The world is getting bigger. The internet overlays reality like a net and opens up every country to the next. But as a direct result, people are pulling closer together and creating a sense of community even in the wide open space of the business world.
Twitter, Facebook, and other such social networking sites are helping people keep track of each other on a daily basis. But companies are getting their share, too, as they keep track of their fans and followers and get a peek into buying behaviour from their interests – not to mention the things they say!
But there is the ulterior motive – the buying behaviour that helps them determines what customers want, hope for and expect. And, of course, how to get into their customers’ good books!
Companies have launched Random Acts of Kindness as part of their campaigns to build a closer rapport with their customers. Flowers on a bad day, or even tailored gifts based on previous posts on Facebook, Twitter, or similar sites help to make customers feel special and cared-for, and to build a brand loyalty that simply can’t be beaten.
Random Acts of Kindness are part of Generation G – for Generosity. Consumer trends that focus more on giving than on taking. As people become more socially aware – arguably also facilitated by the sharing that goes on via social networking sites, and the wider availability of news and insights into others’ lives brought about by the internet – companies are forced to follow or risk alienation from their precious customers.
But all of this makes it sound very cold and business-driven. While, of course, this trend finds its roots in a capitalist desire to make more sales and make more money, companies are finding it less of a drag and more of an uplifting way to do business.
Companies that have adopted the Random Acts of Kindness approach have reported more employee satisfaction and less despondency. Making people’s day is an enjoyable part of the job and indirectly makes their day, too!
So while this is of course the circle coming around – the snake of capitalism biting its own tail of generosity, as it were – it seems to be reinstating the idea that generosity truly is an amazing way to go about life and that giving is better than receiving.
Words to live by? Certainly words to give a bit of thought to in light of our consumer-driven society!