It’s a well-known fact: people do business with people and companies they like. One of the most powerful and effective ways to make people like you is through humor. Geico’s cute gecko and fun commercials, for example, often end up putting a smile on audiences’ faces. Regardless of the company’s business offerings, many people will end up associating Geico with the humorous gecko they see as the company’s spokesperson. Geico is currently gaining on their competitor Allstate, which means that this positive public image is working–people gravitate towards things that give them a good feeling.
Currently, stress levels in the US are off the charts; government gridlocks, financial fiascos and community challenges are making people nervous and constantly anxious. In our present climate, humor is important now more than ever.
There’s a reason for the adage, laughter is the best medicine: it works. Self-storage operators who offer humor to customers, employees and prospects are likely to see bottom-line benefits. Here are some ways to make people smile when hearing or seeing your name:
1. Underwrite a night(s) at a local comedy club for tenants and employees. Group business can be gold for entertainment organizations. On a typically slow day, the likelihood of negotiating a very favorable group rate for one or more events is high.
2. Email periodic humor-laden messages and videos to a targeted tenant or prospect audience. This can be as informal as a group email or sent as a monthly bit via Constant Contact, Swiftpage or other email services that offer opt-out options for those who don’t want to receive such communications.
Regardless of how it’s conveyed, there’s little argument that some of the humorous emails most of us receive put smiles on our faces and make us think of the sender in a positive light. If you want to put more time into this process, build a list by suggesting that primary recipients forward communications to their friends and colleagues. Tie the emails to tweets and other social media.
3. Make humor part of everyday communications. An upbeat suggestion or humorous observation tied to a routine email can brighten the recipient’s day. This can become almost organic to your process if you are so-inclined. For example, a recent email wished the recipient a variety of holiday greetings including “Happy Festivus” (featured in Seinfeld). The response indicated that it put at least a quick smile on the face of the recipient.
4. Make the self-storage facility a center of humor influence. Given the exponentially-expanding uses of self-storage space, consider establishing a section of your own facility to become a stage for periodic comedy stand-up or improvisation events. This will obviously take an investment of time and money, but it can also be a way to promote your entire facility while offering an entertainment venue at the same time. If nothing else, it merits consideration as part of a long-term plan.
Finally, remember that humor is often subjective, and that you should be careful with touchy subjects. Avoid making light of anything potentially offensive, and keep your humor light-hearted and fun.