In the face of fierce competition and ever-changing consumer expectations, brands are looking for ways to stand out from the crowd.
While traditional variables such as price, quality and innovation remain paramount, there's a growing recognition that promoting inclusivity can be a powerful differentiator for a brand. It is also an issue that resonates with the 25-35 age group.
Inclusivity not only aligns with evolving societal values but also has the potential to enhance a brand's reputation, foster customer loyalty, and drive business growth.
Inclusivity, at its core, is the practice of creating an environment where all individuals, regardless of their background, identity, or abilities, feel valued, respected, and included. In the context of branding, it means extending this principle to the way a brand interacts with its customers, employees, and stakeholders.
1. Reflecting Society: As society becomes increasingly diverse, and aware about DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion); brands that fail to embrace inclusivity risk alienating a significant portion of their potential customer base. An inclusive brand recognizes the importance of acknowledging and celebrating the rich tapestry of human differences.
2. Building Trust: Inclusivity is closely tied to trust. When a brand is genuinely inclusive, it demonstrates a commitment to treating all individuals fairly. This fosters trust among customers, who are more likely to support and recommend brands they trust.
3. Attracting Diverse Talent: To thrive in today's global marketplace, brands must attract diverse talent. Inclusive branding can make your company an attractive destination for a wide range of employees, bringing in fresh perspectives and ideas.
4. Enhancing Innovation: Diverse teams are often more innovative. By promoting inclusivity, you encourage diversity of thought and experience, leading to creative solutions and a competitive edge in your industry.
5. Mitigating Risk: Failing to embrace inclusivity can lead to reputational damage, especially in the age of social media. One misstep can go viral, harming your brand's image. Being proactive about inclusivity can help mitigate such risks.
Several brands have successfully differentiated themselves by promoting inclusivity:
Nike: The sportswear giant's "Dream Crazier" campaign featuring female athletes broke barriers and promoted gender equality in sports, resonating with a wide audience.
Ben & Jerry's: This ice cream brand consistently uses its platform to advocate for social justice issues, from climate change to racial equality, aligning itself with values that many of its customers hold dear.
Microsoft: Microsoft's commitment to accessibility and its range of inclusive technology products have positioned the company as a leader in the field, while also making technology more accessible to individuals with disabilities.
Note: Brands should truly imbibe inclusivity and be sincere. As consumers are becoming increasingly discerning, they can quickly spot insincerity.
Approximately 2.3 million young people are now joining our population as new customers each year.
These 'mini-millennials' regularly challenge common stereotypes and use their presence to support or reject a brand's diversity and inclusion efforts.
Over the past two years, they have also become more willing to buy from inclusive brands on a regular basis. Sometimes they even go out of their way to buy from them. Even if they have never done so before!
From sexual orientation to gender, race to ability, consumers now want to see themselves represented by brands in an honest way.
So a brand's ability to be inclusive now has a massive impact on consumer sentiment and purchasing behavior.
Inclusivity is no longer an optional add-on for brands; it's a crucial differentiating factor that can determine long-term success. Brands that make inclusivity a core value and integrate it into every aspect of their business will not only resonate with a wider customer base but also contribute positively to society.
Making your digital footprint accessible is an important aspect of achieving digital inclusivity. Wally can help you here.
Using Wally, you can make all the content produced by every single member of your organization accessible (be it text, images or videos).
Additionally, Wally also makes your website/app truly accessible. Enabling it to be experienced by all equally, be it on any device (desktop, laptop, mobile).
Ultimately, the promotion of inclusivity is a win-win strategy that fosters trust, drives loyalty, and sets your brand apart in an increasingly competitive marketplace.