Mar 23, 2017
Amanda O'Donovan


It’s not pronounced Higgie, but Hou-guh, the Scandi lifestyle philosophy that everyone’s talking about. It’s a gentle reminder to stop and smell the roses. You can hygge at home, at work or with friends and family. But can you hygge when you write? Find out if your content’s cozy enough to make your customers feel good.

Warm and Fuzzy
Follow The World Happiness Report, and all roads lead to Scandinavia. This year, Norway unseated Denmark to become the world’s happiest country, according to the UN. The secret to their success? Hygge, according to the Danes. Look carefully and you’ll probably find a book about it already sitting on your coffee table.

Hygge describes a way of life that combines comfort, coziness and contentment (think good food, great company, a collection of candles and a clutch of wine bottles). The concept is so popular that, in 2016, Hygge got shortlisted for the Oxford Dictionaries’ word of the year.

At home, you might associate it with snuggling on the sofa in your artfully knitted winter woollies, cradling a steaming mug of hot chocolate dotted with mini marshmallows. Or, maybe taking a spring bike ride with the kids. It’s all about being and sharing with others. At work, it’s echoed in office design, work/life balance, corporate culture and collaborative teams. Wherever you practise it, hygge centres on creating just the right atmosphere.

How to Talk Hygge
You may be surprised that you can apply this concept to your corporate communications. To create emotional connections that lead to long-term relationships. Here are six ways to cozy your content:

1. Ditch the Starch: No need to be formal. Write like you’re having a conversation. Readers will feel comfortable and connected. Plus they’ll be more likely to listen to you next time you’re in touch. Suggestion: use positive, friendly vocabulary and avoid passive sentences, which can sound detached.

2. Take it Slowly and Send Flowers: Nurture your prospects. They don’t want to feel pressurized. Be gentle, and show that you value your relationship by letting them know you’ll be back. Suggestion: in the early stages of the sales cycle, remind yourself that you’re getting to know each other, so choose subject matter that will educate and nudge readers to the next stage of understanding.

3. Add Humour: Laughter can reduce stress levels. Used judiciously, injecting some fun into your content puts readers at ease. Just steer clear of jokes that might alienate certain audiences, or could be lost in translation. Suggestion: animate your content with amusing graphics to illustrate the lighter side of your message.

4. Empathize: You should know about the things that matter to your audience. Especially what makes them feel unhygge! Once you understand their pain, and how they express it, you’ll know how to reassure them that only you can make them feel good again. Suggestion: create some case studies or peer testimonials that demonstrate how you solved problems like theirs.

5. Be Prepared to Share: Community is the foundation of all things hygge. Link to information from your business community that will bring prospects closer to your line of thinking. Connect them with like-minded people who are searching for similar solutions. Suggestion: embed carefully selected hyperlinks in your writing to show that industry thought leaders agree with you. Don’t overdo it, or your audience may drift elsewhere.

6. Don’t Forget a Call to Action: Your prospects need a reason to continue the conversation. A glimpse of what comes next. They’ll be lost if you don’t provide clear directions on where the conversation is going. Suggestion: before you write a single word, know exactly what you want your prospects to do when they’ve finished reading.

For more information on the hygge concept Visit Denmark.

Amanda O’Donovan is a Senior Content Writer + Communications Specialist, based in Toronto. You can contact her at 416.456.3859, info@amandaodonovan.com or through LinkedIn