In today’s world, consumers are bombarded by countless advertisements on a daily basis. Consumers are now looking for more out of these advertisements than just sale prices. The younger generation, ages 18-25, are also interested to see if a brand supports diversity and inclusion. Because of this, brands are also increasing their focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as well.
Consumers today want to support brands that represent them as well as their values. Many organizations that have made DEI efforts a core priority also recognize that it’s just as important to feature representation in front of the camera as it is behind the scenes.
There are several ways companies can accomplish this.
One way is to ensure your teams and suppliers reflect your market. Teams—both internal and external—that closely reflect the markets they serve can reduce the cultural and demographic distance between the brand and the consumers they aspire to reach.
Companies can also utilize diverse voices for the organization. As companies are often continually researching their changing customer base, they should use those findings to continuously monitor and bring the needs of underrepresented communities to their organization—and feature those voices and faces in campaigns.
Most importantly, ensure your commitments are measurable. Often times, organizational leaders state that improving diversity is a goal that they are working towards – and a year or more goes by and they have made no progress. There should be specific goals companies are trying to reach including representation at all levels of the organization. Ultimately, no amount of messaging can help a brand overcome the hurdle of being labeled disingenuous. One way to solve for this is to make sure your DEI goals are not just checking a box but creating real, measurable outcomes including leadership representation.
I will leave you with an interesting statistic that helps validate the impact of diversity in marketing. According to the Deloitte 2022 Marketing Trends Report, high-growth brands (defined as those with annual revenue increase of 10% or more) are more frequently establishing key performance metrics for DEI objectives than their lower-growth competitors. How are your DEI actions measuring up?