It’s early on a weekday morning — snowy, cold, and my family is in a frenzy to get out the door. Everyone is bundled up, lunch boxes and backpacks packed, boots, hats and gloves on, and out the door we go. As I drive my 6-year-old to school, I have his attention captive for the short trip and often try to take the opportunity to engage him in talking about kindness and positivity.
Sometimes he struggles to find an example, but as I prod and encourage him, he can usually come up with an instance, whether it’s helping a classmate who dropped something, someone who needs help with their homework, or just encouraging a shy classmate. I feel like the more we talk about it, the easier it becomes to identify examples. By keeping it top of mind, it reinforces the idea that we need to be actively practicing kindness every day — to be looking for the good, and being the good, in every day.
Kindness in a Marketing Strategy
As marketers, we know a smart business strategy always includes how customers are treated. What is one thing that a business can do to go the extra mile for the customer and show them they truly care? Whether it’s giving a discount at Starbucks for bringing a reusable cup, free shipping on returns like Zappos and Nordstrom’s, donating a percentage of proceeds to a worthy cause like Newman’s Own or TOMS, these actions really resonate with customers. Furthermore, younger consumers today are very attuned to whether brands’ positions reflect their values, and millennials, who are often the most progressive and action-oriented, carry a lot of buying power.
Social media these days can really bring out the kindness in consumers and businesses alike. But it can also be remarkably damaging. Take Yelp for instance. In my town, there is a highly anticipated restaurant set to open, and it is apparently taking a little longer than planned, so a Yelp reviewer decided to go online and post “1-star – not open.”
Really?! Whether that person was trying to be funny or clever, the age of social media has given people license to unleash a quick and hurtful blow. Businesses rely on those reviews, and when people impulsively give out 1-star reviews for trivial things (e.g. “Restaurant served us water with no ice – 1-star”), that can be absolutely damaging to the business’ overall reputation and their bottom line.
Use Social Media for Good
When a business does something well, we should be just as quick to point it out. We should use social media to be positive and uplifting — to be kind. In particular, if it is a smaller or local business, the impact can be even greater. So, when you hear of a business donating to a cause, or helping out a neighbor in need, throw them a “like” and leave a positive comment.
Here at Jet, we love our local coffee shop, The Human Bean, for its annual Coffee for a Cure day, when they donate 100% of sales at all northern Colorado Human Bean locations directly back to local hospitals. All funds raised remain in the local community to provide financial assistance to overcome barriers related to the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, and all cancers, for patients at local Banner and UCHealth facilities. You can bet we showed them some love on Facebook (and supported them in person)!
Spread Kindness this Month!
Whether as individuals, businesses or leaders, kindness can go a long way. If we can foster this idea with our youth, the more likely it will sustain.
The Ad Council put out a PSA about the enduring power of kindness called “A Message from the Future,” which is the latest installment of their “Because of You” campaign. It features three teens at a career counseling session who are surprised with a video from fellow classmates. The classmates explain that when they were bullied by others and the teens stood up for them in those moments, it changed their lives.
The idea is that kindness can be long-lasting and doesn’t only affect someone in the moment, or for a day, or for a year. It can literally change someone’s life forever. Now that is powerful.
Random Acts of Kindness week is coming up (Feb. 11-17), so feel free to spread the kindness! Check out some fun ideas here: randomactsofkindness.org/
Erin Rogers, Creative Director at Jet Marketing
Erin constantly amazes her co-workers by staying calm, cool and collected while working from home with two boys, all the while creating amazing things for our clients.