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5 Reasons Brands Should Have a Habit of Gratitude All Year Long

Habit of Gratitude

Before we begin, let’s define what “gratitude” really is:

Gratitude is a focus on good things that happen outside of us, large and small. Gratitude is more than a simple “thank you.” It’s an action that pays it forward in some way, and often inspires others to pay it forward too. Some say that gratitude is the emotion of friendship, as it can bring communities together. Practicing gratitude is linked to positive emotions like joy and contentment, better sleep, reduced anxiety and depression. Gratitude is a chosen attitude. Gratitude is a habit.

It’s interesting to note that by definition, gratitude isn’t a one-time affair. Gratitude, when done right is a habit. Many brands use various elements of gratitude in their overall communications campaigns. More often than not, gratitude is a fleeting act reserved for holidays.

5 reasons to make gratitude a year round habit:

  1. Expressing gratitude for your customers as a whole, or one-on-one makes your customers feel good, and can increase brand affinity. Expressing gratitude can be as simple saying thank you, or showing care for your customer during a key moment in timeSouthwest Gratitude Marketing
  2. Gratitude can increase brand loyalty or product awareness. The desire to look good in front of one’s friends is a very strong motivator for action. Starbucks recent “Treat a Friend” campaign serves as a great example of how a brand can make an individual feel good by providing the benefit of giving, while also encouraging customers to try something new, which could ultimately impact sales.Starbucks Gratitude
  3. Gratitude can move your customer to think about a good experience for a longer period of time than they naturally would. Consider the NFL’s “Together We Make Football” campaign, encouraging fans to be part of the league by sharing their personal positive experiences with the NFL. To express gratitude, those with the most compelling stories will receive premium experiences at the Super Bowl. This is a win-win for the NFL brand and fans alike.NFL Gratitude
  4. Expressing gratitude is a way you can provide value to your customer at no cost to them. Ben and Jerry’s does an excellent job providing value to their customers by saying thanks via a scoop of ice cream during their annual Free Cone Day. It’s a great early season reminder for customers, too, that sometimes life calls for ice cream.Ben and Jerry's Gratitude
  5. Gratitude often creates reciprocation. There is scientific evidence that shows when brands focus on relationships in marketing efforts, customers experience gratitude in the short term resulting in long-term benefits to the brand via reciprocal customer behaviors. This is one reason that re-tweets or individual responses on social networks are so powerful. We see the same evidence in pay-it-forward movements. Chick-fil-A and Starbucks have seen up to 1,000 people pay it forward by buying food or drinks for the car behind them. While these are usually grassroots efforts, the drive through employees help keep the momentum by encouraging customers to continue to pay it forward. Participants often feel good about the experience, the brand, and their local community. That’s brand affinity!

These are just a few ways that gratitude can boost your communications efforts. Do you have an example of corporate gratitude that you love? Share it in the comments!