LG’s Experience Happiness

A little more than a year ago, LG Electronics contacted Matchfire about helping them focus their cause marketing and corporate social responsibility efforts. Behind the scenes, LG does a lot to ensure their supply chain is responsibly sourced and in-line with the UN’s sustainable development goals, but their more public social contributions were diverse and disconnected.

In interviews with LG executives, we heard that while consumers bought LG products, they could have a deeper connection with the brand. Executives wanted consumers to know what LG stood for–and what the phrase “Life’s Good” meant to the company. The LG team believed a more focused social contribution effort could help bring definition to the brand’s personality in the public eye.

Matchfire’s challenge included mapping criteria that a focused social contribution program would need to meet. First, it would have to link to LG’s strong Corporate Social Responsibility framework around the United Nation’s sustainable development goals and their overarching marketing around “Life’s Good.” Secondly it would have to build brand awareness and engage multiple audiences from customers to retailers to employees. It would need to be innovative enough to capture attention ideally in a space that wasn’t already crowded with branded sponsorships. Finally, it would have to be scalable—a place where LG could start small and grow.

In thinking about the perfect cause fit for LG, Matchfire partnered with Carol Cone and Talya Bosch of Carol Cone On Purpose. Together, we conducted a landscape analysis to learn about the philanthropic focus of competitors and retail partners. We interviewed key LG executives, read as much of LG’s CSR, sustainability, marketing, branding, and public relations materials as we could, reviewed customer insights, and conducted an employee survey. Through that process, we uncovered a series of opportunities and potential areas of cause focus that we evaluated against LG’s criteria.

As part of the research and discovery process, we learned that when school is in session, teens are the most stressed group of people in America. Two out of three American teens are stressed, and many don’t know how to handle it. The inability to reduce and cope with stress and anxiety can negatively impact different facets of a teen’s life including their health, friendships, relationships with parents, and academic performance. We also learned that over 70 years of research has revealed that happiness is achievable, and according to the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, happiness skills can be taught, learned, and practiced. Ultimately, LG launched a mission to equip youth with the skills necessary to create sustainable happiness in their lives— platform called, Experience Happiness.

Happiness can feel fleeting, elusive, and difficult to describe. But it’s not just an emotion. Researchers studying social emotional well-being define happiness as a balance; the combination of how often and robust our positive emotional experiences are, how gracefully we recover from difficult experiences, and how meaningful and worthwhile we feel our lives are. Happiness is the ability to consistently recognize that Life’s Good—even if it’s hard sometimes—paired with the ability to learn from and bounce back from the hard times.

Working together with the Greater Good Science Center, LG identified six skills to form the foundation of LG’s Experience Happiness program: mindfulness, human connection, positive outlook, purpose, generosity, and gratitude. Over the next five years, LG aims to deliver these sustainable happiness skills to 5.5 million youth and help the next generation recognize that happiness is achievable and Life’s Good.

On March 20th, 2018, the UN’s International Day of Happiness, LG celebrated the launch of Experience Happiness with satellite media tour and a “virtual field trip” to the science of happiness with Discovery Education that reached thousands of students and also provided sustainable happiness skills curriculum to teachers and parents.

At Matchfire, we are so proud of the work we’ve done to help LG find and take this path, to identify partners, and to establish and launch the Experience Happiness brand.