A view from Steve Hastings, planning partner, Isobel

Can brands make us happy? #happinessday

Happiness can be said to be a mixture of short-term joyful moments and long-term contentment, says Steve Hastings, reflecting on World Happiness Day 2014.

It may be strange to say, but we believe brands are an important source of happiness.

Oddly so, because true happiness is not a measure of material, product wealth but of something more intangible. Yet here we are saying brands can help make you happy.

Brands can certainly bring short-term joy, by amusing us, by making us feel special, by being happy and radiating happiness, as well as by solving problems and doing something well for us.

And brands can help our long-term sense of contentment by being consistent, trustworthy, honest and rewarding. By being a hitching post for our identity and our habits. A source of comfort, always there and a part of life we would miss if they went.

We don’t want to drive this ‘brandthropomorphism’ too far but there is so much evidence that people respond to the texture, nature and personality of brands that we should be alive to the life-enhancing quality of good strong brands.

So don’t just think of the surface, think of what you can’t see: think of what you might feel.

London ad agency isobel is author of the recent HappyBrands study which aims to identify the UK’s happiest brands