media update’s Taylor Goodman spoke to Faith Popcorn, CEO of BrainReserve and author of the The Popcorn Report, about the importance of kindness in marketing. 

Integrating kindness into the way you do business can be majorly beneficial. Why? Because being kind can help marketers to connect with their audiences, build their consumer base, grow brand loyalty and, in time, increase their income. 

Now that you know how beneficial kindness can be in marketing, let's find out more about what being kind in a professional capacity means and how marketers can integrate it into their day-to-day operations. 

1. What does it mean to be kind in a professional capacity?  

It means to bring warmth, caring and compassion to all aspects of your work life — how you treat your colleagues (both up and down the ranks), your clients and your consumers. It means weaving that kindness into your culture, to bring out the best in your business and brand [as well as] the world around you. 

When you are kind, serotonin is released into your system. That’s the ‘feel good’ chemical in our brain that generates happiness.

Kindness is [also] contagious: According to a recent study, people who were treated kindly at work repaid it by being 278% more generous to co-workers compared to a control group. 

2. Many may think that showing kindness in the workplace is a weakness. Why do you think it's a strength?

Showing your so-called ‘softer side’ is always a challenge as so many of us believe [that] we should be tough and unemotional in the workplace.

Being thoughtful, caring and vulnerable is a huge asset. When you show your full humanity and treat others as the complex, emotional beings they are, you reinforce the basic values of sentient beings — you connect at a deeper level.

Kindness is beneficial: Research has found that kindness encourages increased health and increased emotional well-being in the workplace.

PwC’s CEO Survey finds that kindness increases employee commitment to the organisation, eliminates communication barriers, minimises negative competition among staff and strengthens relationships with other business partners and investors.

Gallup studies show kindness enhances engagement of both employees and customers. Research also indicates that loyalty increases when employees have opportunities to demonstrate kindness in the workplace.

3. In recent years it has been increasingly important for consumers to support brands that are trustworthy and authentic. Why do you think this is?

[In 2020], there is a huge shift is underway, led by millennials and further elevated by Gen Z.

More than 60% of younger consumers closely consider a company’s ethical values and authenticity before buying their products, says Accenture research.

Especially given the current situation — pandemic, political divisiveness, climate change — we are refocusing and re-evaluating what truly matters.

4. How can one remain competitive in the workplace while maintaining kindness? 

It’s not a matter of ‘remaining competitive’ despite kindness. You need to be kind to succeed. 

Kindness can benefit your business in many ways. For example it: 
  • makes your product or service soar and resonate with your consumer
  • gets the best work out of your team, at every level, and 
  • fuels creativity and a competitive advantage.

5. How can marketers integrate kindness into their marketing strategies and campaigns? 

We’re seeing an explosion of kindness from all different angles. Offering support and soothing is great. [But] doing that and then uplifting those who really need a hand is better.

For example, Chipotle offered hangouts early in the pandemic — just for companionship and support, not to sell anything. The company also offered a twist on BOGO; instead of Buy One, Get One Free, if you bought one, they’d donate one of the same meals to frontline workers.

Additionally, Ben and Jerry’s are superstars at this. As the ‘Black Lives Matters’ movement took off, they created the ‘Justice Remixed’ flavour that is educating and activating consumers on criminal justice reform.

Glossier beauty brand also used funds to create a fairer and, therefore, kinder world. It donated $500 000 to organisations fighting racial injustice, and another $500 000 in the form of grants to Black-owned beauty businesses.

Marketers, do you think being kind will benefit you in your industry? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below.

Well, you’ve made it this far. Why not sign up for our newsletter while you’re here?

Want to learn more about the ethics of marketing? Then be sure to check out our article all about Ethical marketing: Five brands who got it right