Optimism Wins

Americans are an optimistic bunch. Our constitution codifies the pursuit of happiness as part of the American dream. Self-help books like The Power of Positive Thinking and The Happiness Project regularly dominate the New York Times bestseller list. Walt Disney took the swamplands of Orlando and made them into “The Happiest Place on Earth,” thanks to tourists looking for buoyant, positive fun.

And it’s no secret that McDonald’s, Coca Cola and Apple promote themselves as cheerful, optimistic brands. Incidentally, they are companies who are also some of the most successful in the world.

That’s why we tell our client/partners to become a beacon of optimism. Attract with kindness and hope instead of bludgeoning with facts, figures and common knowledge. In our experience, people want to be a part of an aspiration of something better. Our work with the Oregon Humane Society, Tillamook Cheese and Oregon Public Broadcasting bears this out.

A recent study by Havas Media suggests that folks want much more meaning from brands because frankly, “Most people worldwide would not care if more than 73% of brands disappeared tomorrow.” The study also suggests that “only 20% of brands worldwide make a significant, positive effect on people’s well-being.” Yet, “The top Meaningful Brands outperform the market by 120%.” You can read the full study here.

So not only do Americans want optimism in their selected brand partners, they want meaning, and when you can do that, you will outperform your competitors. Now that’s some optimistic thinking.

(And now, a video: Steamboat Willie)