I was thinking about a few of my happy rituals recently. Showering in the morning. Having extended coffee with the newspaper on Sundays. And sometimes, adding croissants from a favorite bakery, or homemade biscuits into the weekend morning ritual.
You may be, like me, someone who abhors repetitive routine. Even if you are, I suspect you have a few happy rituals.
The happy ritual
A happy ritual is something that gives structure and joy to daily living. When our happy rituals are in place, all is well with our corner of the world, even if the rest of the world is going to hell in a backpack.
Brands can join in those happy rituals. Which is why you find Bisquick, not with baking supplies, but with the pancake mixes at the grocery store. Pancakes are staple happy ritual accompaniment in many households. They are the birthday breakfast choice of lots of children, and one of the first things kids learn to make for themselves.
Coffee, of course, has become a major happy ritual, regardless of whether you are a Starbuckian or favor the independents.
I was thinking about all of this relative to my morning shower. [I'd much rather give up imported asparagus than my showers, if push comes to shove on the environmental front] My hair care products aren't adding much to the experience. They are highly functional. They do the job I am buying them for. But they're not giving me any extra emotional goodies. No fresh scent that I would miss if I changed products, for example.
You could argue that there are emotional benefits associated with keeping my hair from going insane during humid weather. Or keeping those expensive highlights looking fresher longer. That's true. the functional benefits do link to emotional benefits. But there could still be a happy ritual during use.
Whatever the brand experience you are offering, if you stay at the level of functional benefits, you're missing out on ways to garner greater loyalty.
If you only do product research out of the customer's context, you will have trouble finding out about the happy rituals.
I've written about happy rituals before.