by | Oct 28, 2015 | Branding, Language, Marketing | 0 comments

By Deborah Wroe

As news emerges that our town Oldham is one of the unhappiest places to live in the UK* let’s talk about Hygge (pronounced hoo-ga or maybe hyoo-guh), which originates from the world’s happiest country, Denmark.

Hygge apparently does not have a distinct direct translation, but can be loosely translated as cosy. Denmark has long cold winters, ridiculously long dark days and yet the Danes rank as insanely happy with their lot as compared to the rest of us and some of this can be attributed to the concept of hygge. According to the BBC “Sitting by the fire on a cold night, wearing a woolly jumper, while drinking mulled wine and stroking a dog – probably surrounded by candles. That’s definitely “hygge”. Ooh I’m so hygge!

So why the hype about it now? Well a UK college, Morley, has added hygge to the curriculum (http://www.morleycollege.ac.uk/news/2461_the_danish_concept_of_hygge) for one. A café in Covent Garden sells bowls of hygge (cereal to you and me). And John Lewis are selling hygge scented candles. An aside…I’ve always found it odd that we buy linen scented candles, which are essentially washing powder scented, no?

So hygge could be the new pulled pork – slow cooked scrag ends of meat well marketed.

If hygge is cosy then aren’t candles cosy by definition without the need to be labelled as such? Ditto cereal. Ah…it’s marketing. Clever huh?

In order for consumers to buy into a product or service it needs packaging, and we don’t mean the physical wrapping, we mean the placement, the connection, the identifying, the story. It’s not pulling the wool over people’s eyes it’s making it easy to see “what’s in it for me”. “Ah so hygge will make me feel warm and fuzzy and as happy as the Danes? Great, I’ll have a candle.”

We could be wrong, and maybe we are biased cos we love a bit of cosy already – give us comfy slippers, a hot toddy and an open fire over swanky restaurants most days of the week – but we reckon hygge will be big – in marketing terms, and we’ll see a lot of hygge-ing up of products and services. And if Oldhamers really are miseries, we welcome it. Scented candles, heated slippers and apple crumble all round please.

Do you hygge? How? Let us know in the comments