Empathy in Marketing: Building Brands on Kindness

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Empathy in Marketing: Building Brands on Kindness


"I believe that every person or brand has a set of values that are inherently kind."

- Tenaz Shanice Cardoz


Marketing at times gets dominated by metrics. Yet there's a growing movement towards a more empathetic approach. At the forefront of this movement is Tenaz Shanice Cardoz, founder of Kind Hearts Brigade and a marketing and communications strategist whose work is centered on kindness and empathy.

As Tenaz eloquently puts it, "I believe that every person or brand has a set of values that are inherently kind." With over eight years of experience in marketing across diverse industries, including EdTech, Maritime, Recruitment, and FemTech, Cardoz is on a mission to make the world a kinder place, one brand at a time.

At the heart of Tenaz's philosophy is the conviction that decisions based on kindness are not only morally right but also productive and profitable. In a world where many firms prioritize the bottom line over the user experience, Cardoz advocates for empathy-driven messaging and branding. She questions, "While it makes business sense to keep calling a customer until they accept your deal, how does that sit with you morally? Are you comfortable causing discomfort?"

Through her social impact venture, Kind Hearts Brigade, Tenaz is actively spreading kindness in the world. From hosting workshops on empathy and kindness to curating mini cohorts and empowering people to be kinder, her initiatives are making a tangible difference. One notable example is the 'Ignite Kind Conversations' game, which prompts individuals to say kind things about their loved ones and fosters a culture of kindness and empathy.

In today's hyperconnected world, where consumers seek authenticity and connection, prioritizing kindness in marketing strategies is not just a moral imperative but also a strategic advantage. Tenaz believes that success in marketing can be measured by how often customers connect with or talk about a brand. Brands that resonate with consumers on an emotional level, by incorporating empathy and kindness into their messaging, are more likely to inspire loyalty and drive long-term success.

As Tenaz continues to champion kindness in marketing, she invites others to join her in this transformative journey. Whether it's through marketing consultation, sharing cool marketing ideas, or collaborating on initiatives to promote kindness, she is committed to building brands on kindness and making the world a better place, one empathetic message at a time.

Know more about her thoughts in this exclusive interview. 

HB: Can you share with us your journey towards becoming a Marketing & Communications Strategist with a focus on kindness and empathy?

TSC: Thank you for asking! I got into marketing because I absolutely loved ads, and I also love interacting with consumers. There’s something about creating something that delights readers/viewers. I started my career in 2014, where I worked in the marketing departments of multiple companies across different industries. It was here that I learned, along with my personal revelation, the importance of kindness in communication - whether it be within your department, towards stakeholders, or with peers. Through this, I ventured into becoming an independent consultant where I helped many strong founders and CXOs enhance their personal brand and portray kindness while sticking with their values.

HB: What inspired you to incorporate empathy-driven messaging and branding into your work?

TSC: I noticed that many firms were bottom-line focused and not user-focused. They were more worried about closing sales than concerned about how the user feels. While it makes business sense to keep calling a customer until they accept your deal, how does that sit with you morally? Are you comfortable causing discomfort? This is why I work with people who push towards ethical and kind messaging.

HB: Could you elaborate on the concept of "kind values" and how you integrate them into the brands you work with?

TSC: I believe that every person or brand has a set of values that are inherently kind. There are different ways that your values can guide your decisions. For example, if your value is gratitude, then as a brand, you are unafraid to thank your customers and your teams. Through this, you also offer more rewards as a token of your gratitude. This sense of gratitude must come up in every communication. For example, if a lifestyle brand values gratitude, they would talk about how good the product makes them feel, and perhaps use a lot of ‘thank yous’ across.

HB: In your opinion, how does prioritizing kindness in marketing strategies contribute to business success?

TSC: In my opinion, success can be measured by how often your customers connect with or talk about you. People inherently value kindness, as it makes them feel a sense of longing. Any ad that uses empathy in their messaging is sure to inspire people not only to be kinder themselves but also to align with the brand.

HB: Could you tell us more about your social impact venture, Kind Hearts Brigade, and its mission to spread kindness in the world?

TSC: I started Kind Hearts Brigade at the beginning of the pandemic, where I saw both a lot and very little kindness. I was uncomfortable with how people spoke to each other, the kinds of tweets people posted, the life-threatening actions they would do. I wanted people to be kinder to each other. And in a (maybe delusional) way, I wanted to step up and be the one to help people be kinder.

Over the years, I’ve been going through research to understand why people act the way they do, and how people can be nudged to be kinder. I’ve developed physical & digital products, games, workshops, and programs that empower and enable people to be kinder. One such physical game is the ‘Ignite Kind Connections’, which has 35 questions that prompt you to say a kind thing about a loved one. Not only does this encourage and affirm saying kind things out loud to a person, but it also fosters a habit that allows people to be kinder more often.

There are more such things that enable people to be kinder. 


Connect with Tenaz through the following links:

More Ways to Spread Kindness

Do you know a person, business, organisation, or initiative that embodies the pure virtue of kindness, compassion, altruism, or empathy? If yes, nominate for the Universal Kindness Awards.

Click here to know more.

Click here for fee-free nominations or to become an awards sponsor now. 

Pre-order the Ukindness magazine digital edition and make a difference one edition at a time. Click here.

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