Can we laugh past our assumptions?
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How humor encourages loyalty

Long-term loyalty is based upon a sense of relaxed familiarity between a customer and a supplier. What can you do to make customers more comfortable? Humor can be fabulous for helping your customers recommend you to their friends. Just be careful about what type of humor you use. Mitch Earleywine says you should pick the type that fits your audience.

iMedia Connection: How to harness the marketing power of humor, 2011-Mar-22, by Lori Luechtefeld

Humor is a powerful thing. It does so much more than merely make us laugh. Rather, humor is a complex cognitive process akin to creativity, says Mitch Earleywine, Ph.D., professor of psychology at SUNY Albany. That means marketers can use humor to improve their moods, memories, and problem-solving abilities -- not to mention their levels of innovation. Furthermore, humor is a core interpersonal skill for enhancing relationships -- and that has everything to do with how marketers persuade and encourage loyalty among customers, Earleywine notes.

Author of "Humor 101," Earleywine will be presenting a keynote address at the iMedia Agency Summit in May. ... 

Recent data show that moderate humor improves memory more than no humor or a lot. Finding that happy medium takes some experimenting. In addition, anyone who crafts a humorous appeal so that the name of the product is part of the punch line is guaranteed longevity and success. Just ask anyone over 30, "Pardon me, would you have any Grey Poupon?"