Inclusivity and diversity have become vital to companies wishing to build a safe and cohesive workplace. Additionally, it is also helpful for contemporary marketing strategies. Not only does it showcase a desire to grow from an ethical and community-driven perspective, but it also helps develop the credibility of your brand as a whole. Each company has an opportunity to seize these and other added benefits to business growth.
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Brands and businesses embracing diversity and inclusivity have a more robust public image, better customer retention, and higher employee engagement rates.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the US population is more racially and ethnically diverse than ten years ago, and the diversity is projected to grow even more in the coming years. By considering diversity as a key focus in your brand identity, you can create more inclusiveness while also experiencing increased market growth, profits, and customer loyalty.
4 Ways Inclusive Values Empower Your Company's Image and Identity
Inclusivity and diversity are integral to marketing because they help consumers see themselves aligned with your brand. This resonance is essential for establishing an emotional connection.
Values are fundamental to the modern customer, which means an opportunity for your brand to use tools for connecting and building deeper and more meaningful relationships. Let’s take a closer look at four ways inclusive values can empower your business from the inside out:
1. Connects values to reality.
With more and more of the US population as multicultural, shaping your brand in a way that appeals to a wider demographic of races, cultures, and ethnicities is not only the more empathic thing to do, but it also matches the reality of our wonderfully diverse society today.
When people belonging to minority or marginalized groups can relate to your brand identity or campaign, it helps them feel heard and seen. This experience increases their loyalty to your brand and fosters a greater sense of community within your audience as a whole.
In 2019, Gillette did a fantastic job connecting with its transgender audience by releasing an ad campaign featuring young trans men shaving for the first time. In doing so, they highlighted a portion of their audience that other brands in the grooming category had not considered, thus showing solidarity with the trans community and expanding their client base. The campaign was a raging success, both culturally and financially.
2. Improves employee engagement and retention
If you want to know about a brand’s strength, sometimes you have to look internally. Consumers care more about employee experiences than ever before, with brand strategies like employee advocacy taking center stage.
But there’s a good reason why consumers—your customers—trust people before they trust businesses. And taking an inclusive approach to brand identity has been shown to have a powerfully positive effect on employee engagement. In fact, most employees agree that diversity plays a role in retention.
3. Customers are more likely to recommend you.
By embracing inclusivity and diversity, your brand can develop a more open-minded and empathic image. And considering how important those values are to modern consumers, it should come as no surprise that they can help spread the word about your brand.
Sixty-two percent of consumers are likelier to purchase or recommend a brand with strong, inclusive, or diverse values. It helps them understand your brand’s ethics and motivates them to trust you on an emotional level.
Don’t underestimate the power of word-of-mouth marketing. If a consumer trusts you, they can act as an organic lead that grows your client base and fortifies a positive brand image.
4. Appeals to current and future generations.
Another good way to measure a brand’s strength is to look at how sustainable its identity is for future generations. You might be popular now, but how might things change a few years down the line when Millennials and Gen Z dominate the workplace and global purchasing trends and power?
To obtain sustainable public approval, your brand needs to develop a shrewd understanding of its target audience and subsequent needs.
Millennials and Gen Z are both generations that prioritize brands with ethical principles, values, and stances on social and political matters. By defining your values as inclusive and open-minded, you can appeal to the growing mass of consumers today and tomorrow.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, prioritizing diversity and inclusion is first and foremost about equality. And in taking a stand for fairness, your company shows customers that you care about their sense of safety and belonging.
It also shows that you have principles and empathy and understand what your audience needs right now. Values help shape your brand in a more empathic, positive, and sustainable way.