By now, most people have tried, or at least heard of, Kind snacks. Their products are carried in major retailers, gas stations and health food stores nationwide. I’m such a fan of their healthy, granola bars that I eat them at least three times a week, and even more than I care to admit some weeks. But, even as a huge fan of the brand, I only found out about one of their cool initiatives the other day.

I logged on to my email and sitting in my Inbox was an email with the subject “Valerie sent you a KIND snack.”

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As the typical, skeptical, American consumer, I didn’t really believe that I would get a free snack, no strings attached (which turns out to be partially true…) so I decided to investigate the #kindawesome initiative. What I found is that the company is really trying to make “kindness a state of mind.” The way that this initiative works is as follows:

Step 1: Spot Someone Being Kind

Step 2: Send that person a #kindawesome card

Step 3: The person redeems their snack and receives another card to pass on

Step 4: That card is passed on and the cycle repeats

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The company even has a blog with great stories about people who are living the Kind lifestyle.

So, satisfied that this was not some sort of scam, and bolstered by the fact that the email from Valerie included a personal note describing why she sent me the Kind card, I decided to click on the “Get My Snack” button.

Now, again, maybe this is the jaded American consumer part of me talking, but it was here that I realized, “Yes, the company is doing something great for society, but are they really doing it for free? No, of course not.” Staring me in the face was an entire form where I had to fill out my name, mailing address, phone number and email address. With all of that data, the company has unlimited revenue options. They have exact data about who their customers are, where they live and exactly how to reach them. This type of detailed information can have a huge impact on the bottom line. With this completely voluntary, opt-in data, the company can even sell it to a third party generating an entirely new revenue stream.

It’s a brilliant way to get access to extremely granular customer data that customers would normally refrain from providing. The #kindawesome cause is an admirable one with a killer business model; the company gives you a free snack, and you’re personally contacted by a friend, who is complimenting you for being kind! Who is going to say no to that?

So, yes, I did enter my personal information into the form to get my Kind bar. I forfeited my privacy for a free snack and the feel good piece of joining a worthy cause. I’d say their campaign is working out exactly the way that they planned it – a win-win. Society wins with the kindness and scholarships given back to those who need them, customers win with free snacks and a connection to friends and Kind definitely wins with the ability to reach new customers and gain huge amounts of data.

Well done, Kind, well done!

By: Sarah Wright