Episode 52

Kind

What does it mean to be a brand?

One of the most critical barriers to success is understanding what a brand is and what a brand is NOT.  I get this question all the time. Let me tell you what a brand is NOT: A brand is NOT a name, logo, tag-line, package design or the product itself. I call these elements: Window-dressing your brand. A brand is simply an EMOTIONAL IDENTITY that differentiates products, services and people.

As a former marketing executive at global multi-billion dollar consumer products companies like Nabisco, Kraft Foods, Cadbury and Godiva, I successfully crafted emotional identities for some of the world’s most iconic brands. Over the course of 25 years, a frequent challenge I faced was communicating the role a brand played in consumer’s lives…in other words its Core Value. To solve this problem, I developed a process to label that brand’s Core Value using just ‘One Word’.  This helps consumers understand what they are actually buying. 

During this series, I will select a brand I worked on or studied and share it’s ‘One Word’ Core Value, as well as share valuable topics in the branding arena that will help you Stand-Out Conquer Obstacles and Reach Excellence…in other words, SCORE.

So let’s turn to today’s brand clip…Kind Snacks

Show Notes (click to expand)

If you know me well, then you know that I always say that to craft a winning brand, you must understand that people buy human connection. This means that as an entrepreneur, you must bring your personal brand to your business venture for the long term win. That’s how billion dollar brands are born!

In Episode 42 titled – Why a personal brand leads to a winning brand – I shared the formula for turning your personal brand into a revenue-driving brand, which is the following…… 

Your STORY + Your CORE VALUE + Your BUSINESS VENTURE = A WINNING BRAND

The bridge that connects “Your Story” with” Your Business Venture” is your ‘One Word’ core value…and the combination of “Your Story +Your Core Value” is your personal brand!

I think it’s fair to say most of us never think of the entrepreneurs’ personal brand behind the business ventures they create. Well there’s an amazing personal brand behind the Kind snacks you eat and I’m going to share the story and ’One Word’ core value of Daniel Lubetzky, their Founder and CEO, in this episode. Few entrepreneurs have been as successful at integrating their story and core value into their business venture as Daniel.

At Kind, the name says it all, a snack company on a mission to inspire KINDNESS with products ranging from bars to breakfast items, all made with wholesome ingredients. The company has sold two billion snack bars since its founding in 2004! Now that’s branding worth talking about.

Kind snacks are more than food, they’re about the combination of health and altruism. Lubetzky started Kind with the belief that KINDNESS should define both the products, which are intended to be kind to both bodies and taste buds, and its culture. Social consciousness is at the core of the company’s business strategy. They encourage its employees and customers to do the right thing by taking part in random acts of KINDNESS. For example, #kindawesome was a program that helped celebrate and inspire everyday acts of kindness. For every generous act recognized through the program, Kind celebrated that person with a snack bar and another #kindawesome card to pay it forward. By the company’s count, it has facilitated over 11 million acts of KINDNESS since 2004.

Daniel Lubetzky was born in Mexico City in 1968. His father was a Holocaust survivor and Mexican Jew. Against his mom’s objections, by the time Daniel was nine years old, his dad made him aware of the three years he had spent in the Dachau concentration camp. He had been nine years old when the Holocaust started and sixteen when he was liberated from Dachau by American soldiers . He always made sure to remind Daniel that the reason he survived was because of the KINDNESS of others. Throughout his torturous experience, there were people who showed that they honored the humanity of others and who took risks with their own lives to help his father survive. Daniel said that his dad was always very KIND to everybody, that was the way he lived.

Whenever Daniel traveled or had to skip a meal, he would very often be hungry but unable to find a healthy snack. This frustration became one of the motivations for Kind, to create products with nutritionally rich ingredients people could pronounce that would be easy to eat anywhere and travel with. Daniel launched Kind the year that his father passed away. As a direct result of his father’s holocaust journey, Lubetzky made it his life’s work to build a company that, at its core, inspired people to live a life of KINDNESS. 

Daniel makes it very clear to his employees that being KIND is not synonymous with weakness. 

“Some people think if you’re kind, you’re soft and you’re a pushover, but for us nothing could be further from the truth. It is very important to us that the people we hire are hungry and have a commitment to excellence and hard work, but that everything they do is done with KINDNESS.”
Daniel Lubetsky proves that companies can not only blend social enterprise and traditional business all in one, but they also can prioritize social goals alongside financial returns!

Building on Daniel’s experience launching Kind into a multi-billion-dollar global health and wellness brand, he created Equilibra, a personal investment platform that partners with entrepreneurs to help them grow successful businesses that generate real long-term value. 

Since Daniel believes in the power of business to improve society, Equilibra invests in brands that deliver innovative solutions to help people live and eat well. As a guest Shark on the hit show, Shark Tank, Daniel has walked the talk by putting his money into socially driven businesses, out-of-the-box ideas, and innovative food and Consumer Packaged Goods companies that are led by exceptional entrepreneurs making one-of-a-kind products. His past deals included Yellow Leaf, Quevos, Tandem Boogie and Fit Fighter.

If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s this:

Your product is NOT your brand.
Your brand is your Core Value…AND
You use your product as the vehicle to drive your Core Value.
Kind uses their snacks to drive their Core Value of KINDNESS.
So the next time you’re thinking about doing a random act of KINDNESS, purchase a Kind snack while you’re at it and remember this:

KINDNESS is how Kind SCORES

I’m Rich Keller, the CATALYST, and see you next time on The CATALYST Effect.

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