Change of heart for many U.S. businesses

“Young people don’t want to just make money. They want to make a difference”. These words come from Daniel Lubetzky, CEO of KIND Healthy Snacks. His ten year old snack company claims to have made both economic and social impact. Lubetzky was born in Mexico to a father who was a Holocaust survivor. He says that his father’s suffering is the moving force behind his company, whose core mission is to “build bridges between people”. This comes in light of a sociological change that is being seen amongst many United States companies. This movement is beginning to bring the importance of kind deeds to focus. Specifically one audience is paying particular close attention, the Millennials, who are a trailblazing and groundbreaking group of 95 million Americans born between the years 1982 and 2004. As most know, those of us that are a part of this generation are social media fiends. We live and breathe Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Nevertheless, we consider doing the right thing to be chief not chic. For example, the gay marriage hearing before the Supreme Court taking place in Washington on the 26th and 27th, the equality symbol that has become synonymous with these trials is all over the major social media platforms. With this being said, good deeds do not go unnoticed, they are promoted. Companies are taking notice of awareness that Americans have when kindness has been shown. Co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s, Ben Cohen says, “Companies can’t hide anymore. If everything you’re doing is seen it is human nature to do things that people would approve of”. His company is known for supporting environmental and sustainability causes in addition to donating a chunk of its profit to charity. U.S. businesses are beginning to do less bad and more good. Moreover they are satisfied with being seen as a “Do-gooder” in society rather than only for their economic success. While some firms are starting from the ground level others are making kindness a company goal. “Kindness can’t be a corporate tactic that’s buried in the marketing department”, says Ron Shaich, Founder of Panera Bread. They have taken a huge company-wide step by opening five “Panera Cares” restaurants in the past 18 months after Shaich watched a news segment about a Denver entrepreneur who planned to open a café where diners paid only what they could afford. He duplicated this idea by opening these branch restaurants where customers are not required to pay for their food, it is completely free. However there are suggested donation prices on the menu. Nevertheless, while some donate their time others are willing to pay more than the suggested prices which has led this venture to be quite successful. The profits are primarily used to jobtrain at-risk kids. In addition, Starbucks has been at it for more than seven years with their community store that operates in Harlem and donates a portion of its profits to local charities. They have recently opened similar stores in Houston and Los Angeles. By 2018 they plan to operate 50 of them. Unfortunately there is a unsuccessful case. Nordstrom has been helping others with their retail store, Treasure & Bond, whose profits and some of its sales receipts go to charity. They opened with three purposes: to test the New York market, where Nordstrom has no department stores; to test unconventional merchandise that would not normally appear in their stores; and to give back to their community. Unfortunately they have been operating in the red for the majority of its operation. Despite this setback they will continue to operate for as long as possible. There are also changes being seen in how companies market themselves. Global power Coca Cola ran Super Bowl ads that displayed kind acts such as security cameras catching dropped wallets being returned. This is on behalf of supporting kind acts to become a bigger part of Coke’s marketing, says Cristina Bondolowski, vice president of global brands. Bayer aspirin has also joined Coke by promoting a television ad for its Aleve brand where a man suffers back pain while helping at a soup kitchen. Barton Warner, vice president of marketing at Bayer says, “We’re just reflecting back to our consumers what they’re already doing”. These sociological changes that are occurring, and occurring more frequently, offer a ray of hope for our future. A ray that includes a society that accepts difference, displays unity, and promotes kindness.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

*