Marketers rushing to cloak brands in social causes might want to chat with Daniel Lubetzky. The Mexico-born son of a Holocaust survivor has dedicated most of his career to cause marketing, whether it's forming business partnerships between Israelis and Arabs to find "profits and peace" or launching Kind Healthy Snacks, whose mission is to inspire "unexpected acts of kindness."
But for a man whose ventures are about doing good, he is surprisingly bearish on the concept as a revenue driver. "I don't think social purpose is what drives our company's growth," he said about the Kind brand of snack bars. "And in most cases for real sustainable brands, that's not what drives sales or long-term success. The product has to stand on its own merits and it has to be the best product in its category."
The 10-year-old, Manhattan-based Kind has grown retail distribution from 1,000 doors in 2004 to 80,000 doors this year, according to company statistics, appearing in outlets such as Starbucks and Walmart. Competing with behemoths like General Mills and Kellogg Co., privately owned Kind claims sales of more than $125 million last year, double its 2011 revenue.