by Matt Alderton | January 02, 2019
It's often said that laughter is the best medicine. As it turns out: That's not just a saying. Research shows that laughter decreases stress hormones, stimulates immunity and triggers the release of endorphins, biological chemicals that activate the body's opiate receptors, providing an overall sense of wellbeing.

If laughter is that good for your body, one has to wonder if it also can be good for your business.

Blair Williams, founder of MemberPress, thinks it can be. In an article for, he argues the merits of humor in business.

"When done right, humor is a great way to grab people's attention and stand out from the competition," Williams writes. "Humor can make your brand more human and relatable, which will help consumers connect with you."

Humor can be just as harmful as helpful, however. Used at the wrong time or in the wrong way, humor can make your company look unprofessional, insensitive or out of touch. Businesses that want to be funny must therefore tread carefully.

The first thing companies need to know about humor is what to avoid. "As a rule, avoid making politically charged jokes and stick to humor that a broader audience can laugh at. The last thing you want to do is alienate customers by making an inappropriate joke," Williams says.

Just as important as what to avoid is what to embrace, according to Williams, who says relatable humor is the best kind of humor for businesses. "As the saying goes, 'A joke is a truth wrapped in a smile,'" he continues. "Relating to customer pain points is one of the most effective ways to use humor. For instance, think about an alarm clock company that wakes you up with a tantalizing smell instead of an annoying buzzer noise. That company could use the alarm clock sound in a humorous way to win over customers who hate that noise."

Finally, you've got to know where to use humor. Williams shares several ideas: share a funny story from the office, share funny staff photos on your website, share memes on social media that relate to your business, hold a contest where you invite customers to share their best industry jokes or create a fun company character like insurance company GEICO did with its gecko.

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