Why generosity is key to any social business

FRANk Media_Generous 6 Generosity. Wikipedia defines it as the habit of giving freely without expecting anything in return […]”

It is a desirable character trait in a person but you hardly come across generous brands. I think these times may be changing.   As social media and social business redefine how brands and its customers interact, we see more and more generosity from brands. Giving back to consumers and adding value to their lives is BIG in social business- in fact it is the key to a successful social business.

But what do brands gain exactly by being generous? Well, let’s have a look at this fine example of generosity (aka random act of kindness) from Denmark:

Anthon Berg, a chocolatier in Denmark recently opened a pop up store for one day only selling its chocolate. The twist: you can’t buy the chocolate with money. Customers could only get their hands on the delicious chocolate by promising a good deed to a loved one. Suggestions for good deeds were attached to all chocolate boxes and people could “buy” the chocolate by promising to serve breakfast to your loved one, don’t talk behind your friends back for a month, etc. Thousands visited the store that day and happily queued to get into this innovative pop up store.

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Customers who “bought” chocolate recorded their keeping their promise on Facebook and also the recipient of the good deed was selected via Facebook. Customers later posted their loved ones fulfilling their promise on the Anthon Berg Facebook page and thanked the brand for the yummy chocolate.  This kept the buzz around the brand going for a long time after the store had shut.

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So what’s in it for Anthon Berg? How does generosity pay off for a brand?  The pop up store generated a lot of buzz internationally with heaps of blogs picking up the campaign. From a PR perspective, it could not have been better. If you looked at some hard metrics such as brand awareness, brand sentiment as well as sales, I’m sure Anthon Berg saw some rather impressive results.

Trendwatching, the leading independent trend firm for consumer trends, agrees with brands’ generosity. It says that “for consumers long used to (and annoyed by) distant, inflexible and self-serving corporations, any acts of kindness by brands will be gratefully received. For brands, increasingly open communications both with and between consumers (especially online), means that it’s never been easier to surprise and delight audiences with R.A.K.: whether sending gifts, responding to publicly expressed moods or just showing that they care”.

So next time your customers needs you to be a bit generous, just do it. It can pay off big time!

P.S.: another generous brand is Red Balloon- watch the video to find out how generosity is part of the brand values:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXKMGjbjhoY&feature=youtu.be[/youtube]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXKMGjbjhoY&feature=youtu.be

 

Sources: http://www.psfk.com/2012/03/buy-chocolate-with-good-deeds.html and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cNfX3tJonw&feature=youtu.be

 

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