content that’s associated with the experiences involving that product. Notice that Apple actually does this with its iPhone commercials. Most are focused on how you could capture moments with the iPhone during your experiences. Such as travel, a wedding, riding in a car, being with friends, etc.
Think about what you are selling, and consider the experiences that are associated with that product. Or consider life-changing events, like a wedding, a graduation, a birthday. How does your product relate to those experiences? A camera could take photos of the wedding, maybe a car could be a graduation gift.
The reality is, until a customer KNOWS that they want to buy your product, content that focuses on the product itself does not interest them. And this is a disconnect because many companies subscribe to the ‘well people won’t know that they want my product unless I tell them about it’ theory. People would rather hear about how your product fits into their lives. Which is why you want to relate your product to the experiences that your customers enjoy.
That approach will earn their attention and make them consider that maybe they should buy your product. Gain awareness by focusing on how the product relates to the customer first, then when they are ready to buy, shift to more product-centric content.