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The Brands That Are Killing It with Kindness


It’s World Kindness Day today, a time to celebrate and promote kindness in society and day to day life. As a business owner or brand manager you might be wondering “just how important is it for a brand to be kind?”

These days, even the smallest brand can achieve a sizeable reach through the right marketing strategy. With such a huge reach, brands have a more social responsibility than ever before, and consumers are very aware of this. In fact, a huge portion of the nation’s purchasing decisions are actively influenced by perceptions of brand kindness.

Who Cares About Kindness?

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 amongst 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.

What Can I do to Make my Brand Kind?

There’s no quick and easy way to change people’s perceptions of your brand and the current generation of consumers can smell a publicity stunt a mile-off. Trust in UK brands is at its lowest since the 2008 financial crash, making brand transparency more important than ever before. Being open and upfront about your business practices shows consumers you’ve got nothing to hide. We recommend looking to brands like McDonalds, TOMS, and Costa Coffee for inspiration.

McDonalds: Good to Know

Public suspicion of poor farming and production practices has severely impacted the McDonalds brand over the years. McDonalds knew it needed to change perceptions of its brand and, in 2016, it released a series of adverts addressing people’s concerns by taking the audience on a tour of a McDonald’s farm to show exactly what goes into their food and how it is produced. This was supplemented with an on-going focus on ethical practices across the brand’s social media that is responsive to current issues even to this day.

TOMS: One for One

Shoe and apparel brand TOMS has a dedicated Giving Team that collaborates with various charities and initiatives to use business for good. The One for One campaign enables TOMs to help one person in need for every product purchase. This allows the brand to provide shoes, sight, water, safe birth and bullying prevention services to people in need across the globe. So far TOMs has helped protect over 2 million children from hookworm; provided 600,000 weeks of safe water for people in need; and supported safe birth services for over 175,000 mothers.

Costa Coffee: Costa Foundation

Coffee production has some of the least ethical supply chains in the world, contributing towards modern day slavery, deforestation, and high carbon emissions. Costa Coffee identified the need for a focus on kinder production practices and announced itself a “force for good” in the coffee industry. In an effort to relieve poverty in coffee-growing communities, Costa Coffee created the Costa Foundation, an independent charity that works with schools to enhance health, gender equality and environmental awareness. Alongside this all Costa Coffee is 100% Rainforest Alliance certified using sustainably grown beans that offer social, economic and environmental benefits to farmers.

It takes the perfect combination of digital marketing, advertising, outreach, and social engagement to change people’s perceptions of your brand. We here at Platform81 are committed to kindness. Let us help you cultivate a brand image that shares your values with your audience, contact us today.