Imagine living in a country with no television, no roads, no train, no networks of any kind. That was Bhutan until the year 2000. This country has just over 700,000 inhabitants, which economy is sustained thanks to the tourism of high value and low impact. Hotels of no less than 3 stars, with guide, and all-inclusive fares… Bhutan decided some time ago that modernization should not necessarily be linked to Westernization.
Bhutan has lived ‘in its own way’ until the beginning of 1970 where the king, sick that the people of his country were accused of being sad and unhappy and considered one of the least developed countries in the world, invented the index of Gross Inner Happiness. It measures the quality of life in such holistic and psychological terms than GDP and advocates human development, centered on the people.
But, how can we measure the happiness of a person? Although the well-being and the level of satisfaction are subjective values, we can make a preliminary approximation through a questionnaire of 180 points structured in 9 thematics related to: psychological well-being, the use of time and time available, the vitality of the community, the culture and enjoyment of art, health and access to health, education, environmental diversity, standard of living, and government.
That is, if we add the life expectancy, the subjective perception of happiness and the ecological footprint to GDP and the Human Development Index, we will obtain a more reliable indicator of the situation and level of development of a territory.
“And what if, in this new context, we could measure the Gross Domestic Happiness generated by a product and mark with a badge those that maximize our level of happiness, as it occurs with the energy efficiency of household appliances?”
Red, yellow and green products, and even different levels of intensity within each color, recognizable at a glance; so depending on the color you acquire, or you can afford, you will know in advance the utility level of that product. Sure, there would be zero surprises, but…
Until this happens (if it ever does), we can try to define, what maximizes the satisfaction level during the purchase process and which latent needs consumers have, by using techniques such as ‘Shadowing’ or ‘Field visit’ which, based on observation, allow us to empathize and predict future reactions and behaviors. This information is undoubtedly relevant and useful to design products, services, and experiences that will contribute to improving your Gross Domestic Happiness.