This post is sponsored by KIND.
KIND, led by Daniel Lubetzky, Founder and CEO, is on a mission to make the world a little kinder one snack and act at a time. Through the KIND Movement the company has inspired more than one million kind acts since 2004. A pioneering social entrepreneur working to build bridges between people through innovative models, Daniel is also the founder of PeaceWorks Inc., a business that fosters cooperative ventures among neighbors in the Middle East, and co-creator of Maiyet, a fashion brand that partners with artisans to promote entrepreneurship in developing economies.
Here he talks with SmartBrief about the #kindawesome program and how the company is integrating this into their mission.
Question: Can you explain #kindawesome? How has it evolved?
Daniel Lubetzky: Our #kindawesome program empowers people to celebrate acts of kindness happening around them. It’s one of our favorite ways to spread kindness. While this has always been our mission, the way we’ve brought it to life has changed over time.
In the early years of KIND, our team used to do kind acts for others and encourage them to pass it on. In 2008, we realized that our community could be challenged to join us in inspiring kindness. It was that same year that we first started using cards (we called them “black cards” at the time) to initiate chains of kindness. These cards worked differently than the current version of #kindawesome cards. Instead of spotting kind acts, the KIND team would do a kind act for someone, hand her a card, and then encourage her to pass on the kindness and the card to someone else. We began kind spotting with #kindawesome cards in 2013. Since then, KIND team members have been using #kindawesome cards to celebrate others doing kind acts. The recipients are then able to go online and input the code on their card to receive KIND snacks and another #kindawesome card to pay it forward.
Now, we are inviting everyone to become kind spotters. Beginning this World Kindness Day (November 13), we’re launching a new digital, shareable version of the cards.
Q: What are your plans for this program and what do you hope to accomplish?
DL: At KIND, we’re always seeking new and creative ways to make kindness a state of mind. Expanding the accessibility and scalability of the #kindawesome cards is one way we’re working toward achieving this goal. We hope the cards help people recognize everyday moments of kindness in their own lives.
In addition to hopefully bringing kindness to the forefront of more people’s minds, #kindawesome also introduces people to our products in a unique and memorable way. It advances our social and business objectives at once, and is thereby a beautiful manifestation of what we call the “AND philosophy.” At its core, the AND philosophy is about challenging false compromises and thinking creatively to achieve seemingly incompatible goals simultaneously.
Q: Do you see this type of initiative as part of a larger industry trend?
DL: Increasingly brands are looking for new ways to connect with consumers on a deeper level. I certainly have noticed over the last decade more companies and organizations being drawn to the concept of paying it forward, and to the importance of kindness and empathy as values to build on. To some extent, it feels like this is the “cool” thing for brands to do as a seasonal campaign. For KIND, however, kindness isn’t a marketing campaign; rather, it’s what gives us meaning and purpose. Kindness is cooked into our DNA and will always be our central mission as long as we exist. We think kindness can be a transformative force for social impact, and we’ve really just scratched the surface in terms of what we can do and achieve. Our vision is to make KIND more than just a responsible company or set of products that people love and trust. We want to transcend all of that, and make KIND a Movement and kindness a state of mind. We are starting to execute on this aspiration with this next step on World Kindness Day, and hope to make more progress toward making it a reality over the coming months and beyond.