365 Days of Positive Power, a part of the larger Alpenliebe Kindness Movement, aims to inspire Chinese youth to actively live a life of kindness. Alpenliebe created a new infographic every day with a specific call to action, to inspire fans to spread positive power through acts of kindness.
Since 2011, MSLGROUP has helped Alpenliebe convert kindness into a shared purpose or social heartbeat, and catalyze a movement to inspire, organize and energize millions of Chinese youth to share, appreciate and engage in everyday acts of kindness. In 2011, an engaged community of 150,000+ members shared 151,000+ kindness stories and 3,270,000+ shares and comments across social networks, and the success of the campaign led to 330+ print articles and TV reports.
In 2012, the community grew to more than 600,000 members and engaged in 3.1 million shares and comments across social networks, making Alpenliebe the third most influential brand on Sina Weibo.
In the first year of the movement, Alpenliebe established the brand purpose “Sweeten China with Small Acts of Kindness.”
“You start by identifying a powerful idea on the rise in culture. You then join, fuel and add real tangible value to the idea through innovative marketing and social media. People who share the passion for the idea join the cause. And rally others to get involved too. And so, a movement is born, which smart brands can profit from.”
Alpenliebe created a series of kindness videos on Tudou and a TV series with its celebrity kindness ambassador, crowdsourced kindness stories on a Renren minisite, partnered with key opinion leaders, created conversations across the social web, organized kindness trips with non-profit partners, compiled the most inspiring stories into a kindness bible, and honored them on the world kindness day.
Year one also served as period of gathering insights. Alpenliebe tracked people’s interests, response to posts and preference of social actions, and used this knowledge to create the strategy for year two.
(See our People’s Insights weekly report on the Alpenliebe Kindness Movement)
Alpenliebe leveraged learning from Year 1 to select Sina Weibo as the primary platform for driving viral change, tailor a content strategy around the preferences of its community and identify super fans and grassroots influencers. The brand then focused on energizing people to participate regularly with daily compelling content and badges as rewards.
MSL China’s Owen Wang explained that the content plan incorporated both trending topics and relevant news to capture people’s attention, and specific call-to-actions to inspire action. The positive theme of the campaign also helped rally supoort:
“I think it’s the Daily call-to-action mechanism which encourages people to share kindness and love when the weibo environment (or even the overall on-line environment of China) is filled with negative message and complains.”
For instance, a single post from Alpenliebe inviting people to share photos of their smiles on World Smile Day inspired 1,000 people to participate.
“Participation requires infrastructure – and strategy”
To be successful, movements also require a base of energized and passionate people. Susannah Vila, co-founder of social advocacy think-tank the engine room, explains how to attract and manage influencers:
“To move others in your direction you have to understand them, work within their behavior instead of trying to change it, and adapt your tactics and messages to them. Figure out the types of people that will be most receptive to your campaign and get to know them. Then approach them where they are already getting and sharing information.”
Alpenliebe introduced badges to encourage social actions such as commenting, re-posting and responding to call-to-actions. Upon interacting with the 365 Days of Positive Power application, people would receive a badge on their Sina Weibo profile page.
Gamification elements like badges are an effective incentive, can be addicting and help maintain enthusiasm and participation over time – especially where there are a wide range of badges people can earn (see 4SquareBadges List and Nike+ Trophy Collection).
In our Future of Engagement essay on Behavior Change Games, we explain the role of incentives – like badges, points and prizes – in shaping actions:
“Incentives are effective in attracting first-time players, helping them get started and creating fun and excitement. After they are hooked and begin to successfully complete missions, players receive the ultimate incentive to keep playing – they see a change in their behavior and experience a sense of pride and self-empowerment.”
“We’re moving from a world where we plan campaigns for the future, to one where we adapt campaigns to the moment.”
Alpenliebe target fans’ passion and energy around popular interests like football and important events and news, creating content that inspires people to respond or share it on.
Real-time posts have higher chances of spreading across the social world, and sometimes reach more people and create more buzz than paid communications – a phenomenon we witnessed with Oreo’s tweet during the recent Super Bowl blackout in the U.S.
The Alpenliebe Kindness Movement is one of the best examples of purpose-inspired movement marketing from China because of how it inspired behavioral change in Chinese youth through a sustained integrated marketing program across three years.
The movement has also helped Alpenliebe increase sales and stand out in the crowded confectionery category. MSL China’s Owen Wang noted:
“Alpenliebe is regarded as a brand with strong sense of social responsibility on-line, according to our fans survey.”
“For brands, it’s never been easier to surprise and delight audiences; whether sending gifts, responding to publicly-expressed moods or just showing that they care. Via social networks, brands can now access consumers’ moods, intentions, desires or frustrations as they happen, and can therefore address them in a much more personalised and timely fashion.”
* MSLGROUP’s People’s Lab crowdsourcing platform and approach helps organizations tap into people’s insights for innovation, storytelling and change. The People’s Lab crowdsourcing platform also enables our distinctive insights and foresight approach, which consists of four elements: organic conversation analysis, MSLGROUP’s own insight communities, client-specific insights communities, and ethnographic deep dives into these communities.
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As an example, 100+ thinkers and planners within MSLGROUP share and discuss inspiring projects on corporate citizenship, crowdsourcing, storytelling and social data on the MSLGROUP Insights Network. Every week, we pick up one project and do a deep dive into conversations around it — on the MSLGROUP Insights Network itself but also on the broader social web — to distill insights and foresights. We share these insights and foresights with you on our People’s Insights blog and compile the best insights from the network and the blog in the People’s Lab Quarterly Magazine, as a showcase of our capabilities. We have synthesized the insights from 2012 to provide foresights for business leaders and changemakers — in the ten-part People’s Insights Annual Report titled Now & Next: Ten Frontiers for the Future of Engagement.
As you can imagine, we can bring the same innovative approach to help you distill insights and foresights from conversations and communities. To start a conversation on how we can help you win with insights and foresights, write to Pascal Beucler at firstname.lastname@example.org.