When one thinks of kindness, it conjures up images of puppy dogs and outstretched hands offering food to the needy. But is the act of kindness the exclusive domain of charity?
Of course not.
Kindness is an innate quality we all possess as humans. The problem is, it typically gets buried under layers of material conditioning as we navigate our way through the “hard knocks” of life. This is especially true in the financial sector, where business success is usually determined by a ruthless attitude, secret backroom deals, and manipulation of stock prices.
Wall Street and its “Wolves” are notorious for their cut-throat, “kill-or-be-killed”, “Never-say-die” mentality.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Take for example the popular marketing guru and social influencer, Gary Vaynerchuk, his entire shtick is built around being authentic and, you guessed it, kind!
As far as Gary V is concerned, being financially successful and kind are not mutually exclusive, they can co-exist and he is a living example of it.
But how can we all be like Gary?
According to a Forbes article, “While corporate philanthropy isn’t new, we’re in the middle of a do-good renaissance where brands give back,” wrote Nikki Carlson. There is no doubt that philanthropy increases brand loyalty when practiced genuinely, simply because giving back increases engagement and brand credibility by sharing your mission and purpose.
The days of fake promises, hype, and profit-driven marketing are numbered. Purpose-driven companies will lead us into the future.
According to a survey released by Markstein, “Seventy percent of consumers want to know what the brands they support are doing to address social and environmental issues and 46% pay close attention to a brand’s social responsibility efforts when they buy a product.
The two demographics pushing the need for brand integrity and corporate social responsibility are younger Millennials and Gen Z’s, whose entire school experience has been shaped by a global pandemic and feelings of hopelessness.
Add to that a broken political system, media fear-mongering, a fragile economic future, and broken supply chains, and you can understand why these generations are less than satisfied with the status quo.
More importantly, these are people inspired to change what they will not accept. And they are doing it on their own altruistic terms. They demand transparency in financial transactions. They wholeheartedly believe in aligning marketing with positive social impact, and they also want to see greater diversity and a more equitable world.
It goes without saying that they are also digitally savvy, and so it’s no surprise that they are the driving force behind the rise of blockchain technology and the adoption of cryptocurrency.
There is no doubt that traditional financial institutions and systems need to adapt or die.
An example of a traditional banking operation innovating to address this emerging market is Spiral bank — the giving bank. Spiral makes it mandatory for all account holders to allocate a percentage of their monthly income to a charitable cause and Spiral will match the contribution. In other words, they are not only moving with the market trend of “giving back” but making it super easy for their customers to do so. Charity is literally built into their technology.
Another innovator in this space is The Kindly Ecosystem (TKE). It prides itself on being the world’s first cryptocurrency ecosystem with measurable social impact. Their first offering is the Kindly coin which through the magic of smart contracts will also embed charitable giving to the tune of 2.5% of every transaction. However, each donation to their charity partners will come with a measurable social impact — a specific number of children or rescued animals will be fed, or a specific number of trees will be planted. Furthermore, each holder of the Kindly coin can vote on the social impact they prefer to make.
Kindly plans to release a number of essential financial products, each one embedded with measurable social impact, including a social impact marketplace, exchange, wallet, and debit card.
“Our mission is to make it easy for anyone to do un-random acts of kindness,” explains Paul Rodney Turner, the founder and chairman of the Singapore-based social enterprise. “Just by using a Kindly product, users will automatically make a measurable social impact. Our customers can track their social contributions in real-time and will be rewarded once they reach certain social impact milestones,” he explained.
It is innovators like Spiral and Kindly that will disrupt and eventually transform the financial sector as we know it, and young consumers are demanding such change.
Maybe instead of the “kill-or-be-killed” attitude of the past, we can expect to see more doing good as a fundamental component of business success!
#garyv #garyvaynerchuk #kindness