How do diversity and inclusion impact the customer experience?

Amidst a wave of struggles to expand civil rights for diverse minorities, -with the LGBTI+ community at the forefront of the movement-, companies, brands, and marketers are challenged to make the best decisions to connect with their audiences.

There are many benefits to inclusive marketing, but what are the implications?

A Not-so-new Story

Let us remember this scenario of struggle and vindication of rights that we have already lived through in the 60s. Anti-war movements and, above all, efforts to end racial segregation -with a strong epicenter in the southern United States- influenced the entire society, including marketing. For the first time, socially uncomfortable questions had to be asked, particularly: Do we recognize or make minorities invisible? When we represent minorities, do we do so from a proper perspective, or do we let ourselves be carried away by stereotypes?

These are the same questions we have been forced to ask ourselves in recent years. Baby Boomers believe that valuable brands should only fulfill their primary purpose, Generation Z thinks brands should be helpful to society. Inclusion and sustainability are topics under constant observation.

A Forbes article reports that some studies show that 58% of consumers in the United States have stopped supporting a brand because they do not perceive they support the causes of communities such as LGBTQ+. According to 85% of consumers, ads that include members of these minorities demonstrate the brand’s commitment to all customers.

Diversity Builds Human Connection Through Empathy

To be good at customer experience, brands must know their customers. Today’s brands need to do much more than saying that inclusivity matters. 

Empty gestures like using the month of June, which celebrates diversity, to “dress up” the logo or brand image with colors of the LGBTI+ flag are worthless. These actions may even annoy those who feel it lacks honesty and substance.

Inclusive marketing shouldn’t be just a tactic to pander to audiences. Instead, listen to those you’re trying to reach, and don’t assume everyone within a specific demographic feels the same way, wants the same things or has equal means to achieve their goals.

Values Versus Trends

Studies estimate that 61% of consumers believe diversity in advertising and marketing is important. However: what happens when brands and companies adopt this approach?

Beyond the relevance of social debates in a given era, brands have a discourse that starts from their values. Consumers aren’t just buying your product, they’re buying your brand values. The consistency of these values gives credibility to all communication. Inclusive marketing can help you deliver those values to more audiences.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Brands. Why?

  • 57% of consumers are more loyal to brands that commit to addressing social inequities in their actions. Source: Deloitte Insights
  • 64% of consumers took some action after seeing an ad they considered to be diverse or inclusive.  Source: Google and The Female Quotient
  • 94% of Generation Z expects companies to take a stand on important social issues. Source: Deloitte Insights
  • 90% say they are more willing to purchase products they deem beneficial to society. Source: Deloitte Insights
  • 69% of African American consumers said they are more likely to purchase from a brand whose advertising positively reflects their race or ethnicity. Source: Google and The Female Quotient
  • 71% of LGBTQ+ consumers were more likely to interact with an ad that authentically represents their sexual orientation and identity. Source: Google and The Female Quotient