Diversity, equity and inclusion, DEI, has become a crucial and transformative reality in the workplace and in our society. Many employers are embracing DEI and have made changes to their recruitment and hiring processes.
DEI helps these processes seek out a diverse pool of candidates for job opportunities inside and outside the company to establish a diverse and inclusive workplace with equal opportunity and a diverse leadership team where they feel they belong.
Wanting the workforce to have a strong sense of belonging that positively impacts their happiness and engagement, which in turn increases their productivity and the likelihood of staying longer in the organization.
An IED strategy is vital to creating and maintaining a successful workplace; one based on the principle that all people can thrive personally and professionally.
While the pandemic has closed doors for many businesses, it has opened a window to a more connected consciousness and new, higher conversations than just talking about sales, products, services and margins.
This moment of forced pause has changed the strategic focus for many companies and individuals.
For problems that have been occurring in society for generations, this seems to be a time to align challenges and problems, unfinished business with new action.
Extremes in politics, polarization in the midst of a global health crisis, new social demands and a crack in a model that seeks to evolve have generated a formula for change.
Over the past few months, news coverage of inclusion and equality has grown exponentially.
Society is mobilized, sometimes restless, sometimes dissatisfied, many times indignant, even worried.
The crisis has increased the commitment and sensitivity of customers and consumers and those beliefs and values have become increasingly important for where, what, how and from whom to buy.
There are causes that for many consumers are a safe harbor in an uncertain and complex world.
Is there a connection between DEI and branding and marketing?
Being inclusive in advertising is not only socially and morally correct, it’s also good for a brand’s return on investment (ROI). According to Kantar’s Global MONITOR data, 65% of consumers consider it important that the companies they buy from actively promote diversity and inclusion in their own business or in society as a whole.
While DEI helps shape business cultures to be more diverse, equitable and fair, inclusive multicultural marketing aims to grow the business by investing in research and strategic initiatives to authentically market to multicultural audiences.
Consumers don’t want brands to strive to be more inclusive solely for advertising purposes.
Multicultural marketing is a niche within marketing that grows a brand’s marketing objectives within a clearly defined ethnic/racial audience, such as Hispanic, African American, Asian American, LGBTQ+ or even BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) and non multicultural segments as well. LGBTQ+ or even BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) and non-multicultural segments as well. This automatically forces this team to be intentional about knowing the motivations, aspirations and purchase drivers of this target audience for the brand’s product or service.
Brands and places to shop and recreate are bounded by consumers’ own principles and are seen by them as a reflection of their values.
Values that reflect environmental, sociological, psychographic, geographic and even lifestyle concerns. These are increasingly defined by the how almost as much as the what of the purchases.
But if that experience becomes impersonal, or faked, trying to be all things to all people, or simply following a wave without believing in its essence, the brand or the place is left outside that border.
This is the moment, and this is where mission-based businesses can thrive.
According to Kantar, 7 out of 10 consumers globally believe that diversity of ideas is necessary for a country to progress and 6 out of 10 think that the brands they buy need to act to make society fairer and more inclusive.
Driven by a mission, believing in a purpose, embracing the ethics and spirit of the brand are an important part of a long-term vision.
Diversity, equity and inclusion, DEI, and value platforms for companies are no longer simply based on consumer desire, but are now also an investment mandate.
Important issues such as climate change and social justice will be a central part of all decision-making.
In addition, more internal mandates around culture will become increasingly important in recruiting and retaining talent.
In an honest, committed, genuine way, and not just for a good press release.
Will we see a shift in the way brands are measured based on change and human experiences?
All these tectonic shifts have opened us up to new ideas. Brands must re-evaluate what success looks like from just a year ago. Given all these demands and perspectives, it would be unrealistic to think that we would move from metrics-based measurement directly to value-based measurement.
Indeed, there will be a transition. Still, we must all ask ourselves, how do we bring change to our organizations? Now is not the time to try to solve all the challenges forever. Now is the time to test and evaluate. This will be a year of new ideas and experimentation.
Many of the most influential brands are addressing the issue in an honest and transparent way. Assuming that it is necessary to develop strategic plans that focus not only on advertising, but in all areas of the business, so that the commitment is embodied in concrete actions that promote a company that contributes to a more diverse and inclusive society.
Diversity is where everyone is invited to the party.
Fairness means that everyone can contribute to the playlist
Inclusion is when everyone has the opportunity to dance.
Let’s imagine you’re on the planning committee for this party with the overall goal of increasing ticket sales. Think about some of the questions you may have had to address as a committee before sending out invitations.
We always go back to the beginning: the brief
Good questions almost always bring good answers. And above all clarity about what, how, when, why and for whom.
What is the objective of this event?
Why do we do it?
Why should people want to come to the event?
Are there different motivations for different attendees?
What is the desired outcome of the event?
Should the event have a theme? If so, what kind of topics should be considered that will be of interest to everyone we invite?
How to promote our event?
What channels should we activate to promote this event and target guests where they consume content?
Who do we want at the event to represent our company culture and meet our objective?
Should we have more than one event for different audiences?
Who do we need to be represented to make sure the playlist is diverse and satisfies all of our guests?
How can we increase sales among communities that reflect the values of our company that we want to showcase?
A positive change
Inclusive brands influence people’s buying decisions
Many consumers change their perspective of a brand when it speaks (and more importantly, acts) openly about diversity.
Employees, customers and users are no longer satisfied with a superficial treatment of these issues and demand that companies make greater efforts to represent all sectors of society. Representation is not only seen as positive in terms of reputation, but also has a key impact on purchasing decisions.
In recent years we have witnessed old and new lawsuits. Old and new causes. Of new and old threats. All, as in bartering, on the chessboard of the “new normality”.
Gender equality, global warming, the fight against corruption, sustainability, fake news, populism, greater social commitment, social movements, nationalism, poverty, political scandals, to name a few. And of course inequality, injustice and exclusion.
DEI may not sound new, but it’s its time, and that’s what makes it relevant in these times of shifting paradigms where everything changes, but the essentials remain basic.