Melancholy. It’s not a word I use often, if at all but I do think about it occasionally, especially when a meme that really tickles me pops up on social media.
(I assume you know the one. In case you don’t though, here’s an image for your viewing pleasure. Funnily enough, a very good friend of mine used to have a collie I adored that was actually called Mac, too.)
And every time I see said image, it reminds me that I must use the word melancholy more often. It’s not onomatopoeic but it does sound a little gloomy when you say it out loud.
It’s the kind emotion Eeyore would experience and it would definitely sound very melancholy in his dejected tone of voice.
So, next time I am feeling a little blue and don’t really know why, I won’t be gloomy, or sad or even down in the dumps. I will be melancholy, if anyone asks.
As great a word as it is to describe a frame of mind, though, I can’t even begin to imagine that it would be an appropriate description to help someone sell an item of clothing.
Turns out, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Apparently, there are men out there making millions from melancholy macs. (I’ve already referenced onomatopoeia so I thought I’d throw in some alliteration for good measure!)
Seriously, I am not making this up.
People want an emotive user experience when purchasing. That’s what drives them to buy and, often, return time and time again.
But it’s normally expected that goods or services will tap into peoples’ positive emotions and make them happy or give them some level of warm fuzzies.
Not Swedish rainwear firm Stutterheim, though. They actually warn consumers that their coats may make the wearer feel a little blue.
The firm’s founder, Alexander Stutterheim suggests that people shouldn’t flight melancholy because, apparently, it is an essential part of being human.
In fact, it was his melancholy old grandfather’s fishing coat that give him the inspiration to start the range.
Yet despite attaching gloomy connotations to their product, the firm certainly isn’t getting unhappy user feedback.
Instead, they seem to be going from strength to strength, with not only fast-growing sales around the globe but also celebrity customers, such as Jay Z and Kanye West.
So, it seems like their novel marketing approach is paying off!
Embrace the rain
When he found the 1960’s jacket, Alexander was reminded of his Grandad who would wear it to protect him against bleak Nordic conditions when he went out fishing or sailing to ‘chase his demons’.
On his return though, his Grandfather’s mood was always notably improved and he was brimming with creativity.
And anything that brightens your mood has to be good!
So, he set up making prototypes from plastic tablecloths before having a small batch made by a factory in Western Sweden.
To help the brand grow beyond an initial small shop in Stockholm, Alexander Stutterheim brought Mikael Soderlindh – the cofounder of Happy Feet –on board as chairman, along with experienced marketer John Laster as chief executive.
Stutterheim himself took on the role of creative director.
The firm sells direct to consumers around the world via its website, their stores in Stockholm and New York and through 29 retailers around the world. Turnover was approximately £4.3 million in 2016.
As part of his role, Stutterheim boosts overseas e-commerce sales using Facebook and Instagram.
And not fighting melancholy feelings is the analogy that Stutterheim is attaching to their coats. We should all go out and embrace the rain, as opposed to fighting it.
Tapping into emotions
As surprising as it sounds, it opens up far many more points for consideration.
What other emotions could businesses be tapping into the bring about a positive, emotive user experience and customer satisfaction?
Obviously, not all brands are built on memories like Sutterheim’s.
And I wouldn’t suggest you make something up. A good story gives a brand history and heritage but it really ought to be true.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t think about what emotions you want to instil in your customers when it comes to your brand.
Of course, to do so, you need to understand your business from the perspective of your consumers.
That’s where we come in here at The Monachie Project. We can carry out consumer monitoring and research to help garner greater insights into the elements of the user experience. In doing so, we can assess what your customers want and how they think and feel.
Once you have that depth of knowledge, you can craft marketing measures that appeal to consumer emotions, be it happiness, joy, trust, belonging or value.
Or you could have your own take on “melancholy at its driest” (Stutterheim’s strapline) and tap into a customers’ fear, guilt, or feelings of despondency.
Because let’s face it; we all have bad days. And feelings are powerful. Emotional triggers of any sort can evoke feelings in a prospective purchaser that can move them to action.
So, go on. Embrace the rain.