Does your brand contribute to a ‘happy life’ or a ‘meaningful life’?

SNEAK PEEK: Our annual rend report. This year we dive into the human quest for a meaningful life. In anticipation of the full report, we will share some findings and considerations regarding the subject that we encountered during the writing process.

Meaning? Happiness?
The quest for meaning has evidently a big influence on people’s behaviour. The desire to live a meaningful life affects the choices we make and determines how we spend our money and time. This creates opportunities for brands to add value, but also raises important questions. What exactly are people looking for? Meaning? Happiness? Purpose?

During our research, one thing we noticed was that ‘meaning’ and ‘happiness’ are often used interchangeably. But despite these words being commonly mixed up, they don’t mean the same thing. Several social psychologists conducted a study called ‘Some Key Differences between a Happy Life and a Meaningful Life’ where some differences and similarities between ‘meaning’ and ‘happiness’ are laid out. For example, ‘getting what you want’ can be an important source of happiness, but cannot be linked to a sense of meaning. Another difference between happiness and meaning has to do with time. Happiness is concerned with the here and now, while meaning says more about the future and the link between the past, the present and the future.

To be clear, contributing to the happiness of consumers can create great opportunities for brands and organisations. But our research shows that contributing to the consumers’ quest for meaning can make your brand even more relevant and enable you to add more value – compared to only focussing on the quest for happiness. Brands that can meet consumers half way in their quest for meaning, will not be easily replaced by competing brands. These brands will leave a lasting impression along with positive associations.

“Our research shows that contributing to the consumers’ quest for meaning can make your brand even more relevant.”

The trend report
In our report we will present the 3 insights that characterize the quest for meaning; mental growth, social ties and transcendence. As we always do in our TrendsActive trend model, we will interpret the quest for meaning by looking at current developments influencing this pursuit of meaning within modern society. Additionally, we share advice and inspiration for practical implementation of these insights.

Our report, in collaboration with PIM, will be presented in a couple of months. Are you curious already? Send an e-mail to Pauline to make sure you receive a copy when it’s finished (the report will be in dutch, but we can figure something out if you’re really interested and don’t speak the language), or keep a close eye on our LinkedIn. Do you have questions regarding this article, feel free to send Pauline a message.