Random Acts of Kindness

05_18_2010_busted

Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) were recently highlighted as an important consumer trend in 2011 by Trendwatching.com Helping people out in a time of need is not a new tactic for brands looking for 'good story PR' but in 2011 in a world full of doom in gloom reaching out to solve problems and help people is becoming a very popular approach.

Many businesses and their fans using Twitter and Facebook have reached a point where promotions, discounts, special offers, games, apps and corporate announcements are the same old same old. People are looking for businesses and brands with similar values as them, they're good citizens as well as engaging connectors.

 GENERATION G | "Captures the growing importance of 'generosity' as a leading societal and business mindset. As consumers are disgusted with greed and its current dire consequences for the economy—and while that same upheaval has them longing more than ever for institutions that care—the need for more generosity beautifully coincides with the ongoing (and pre-recession) emergence of an online-fueled culture of individuals who share, give, engage, create and collaborate in large numbers.

Behind this movement is our recent ability to listen, in real time to the conversations people are having on Twitter, Facebook, Blog posts and forums, anywhere in the world. Unlike any time in history brands have the ability to act spontaneously, in the spur of the moment, to contribute to something that's beneficial to 100's if not 1000's of people.

When it comes to the mega trend of GENERATION G (that's G for Generosity, not Greed), there’s no better way for a brand to put its money where its mouth (or heart) is than engaging in Random Acts of Kindness (R.A.K.). Consumers' cravings for realness, for the human touch, ensure that everything from brands randomly picking up the tab to sending a surprise gift will be one of the most effective ways to connect with (potential) customers in 2011 (Trendwatching)

Some businesses are challenged with how to respond to customer questions and complaints, they're reactive, hoping to lessen the blow of poor customer interactions. They then wonder about their sentiment scores fall through the floor. While others are proactively creating positive, engaging and useful brand experiences their followers, customers and fans will be talking about for weeks to come.

The evolution of cooperation is apparently responsible for this. Generosity is a direct result of cooperation, and as such is not a response to social pressure. It is, in fact, an innate trait, that is driven by more than the desire to leave a good impression. (source)

Consumers are longing to do business with companies that care, that share similar values and beliefs. It's an attitude to life that's selfless, warm-hearted and unconcerned about ROI. It's genuine, human. Brands are leaving the corporate personas behind and treating customers as people. After-all business is about people

I'd love to hear of any stories you can share about a business that's unconditionally help you or displayed a random act of kindness to someone you know. They deserve to be celebrated.

 

Further reading:

Daniel Koh: The Random Acts of Kindness Project http://j-f.co/pZgicl

Random Acts of Kindness Foundation http://j-f.co/qgOao3

Picture source - Random Acts of Kindness Busted Archive--2009-2010