The holidays are over, motivation from New Year’s Resolutions has expired and all of our anticipation is focused on a beach vacation; which is all the more reason to slow down and take some time to make those around you feel special.
Enter: Random Acts of Kindness Week.
We challenged #teamME to do something nice for someone in their lives; whether it’s in the office, at home, at the gym, in line at the coffee shop, you name it. Some bought flowers for the office to enjoy, and others brought enough snacks to keep us well-fed for weeks. Marie, our fearless leader and CEO, was the proud recipient of a sleep mask for the beauty rest she deserves, Jeanna, account manager here at #teamME, received flower seeds to get her green thumb moving and our trendy social media strategist, Angela, was gifted a tiny, crocheted cactus so she finally has a plant she loves so much, without the worry of killing it. (Hey, we all can’t be great at everything.)
“RAKs” are so beneficial in building, not just personal relationships (who doesn’t want to be on the receiving end of kindness?), but also business/consumer relations; so much so that companies have increasingly adopted RAKs into their marketing strategies and public relations efforts. A few of my favorites include:
- Panera Bread’s program, “Panera Cares,” a pay-what-you-can café at certain locations
- AirB&B giving 100,000 costumers $10 to do a “unique act of kindness” for their #OneLessStranger campaign
- Marks & Spencer making it snow on Christmas in Southern England where they rarely see snow
- McDonalds starting its “Pay with Lovin” campaign which allowed random costumers across America to pay in acts of kindness, like a call to Mom
Random Acts of Kindness campaigns famously generate a lot of attention and profit for brands. Millennials are especially more concerned with what a brand stands for. Brands like TOMS, Love Your Melon and Warby Parker — all are booming in business due to their charitable efforts. Just like we want to keep the friend around who actively makes us feel appreciated, audiences want to keep the brand around that either makes them feel appreciated or makes them feel like they’re doing something good.
This might not work with every brand, business or campaign goal, but trying to incorporate more kindness is the type of marketing the world needs more of.
Cam Householder is a Sophomore at The Ohio State University majoring in Strategic Communications and Pre-Business. Cam has interned for #teamME for a year and never ceases to be a light in the office. (And she has some of the most beautiful calligraphy skills this side of the Mississippi.)