How Designers and Marketers Can Work Together to Support Consumers’ Happiness
Maria Sääksjärvi, Katarina Hellén


A product’s value proposition rests on the notion that it brings value to its customers. Typically, such value is created by having novel product functionality, superior technology, or new customer benefits, but value can also be created by adhering to what is fundamentally important to customers in their lives. Focusing on customers’ happiness is a value proposition of the latter kind. Yet, implementing such an approach requires that designers and marketers have a common understanding of the product’s value proposition, and work together to create authentic value propositions about happiness that will also be compelling in the marketplace. In this article, we draw upon the positive psychology literature and present three propositions of design for happiness that designers and marketers can use to communicate and create value together. Design for happiness means designing business concepts with the aim of building and supporting long-term consumer happiness. The three propositions that we bring forward are: 1) design for fostering social relationships and belongingness, 2) design for meaning in life, and 3) design for making consumers active participants rather than passive observers. These propositions create a shared understanding of what “design for happiness” can contribute to customers, and how it can contribute to profits and sales.

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