Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Stumbling On Happiness.

Daniel Gilbert's new book Stumbling on Happiness challenges the assumption that terrible events must have a devastating and enduring impact on those who experience them. It shows that most people are resilient in the face of trauma due to what he terms a healthy psychological immune system. This allows us to feel good enough to cope with our situation while feeling bad enough to do something about it. My reading of it gives support for three of my marketing tenets.

Just Do Something

Studies show that nine out of ten people think they will regret foolish actions more than foolish inactions. Studies also show that nine out of ten people are wrong. In the long run, people regret not having done things much more than they regret things they did, so go for it. At worst you'll fail.

Accentuate The Negative

Gilbert asserts that if you asked a sample of jilted brides and grooms whether they would describe the incident as the worst or the best thing that ever happened to them, more would opt for the latter in contrast to a sample of people who’d never been through the experience who'd assume being jilted to be a terrible thing. Like many things, getting jilted is more painful in prospect and less painful in retrospect. Eliminating shortcomings in your offering may seem to contrast with a can-do attitude but knowing when to cut your losses is the way to play the percentages.

Don't Try To Please Everyone

Test participants were happier when they were rejected by a single judge rather than by a unanimous jury, but could not foresee this until it happened. Volunteers in the two groups expected to feel equally unhappy, yet the rejection by jury hurt more than by a judge. It’s easy to accept failure based on the opinions of a judge, but it’s much more difficult to blame failure on the collective opinion of a unanimous jury. So aim yourself at the subjective passionate consumers - some will undoubtedly hate what you're offering , but that doesn't matter because others will love you.

To summarise then - Don't Worry, Be Happy.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting stats. I'm going to keep in mind the section "Just Do Something", when I go into that overload/shut down mode.

I beg a question: If you say, "Don't Worry, Be Happy"... Are you happy? - Julie -

8:13 PM, June 05, 2006  
Blogger john dodds said...

I guess it depends how much you had your heart set on being Dopey or Sneezy?

9:21 AM, June 06, 2006  

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