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20 Amazing Startups of the Year 2022

‘To Thnks, the future looks like adding more smiles to the world’: Brendan Kamm, Co-Founder and CEO of Thnks


A  habit of gratitude in the workplace as the norm could help blossom great relationships. In fact, gratitude can help build better relationships with your clients and improve sales. Headquartered in Franklin, Tennessee, Thnks began its journey in 2016 with Brendan Kamm (Co-Founder and CEO) and Larry Rubin (Founder and Executive Chairman). Thnks was established to enable sharing gestures of appreciation with the support of technology, program analytics, and compliance adherence, producing better client relationships, happier teams, better business outcomes, and more engagement.

Thnks is a digital gratitude platform that empowers business professionals to build better relationships by sharing personalized and compliance-adhering gestures of appreciation. With Thnks, professionals can send anything from our curated catalog of options- like a cup of coffee, a box of cookies, or even a rideshare on a rainy day to clients and peers. Through the company’s mobile and browser apps, a habit of thoughtfulness and gratitude is created as a part of the workday, making it easy to strengthen client relationships, engage sales prospects, and appreciate employees.

We recently interviewed Brendan Kamm, Co-Founder and CEO of Thnks, to know more about the things that drive Thnks as an Amazing StartUp. In the interview, he talked about the core values that power the company and more. Read on for excerpts from the interview.

Q. A startup is defined by its core values. What are your company’s core values and how did they help you to succeed?

At Thnks, our core values are the backbone of everything we do.

  • Always say “Thnks” - we believe we must practice what we preach, and that means showing gratitude in everything we do.
  • “Practice extreme ownership” - this means to hold yourself accountable to drive better results.
  • “Show respect”- When contacting peers, clients, or prospects, always show genuine respect and graciousness for them.
  • “Challenge Convention” - At Thnks, we are constantly thinking of new ways to problem solve and think outside the box.
  • “Be thoughtful” - Be intentional and put thought into everyday tasks in order to ensure you’ve taken an approach that includes gratitude and empathy.

These values have helped Thnks succeed by prioritizing going the extra mile, and putting genuine effort and gratitude into practice every day.

Q. Tell us about your content development. What are the factors that will contribute to the engagement level?

Our content development is centered around giving our existing and prospective clients innovative ideas on how to use Thnks most effectively. We focus on getting our users to think outside the box, explore our platform to find the most personalized Thnks, and how to use gratitude as a highly effective sales and marketing tool. Most importantly though, we want our clients to use Thnks to build lasting relationships.


Q. A well-strategized relationship building strategy will help the company build trust with consumers, potential clients and customers. How do you create a roadmap/ campaign that will meet the clients’ demand?

At Thnks, we want our clients to use the platform as a strategic tool for building lasting relationships. We make sure they have a step-by-step tutorial once enrolled on our platform and also provide gratitude guides, new product announcements, and constant suggestions of innovative ways to say Thnks. Our platform is simple and easy to adopt and make part of a client’s daily work day. The key to building long-lasting relationships is small, frequent, and thoughtful gestures, which is what the Thnks platform makes possible.

Q. A startup may or may not function as expected. It takes everything to stand out and compete in the business world, was it the same for your company?

Thnks is the first-of-its-kind to reinvent the vision of corporate giving by changing branded swag and self-promotion to a personalized experience for the receiver. Relationships are built out of feeling appreciated and thought of. Instead of another branded mug that a client doesn’t need, they should get something that will help them get through the work week or enjoy time with their family- something personal, thoughtful and relevant. This is what makes us stand out against the competition. Thnks is rooted in genuine thoughtfulness and gratitude. Our platform is continuously evolving by curating more categories and innovating to give users the best experience possible.

Q. Any Company, big or small must have the sense of authenticity and originality to succeed. What do you want to be, a leader or a follower?

At Thnks, our goal is to always be leaders in our field when it comes to encouraging others to spread gratitude in business. As the workforce goes more and more virtual, we strive to cut through the digital noise and give people ways to build human connections. As a company, we live out our mission to “always say thnks” and that starts with practicing what we preach. That means we incorporate gratitude at every level of our business, whether it’s showing gratitude to our clients for their business, sending a Thnks (for any number of reasons), or taking time as a company to have fun or give back to our community.

Q. The biggest challenge a startup may face is ‘adaptability,’ how do you stay relevant to the consumer interests and needs in a highly volatile market?

Thnks is constantly finding ways to make our platform more accessible and efficient. We recently launched an app on the Salesforce AppExchange. This gives users tangible data on the Thnks they send directly in their Salesforce account. We also launched the ThnkQ Score, which is a way to gamify giving Thnks. This feature gives sales teams a leaderboard, and gives individuals a score by the quality and how well they personalize the Thnks they send. Providing innovations to our users to boost engagement is the key to staying relevant in a volatile market.

Q. What does the future hold for your company and its customers? Are exciting things on the way?

The future of Thnks is to continue to spread our message of showing gratitude in all aspects of life. We believe this mission is not only improving people's professional relationships, but research shows that giving and receiving gratitude has lasting effects on people's mood and outlook on life. To Thnks, the future looks like adding more smiles to the world. We look to the future as going beyond an app by developing a relationship building system in business that is rooted in gratitude and appreciation.


Brendan Kamm, Co-Founder and CEO

Brendan is responsible for all day-to-day operations, including Thnks' strategic vision, while advancing the platform's tech capabilities and partner integrations. A media and technology veteran who spent more than 17 years focused on sales, Brendan was frustrated with the lack of gratitude he saw in business and how relationships were suffering as a result. He knew there had to be a better, more scalable, way to help people show appreciation and establish stronger connections using the incredible technological tools that are available to us today. He co-founded Thnks to bridge this gap.

"At Thnks, we want our clients to use the platform as a strategic tool for building lasting relationships."