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KIND balances product and purpose

News, 24 May 2016

NEW YORK: KIND, the snacks manufacturer, believes the quality of its products is more important to most shoppers than its underlying brand purpose, which is based around recognising everyday acts of altruism and generosity.

Daniel Lubetzky, KIND's Founder/CEO, discussed this subject at BRITE '16, a conference held by the Columbia Business School's Center on Global Brand Leadership.

"Ninety-nine percent of the people that have tried KIND bars – or maybe 90% – don't even know about our social mission," he said. (For more, including further details of the brand's strategy, read Warc's exclusive report: KIND balances products with purpose.)

"Maybe we shifted the pendulum too much on the other side, but it's by design that we lead with our product and our trade spend."

KIND's snacks and granola bars are filled with ingredients like whole nuts, fruits and grains – natural specialities in a competitive set that has traditionally skewed towards artificial elements and sugar.

Alongside selling hundreds of millions of bars each year, the company has extended its winning formula across an expanding product portfolio.

"The reason you guys buy products is because they are delicious and tasty and healthful" said Lubetzky. "I really think we need to be careful about assuming that because you have a social mission that suddenly things work."

"The fundamentals have to be there, and they will really will drive the business. And any time we advance our social mission, it only helps us, because it does lend more to the value proposition and what consumers want.

"But any time we focus on inspiring kindness, when we ask surveys or we look at data, it's not what drives our sales."

KIND's purpose is embodied by letting people reward others they see displaying acts of kindness with free bars via a dedicated website, and asking consumers to pick which causes and individuals epitomising this ethos receive funds from the brand.

More broadly, this idea galvanises the organisation's employees, and provides a unique filter through which to develop its strategy. "It drives our passion and our energy," Lubetzky said.

Data sourced from Warc