Lighten Up Already

Humor and lightness are powerful tools in the hands of a creative marketer.

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Far too often business is treated as a serious, “just the facts,” grind it out kind of thing. Both employees and customers benefit from a business where play and laughter are as treasured as profit and process.

Some may contend that there is no place for humor in their business and to that I say, if your customers are human beings, there is a place. In fact, the Mayo Clinic offers a list of work related health benefits, including stress relief, associated with laughter.

It’s not hard to add a little personal fun and personality to your business. You don’t have to become a standup comedian, simply look at some of your current communication and follow up.

Is it boring, dry and fact based? Does it sound a little bit like a robot wrote it? Do you send out automated follow-ups that beg to be ignored? How about that out of office message – does is state the default message or does it make someone smile with a delightful little surprise?

Derek Sivers, founder of CDBaby, recently stopped by the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast and recounted a story of his now famous package insert. He tells that one day he decided his “Thank you for your order” message, inserted in every shipment, was boring and didn’t sound like fun at all. So, on a whim he wrote the note below and he attributes this bit of silliness with creating more buzz for his organization than anything else he ever tried.

Your CDs have been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow.

A team of 50 employees inspected your CDs and polished them to make sure they were in the best possible condition before mailing.

Our packing specialist from Japan lit a candle and a hush fell over the crowd as he put your CDs into the finest gold-lined box that money can buy.

We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of Portland waved ‘Bon Voyage!’ to your package, on its way to you, in our private CD Baby jet on this day, Sunday, December 11th.

I hope you had a wonderful time shopping at CD Baby.  We sure did. Your picture is on our wall as “Customer of the Year”.  We’re all exhausted but can’t wait for you to come back to CDBABY.COM!!

Thank you once again,

Derek Sivers, president, CD Baby

There are so many ways to add humor, fun, play and lightness to the workplace and so many good reasons to do it. Consider a basketball court in the warehouse, let people decorate the office the way they like, have a formal Friday, send goofy gifts to customers, answer the phone in odd ways, create highly personal stories, post pictures of your staff during craft day, check your communication and follow-up messages – but most of all – lighten up already.

So, have any stories of how you’re using playfulness of how you’ve seen it done it well?


commit, Play

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