Singapore, 30 May 2012 – Can shopping make you happy? "Sure," says Professor Bernd Schmitt. "Companies ought to focus on delighting their customers", adds the renowned marketing professor in a new book called Happy Customers Everywhere.
Launched today, the best-selling author's latest work shows how retail therapy is not mere marketing spiel but a reality that brings genuine, even meaningful, pleasure.
"While consumerism and marketing are often critiqued as distracting people from finding happiness, if done with a genuine interest in consumers as real human beings, they can enhance individual well-being, quality of life and life satisfaction," says Professor Schmitt, executive director of Singapore's Institute on Asian Consumer Insight (ACI) at Nanyang Technological University (NTU).
"Shopping, buying and consuming can result in pleasurable moments, and sometimes meaningful and engaging experiences, that create happiness. Moreover, customer happiness need not be a passing mood. It can last and create an intimate and enduring relationship between a company and its customers," he adds.
Happy Customers Everywhere further highlights that employee happiness also seems to be in the best interest of organisations. Happy employees will be more productive and interact more effectively with customers; this increases customer satisfaction. That is why companies have large human resources departments and spend significant amounts of money and resources on hiring the right employees, as well as training and developing them. Employee happiness is not just an internal corporate social responsibility; in a very real sense, it can provide competitive advantage.
In his book, Professor Schmitt also notes that happiness is no longer just a customer or employee issue. Governments and national leaders are now jumping on the happiness bandwagon. They are increasingly concerned about making their citizens happy – and not merely to increase per capita income. Happiness, as a concept and desired outcome, has reached the level of government planning.
Happy Customers Everywhere was launched today at a breakfast reception at the Ritz Carlton Millenia hotel. Apart from a hearty meal to start the day, senior corporate leaders were treated to a special discussion on the book with leading marketers including W Hotels and Le Méridien brand director Arnaud Champenoi, BMW Group Asia marketing director Lito German and Catholic University of Lille marketing Professor Lia Zarantonello.
"Like his seminal best-seller Experiential Marketing, Bernd's new book taps on both academic research and business experience to produce fresh insight and practical strategies that can benefit all companies," say Professor Zarantonello, who has worked with Professor Schmitt on several projects.
Drawing on the latest research in the exploding field of positive psychology, Happy Customers Everywhere shows how customer happiness can provide immense value to businesses and offers three unique approaches any company can use to turn casual customers into committed fans.
"When customers are satisfied, even feeling joy when you delight them, they will not only be loyal, but also recommend your company and brand to their family, friends, colleagues – even the world, via social media," says Professor Schmitt.
The book is published by Palgrave Macmillan and is available at major book stores from today at a retail price of $48.00 (before GST).
For media enquiries, please contact:
Feisal Abdul Rahman
Senior Assistant Director, Media Relations
Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University
Tel: 6790 6687
Senior Assistant Director
Institute on Asian Consumer Insight
Nanyang Business School
Nanyang Technological University
Tel: 6592 7915
About Bernd Schmitt
Bernd Schmitt is executive director of the Institute on Asian Consumer Insight (ACI) at Nanyang Technological University. He is the Robert D. Calkins Professor of International Business at Columbia Business School, and director of the Center on Global Brand Leadership. He has consulted for numerous companies and is a frequent keynote speaker at conferences worldwide. Professor Schmitt has appeared on BBC, CNBC, CNN and The Daily Show, has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal Asia, and Financial Times. He is the author of several books, including Big Think Strategy, Customer Experience Management and Experiential Marketing, which has been translated into more than 20 languages.
About the Institute on Asian Consumer Insight (ACI)
ACI is a world-class, first-of-its-kind institute focused on Asian consumers. A national institute in Singapore, ACI started as an initiative of the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) in 2011 and is hosted by Nanyang Technological University (NTU).
ACI has launched various research projects focused on Asian markets and consumers, a Master of Science program, conferences and events, executive programs and company projects. ACI helps companies to develop customer-focused strategies based on insights about Asian consumers. The Institute create value in the areas of innovation, branding, new-market development and new media.
Led by its Executive Director, Professor Bernd Schmitt, ACI has more than 20 researchers and post-docs conducting research on Asian consumers. On a regular basis, ACI also invites faculty from US and European institutions as visitors and research collaborators to Singapore.
For more information, visit www.aci-institute.com
About Nanyang Technological University
A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has 33,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, and Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences. In 2013, NTU will enrol the first batch of students at its new medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, which is set up jointly with Imperial College London.
NTU is also home to four world-class autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI) and Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N).
A fast-growing university with an international outlook, NTU is putting its global stamp on Five Peaks of Excellence: Sustainable Earth, Future Healthcare, New Media, New Silk Road, and Innovation Asia.
Besides the main Yunnan Garden campus, NTU also has a satellite campus in Singapore's science and tech hub, one-north, and is setting up a third campus in Novena, Singapore's medical district.
For more information, visit www.ntu.edu.sg
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