Add diversity to your brand with integrity and honesty
In recent years we have heard more and more about diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the workplace. The words “diversity” and “inclusion” are similar, but they do not have exactly the same meaning.
VernÄ Myers, a well-known advocate for diversity, puts it this way: “Diversity is invited to the party. Inclusion is invited to dance.”
Inclusive brand marketing is similar to D&I, minus the HR department. It refers to how it represents people of diverse backgrounds in all forms of its advertising. That means considering factors such as:
Beyond making your customers feel represented, inclusive brand marketing can help you:
• Reach more potential customers
• Build loyalty and trust
• Drive engagement on social media and website
• Increase leads and sales
From your website to your Instagram feed, inclusive marketing can be an integral part of your marketing strategy, but only if you’re doing it authentically.
Let’s look at three ways to add diversity to your brand in an honest and approachable way.
1. Serve your target audience, not everyone.
Inclusive marketing is not about trying to find a stock photo with every possible demographic.
Instead, it’s about knowing your business inside and out, and making sure your target audience is well represented in your marketing campaigns.
Remember: your customers can tell the difference between a forced opt-in attempt and a genuine one.
And if they feel represented in a real way, they’ll probably be more motivated to support your small business. According to the 2019 consumer survey conducted by Google and The Female Quotient, 64% of all respondents took some action after seeing an ad that they felt was diverse or inclusive.
2. Stay true to your brand.
You may remember the Dove Real Beauty campaign. Her first ad featured a fresh-faced woman sitting down and having her hair and makeup done professionally before images of her were digitally enhanced and placed on a billboard.
Of course, it looked incredibly different from start to finish, with the idea that what we see in magazines, on TV and online is not reality.
Since then, Dove has built its marketing on this concept, using women of all backgrounds, shapes and sizes in its campaigns and promising not to digitally retouch images.
I’m not using this example because I want you to be like Dove. I want you to take a hard look at your business identity.
If you don’t sell plus size clothing, including a larger woman in your advertising will fail. If you sell plus size clothing, wearing a skinny model will alienate your customers.
Once again, it all comes down to having a deep understanding of who is interacting with your business.
READ: The Importance of Brand Messaging for a Successful Website Redesign
I’m sure you landed on someone’s website and felt that something was just…wrong; or maybe you were suddenly turned off without even knowing why.
Most likely, you quickly clicked back to find a competitor’s website, where you felt more comfortable and secure.
Your visitors might feel the same way if you don’t pay attention to how you come across to your target audience.
In this article, I’ll share 5 questions you need to answer to determine your business identity and create the most effective website possible.
Read more on our website.
3. Always be empathetic.
To reach your customers, you need to tell relatable stories, not just sell products or services.
Find out what the tastes, needs and pain points of your target customers are. How will your product or service make a difference in their lives?
Once you have an idea of what makes them tick, tell that story through empathetic marketing. Empathetic marketing means putting yourself in your customers’ shoes to serve them better.
And unlike sympathy, which is feeling compassion, empathy means imagining yourself in someone else’s situation.
Your audience wants their needs to be understood and recognized. And that goes beyond a multicultural stock photo.
Maybe it’s interviewing an expert who’s from the demographic you want to represent, or highlighting testimonials from real people who use your product or service.
How to add diversity to your brand every day
As marketers, we must continually evolve our strategy (or pivot entirely!) Going forward, that will need to include more inclusive marketing as well.
Your customers want to feel like you genuinely understand them. Increasingly, consumers interact with companies not just because they want to buy something, but because they share the beliefs and values of that brand.
So research your target audience. Dive deep into your data. Hear what your customers are saying, whether it’s online reviews or comments on social media.
Commit to trying to do better every day to help your customers believe on your brand!
For the success of your business,