I got the chance recently to hear the story from founder and CEO Daniel Lubetzky of how KIND snacks came to be and how the brand uses acts of kindness as the centerpiece for a cross-channel campaign with the #kindawesome hashtag.
As a social entrepreneur with a busy travel schedule, Lubetzky was frustrated he could never find a healthy snack at train stations and airports. So he went about creating something that could taste good while also being good for you.
Inspiration for the company name KIND came, in part, from the stories Lubetzky’s father told about his years from age 12.5 to 15 spent in a concentration camp during the Holocaust. The various acts of kindness he received from people — including the occasional food treat from a soldier — are what kept his spirits up and helped him survive the experience.
It’s important not to apply filters to the creative process when you first set out to do something, Lubetzky told the audience at BRITE 16, put on by the Columbia Business School Global Center on Brand Leadership
Lubetzky also wanted to build bridges between people and inspire acts of kindness. His goal with KIND was to make a company that would have a social impact and be economically successful by celebrating kindness and finding a way to increase kindness in society while making a product that’s both tasty and filled with nutritional ingredients.
The #kindawesome campaign, which has a new companion Web site aims to authentically inspire acts of kindness while raising awareness of the product’s social mission.
Every person on the 600-member KIND team carries physical #kindawesome cards to spontaneously celebrate a kind act. Say someone cedes a cab to someone else, feeds an expiring parking meter or carries groceries up somebody’s stairs. The card is an on-the-moment acknowledgment and provides a code good for two KIND bars, as well as a digital recognition.
So not only is KIND putting two KIND bars in the hands of a kind person, it also includes a #kindawesome card in the package so that the recipient can, in turn, acknowledge someone else and keep the kindness flowing.
The new Web site explains the program and also serves as the redemption center for #kindawesome codes.
On the kindsnacks.com Web site, providing an email address for company updates gets you a 15% product discount. Once registered, visitors can upload causes they care about — ranging from cleaning up a beach to helping kids who have suffered from sexual abuse — and also pledge kind acts of their own. This triggers a financial contribution or offer of advisory work, etc.
KIND also carries its brand to the streets with branded vehicles and conducts sponsored blogger programs with popular community sites such as Life of Dad.
Correction: A reference to “Danielisms,” which were mischaracterized in an earlier version of this story, has been removed.