Why kind human brands will thrive in a connected economy
According to TrendWatching.com, RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS (R.A.K.) should be firmly on your radar in the coming months.
Trendwatching.com is a great source to stay up to date with current and predicted trends.
The theory is that consumers are long used to (and annoyed by) distant, inflexible and self-serving corporations, any acts of kindness by brands will be gratefully received. Makes sense!
For brands, increasingly open communications both with and between consumers (especially online), means that it's never been easier to surprise and delight audiences with R.A.K.: whether sending gifts, responding to publicly expressed moods or just showing that they care. Just to be absolutely clear: R.A.K. are not about rewarding customers for tweeting / liking your product, and not about giving away lots of free samples (that would be FREE LOVE), but about selected, random acts of kindness (hence the name ;-)
Now is the ideal moment to engage in some R.A.K:
1. HUMAN TOUCH | Consumers increasingly wanting to see the human side of brands (or if indeed a brand has a human side at all ;-), making R.A.K. more welcome than ever.
2. PUTTING IT OUT THERE | Audiences publically disclosing more and more personal information on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, about their lives, moods and whereabouts, both current and intended, enabling R.A.K. to be more relevant.
3. PASS IT ON | More consumers than ever are now sharing their experiences with their friends and wider audiences on social networks, meaning R.A.K. can spread far beyond the original recipients.
Washington based eco-conscious restaurant chain Sweetgreen employs a street team to perform ‘Random Acts of Sweetness’ for its customers. Previous acts include covering people’s bike seats when it rains, or leaving gift certificates for drivers who've received parking tickets.
In October 2010, flower delivery service Interflora launched a social media campaign in the UK designed to brighten up the lives of Twitter users by sending them flowers. Interflora monitored Twitter looking for users that needed cheering up. Once found, the users were contacted and sent a bouquet of flowers as a surprise.
In February 2011, Spanish travel agency Atrapalo helped Lucas Jatobá, a Brazilian creative who spent three years living in Barcelona, thank the city for his great time there. Attaching theater tickets to balloons, he released them over the city hoping that they would find their way to random people. The video has now been watched over 350,000 times. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEpo4gExLT8&feature=player_embedded