Humanity owes a plethora of milestones to the internet especially; the far reaching dispersal of information which has made us conscious of the world’s fast paced transformation. Every imaginable piece of data is a few clicks away. Due to its endless benefits, it has become very advantageous to consumers. Extensive access and ease of use have made it the perfect tool for consumers to thrive upon.
It has given the consumers a platform which knows no national frontiers. Any individual can easily order a product online from any country of their choice and get it delivered to their doorstep. This has led to large scale digital promotion of the brands by the companies. The concept of brand loyalty has become a hot topic because of sheer rise in the number of mainstream brands.
A Facebook IQ study conducted by Michigan State University in 2016 stated that millennials are 1.75 times more likely to express their brand loyalty than the other generations. The same study showed that they are 2.4 times more likely to seek the information about the brands online and 77% of millennials always check the organizational culture of the organization before buying the product, which makes brand inclusion and diversity a matter of exigency.
Businesses these days are carefully scrutinized by the consumers and stakeholders, not only for products and services, but also the cultural and material/immaterial aspects of the brand are thoroughly assessed. This is the reason why the significance of brand diversity is on a constant rise. If effectively managed, the diversity can be a successful source of tangible benefits for the organization. Accordingly, European Union, a giant political-economic union, circulates the idea of cultural diversity amongst the member states as a strategic policy. EU launched a “Diversity Charter” in 2010, a platform that allows promoters of Charter to meet regularly and develop common mechanisms. Over 7100 companies, including NGOs, enterprises, and public bodies have signed up the charter.
Here is a list of what businesses should keep in mind while evaluating their brand inclusion:
- Evaluate major questions/objectives based on the cultural audit conducted at the cultural inspection at the inception
- Conduct/map the suitable level of diversity training assessment
- Use every tool/resource to observe and optimise the efficacy of this effort
Since, digital media is of such significance, it should be extensively utilised as well. The goal should be to align marketing and media endeavours towards digital strategies as millennials form a large part of the multicultural and diverse society. They are the ones to enthusiastically participate in the online product ratings. For instance, Pepsi Refresh and its online group of virtuous consumers united to change the world and while doing that, they forever rebranded the beverage for the coming generations. But even Pepsi failed to hit the mark with their recent diversity advertisement ‘Jump In’ featuring Kendall Jenner. The advertisement had to be recalled within 24 hours for trivialising “Black Lives Matter” movement among many other complaints.
While there are policies for workplace diversity and inclusion, similar policies are controversial to execute in social media. Pepsi’s recent failure highlights the importance of performing market research and understanding public sentiments. L’Oreal has seen a lot of success with their recent advertising strategy that is focused on diversity. The company has also changed their slogan from ‘Because you’re worth it’ to ‘We are all worth it’ for the rest of 2017. L’Oreal is seeing phenomenal growth with their new range of products that is inclusive of all skin types or ethnicities. Similarly, Airbnb is a brand that concentrates on creating a ‘world of belonging’ – their campaign is requesting Australians to support marriage equality bill.
Both campaigns deal with different topics of diversity, but the message is same to be inclusive of all people. Their effective diversity positioning and relevance to the products/ services offered is pushing towards societal changes.