As companies realise the importance of communicating with customers in a more human way, an interesting trend has emerged: Random Acts of Kindness (R.A.K.).
The consumer trends website trendwatching.com reported earlier this year that consumers are "disgusted with big, arrogant, sloppy and out of touch institutions" and that they increasingly want to see the human side of brands.
As a result, trendwatching.com predicts a rise in R.A.K., as companies find new ways to surprise and delight their customers and demonstrate that they are also human.
The website says that R.A.K. can help companies to connect with people "craving 'human' brands who show not generosity, but acts of compassion, humanity, or even just some personality."
So what does this mean for business communications?
We think that as well as people wanting to see more human brands (a trend we’re especially pleased about), it also means that the days of stiff, corporate language are coming to an end.
Brands that will stand out are those able to treat their customers and staff as real people, and communicate with them in the same way.
So the opportunity for businesses now is to start demonstrating this human side, and ensure that all your messages are clear, engaging and relevant for your audience.
And if you're thinking about delivering your own R.A.K., trendwatching advises that these should be consistent with your brand, and should be genuine acts of kindness, not "self-serving corporate marketing stunts". You have been warned...