The Kindness Economy

By Teamspirit on Wednesday, 11 March 2020

As more brands take a stand on issues that impact their brand purpose and audiences, some are taking an activist approach, driven by a fundamental concern about the biggest and most urgent problems facing society. Others are killing it with kindness, but who really cares?

Consumers have always cared about kindness, but it’s only recently that they’ve become empowered to do something about it. With more brands on the market than ever before, younger generations have the opportunity to use their spending power to affect social change. Gone are the days when brands could simply rely on value for money to help them stand out among their competitors, as 73% of Millennials are willing to pay more for sustainable goods. In fact, acting unethically could actually lose you customers, with 40% of Gen Z consumers having boycotted a brand that behaved in a way that didn’t align with their values. Buying today is a political act. And more than ever, it’s an opportunity to make an impact.

It gives life to what it means to be a ‘values-driven’ company. You can’t be a values-driven company and disregard society – your employees, your customers, the communities you work in, and the world. The proof is in what you do, not what you say. Research shows time and again that trust in government is down, and trust in UK brands is at its lowest since the 2008 financial crash. So more people are looking to their workplace, and brands that emulate their personality and beliefs, to drive change. For brands, it’s an opportunity to demonstrate their cultural relevance.


Implications

• There’s no quick and easy way to change people’s perceptions of your brand; the current generation of consumers can smell a publicity stunt a mile off, so make it meaningful and measurable.

• Making your brand transparent is more important than ever before. We recommend looking at brands like Legal & General, TOMS and Costa Coffee for inspiration.

• Look before you leap. Consider your messaging and its implications. A quick test can mean the difference between a well-crafted response and headaches for your brand.

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