CRM has been using Random Acts of Kindness (RAOK) for years to help build brand affinity, loyalty and advocacy. But traditionally it’s always been delivered on a one-to-one level either to reward the most valuable customers or to prevent attrition from high risk defectors. The best outcome in those days was that the recipient would remain loyal and sing the brand’s praises with a few mates down the pub! But now that we live in a more connected society there are infinitely more opportunities for these Random Acts of Kindness to reach a far wider audience. Nowadays you can cherry pick a few unsuspecting customers, offer some form of surprise and delight, document it and then amplify this by publishing or seeding this content in various social media platforms. The net effect is that a mass audience can see that you care about your customers and that the brand has a human side which can only do wonders to your brand equity.
The best example of this I can think of is Coke with their Happiness Vending Machine (see below) but if you want more inspiration then you must read this latest Trendwatching briefing. Not only does it highlight the growing importance of this trend but it also provides some useful and imaginative examples of how different brands have tried to apply it.