IT’S COOL TO BE KIND
Today’s young people talk about kindness
A few months ago, the Cassandra Daily shared how young people redefined the word “kindness” in 2020. Throughout all the cultural chaos, acts of kindness by family, friends, and brands have helped to build connection and comfort. Since kindness is a key concept for today’s Millennials and Gen Zs, we are sharing Part II of this series with you. Read below to learn who young adults admire for their kindness, which brands they feel are most kind, and ways in which brands can show more kindness towards young consumers.
We asked Gen Zs and Millennials to tell us about who they admire for their kindness and why. Whether family members or online influencers, young people look up to those who are generous, communicative, and compassionate. Even as young people age, they appreciate the little things.
- “My parents and grandparents are most kind and supportive. They give me confidence to do things in life.” - Victor, 15, IL
- “I admire my mother a lot. She's a strong woman that's been through a lot, but has still been kind.” - Danita, 19, PA
- “I admire someone I watch online as someone who's very kind. I don't know them personally, of course, but they're very down to earth and are always thankful for the things their viewers do for them. They talk with their viewers fairly regularly and the community is very nice.” - Melissa, 22, FL
- “I admire my husband because he has a heart of gold and is the sweetest person I've ever met. I'm lucky enough to call him my husband.” - Daphne, 34, CA
- “[I admire] my Mom. Anytime she sees me, she provides me with some of my favorite types of food or candy. She knows and remembers what I enjoy and what I love.” - Robert, 29, WI
TODAY’S YOUNG PEOPLE DESCRIBE THE MOST KIND BRANDS
We asked young adults which brands they felt were most kind. While some young adults believe that brand kindness is a self-serving act to gain profit, others felt that brands have a right and role to be kind to help heal a hurting society. From small businesses to major corporations, young people felt the most kind brands were those that show compassion for their customers, communities, and the planet.
- “Brands that are the most kind are the ones that do things for the community.” - Miranda, 24, CA
- “Amazon and Dunkin’ [are kind brands]. They truly are so supportive, helpful and appreciate [young peoples’] loyalty.” - Stephanie, 33, NJ
- “Brands that recycle and donate profits [to charity] are kind. For example, certain brands who recycle their excess material, or waste are helping the environment.” - Lance, 14, FL
- “I think that most ‘kind’ brands are smaller brands because they need to be nicer in order to get sales. Large corporations don't need to be kind because they'll get business regardless, but small businesses tend to, overall, be nicer. For example, an indie game I play called Stardew Valley costs $15 but gets free updates to this day, even though the game came out four years ago now. The developer could have upped the price or charged for DLC but he didn't.” - Melissa, 22, FL
- “I don’t think brands can be kind. It’s just not in the spirit of capitalism.” - Danita, 19, PA
YOUNG PEOPLE SUGGEST WAYS THAT BRANDS CAN SHOW KINDNESS
We spoke with young people who shared various ways in which brands can exhibit more kindness towards today’s young people. Young people want to hear brands talk about the tough topics, help marginalized communities, and see their stories reflected in brand content, marketing, and messaging. Young people also ask that brands just value and speak kindly to their customers.
- [Brands can be kind] by paying [their young employees] more! If you really respect someone, you'll pay them for what they're worth and give them decent benefits instead of short changing them with low wages and fewer hours to not give them benefits.” - Melissa, 22, FL
- “[Brands can show kindness to young people today by] talking about social issues.” - Shane, 29, TX
- “[Brands can show kindness to young people today] just by listening to us, resolving issues when we buy things from them, and supporting local charities.” - Victor, 15, IL
- “ [Brands can show kindness to young people today by] not being so rude.” - Nicole, 27, PA
- “Brands can show kindness towards young people by letting [young people] have a say in what they want. For example, a shoe brand can provide a website to have ideas and concepts made up by community input.” - Lance, 14, FL