Ever felt you are out of place when you’re shopping online for clothes as you could not relate to the body type displayed on the screen? if yes, you are not the only one.
The other day we were planning to purchase some sportswear online and it hit again how the fashion industry has a long way to go before brands actually represent models of all shapes, races, and ages.
Not one model wearing leggings was bigger than a size 2!
So, how was it as a person who did not have an obvious thigh gap, assumed to know what a legging will look like on a body shape?
Happily, the word has not just given up on people who are not skinny. After changing the search term on Google, we managed to find various brands that displayed representation in models that did not seem high-fashioned and touched up.
The argument of fashion models’ lack of representation that is not skinny may sound shallow when there are a lot of other underrepresented communities that have to be ignored or not be aware of.
That’s why we need to determine the significance of inclusive marketing.
What is inclusive marketing?
Usually, people are confused about inclusion and diversity, and inclusive marketing that they are all the same, which is wrong. While diversity and inclusion refer to improving the inclusive culture in your workspace, inclusive marketing refers to what you do to decrease exclusion in your marketing efforts.
This is the HubSpot definition of inclusive marketing: “Inclusive marketing describes campaigns that embrace diversity by including people from different backgrounds or stories that unique audiences can relate to. While some inclusive campaigns make an effort to break stereotypes, others simply aim to reflect or embrace people in the real world.”
As per the consumer survey of 2019 by The Female Quotient and Google, it was uncovered that 64% of all defendants took an action after knowing the ad they considered to be inclusive or diverse. We are in 2020. So, brands showing inclusion and representation should not be estimated pathbreaking, it has to be the norm.
If you are a brand that struggles to understand inclusive marketing right, it’s easy, don’t worry. It is not as hard as you think. To get it right, you are going to need inspiration from brands that understand it right. And indeed, a few tips from us to assist you begin creating an inclusive marketing strategy.
Let’s dig deeper!
1. Do your homework on cultural intelligence
If your target customer group is who you have no contact with, in terms of their cultural ethnicity, identity, or major concerns, that you just have to submerge yourself in getting to know them. The shortage of cultural intelligence of your target audience is the key challenge in implementing an inclusive marketing campaign. To start this, you have to figure out how the world works from their perspective, what their weak points are, and how you will make their lives different.
The best thing is to make customers a priority in proper market research. To be committed to learning about your different audiences will take resources and time. Therefore, do not expect this task off your list by EOD. Keep in mind, half-baked understanding of your audience. To give you an example of a brand that did their homework, you have to check out Procter and Gamble’s “The Talk” campaign.
No need to be informed about the institutional racism Black people face in the current world. P&G’s “The Talk” will take you in a lot of hard closed-door conversations African American moms have with their kids of judgment and racism.
For instance, there is a scene where a mom tells her kid, “There are some people who think you don’t deserve the same privileges just because of what you look like. It’s not fair. It’s not.”
Then, there is a scene that a mom asks her child to come home just after practice and asks if he has the ID with him “in case they stop you”.
The campaign’s goal was to raise awareness about the effect of alignment that takes on a lot of forms and shapes across race, gender, weight, age, sexual orientation, and so on. The brand wanted to get these conversations to progress and light toward a less aligned future and end mothers’ need to have these conversations with their kids in the future.
2. Reflect the reality
Also, it’s interesting that a result from the Female Quotation and Google survey is that 69% of Black customers stated that they are more likely to buy from a brand that advertising reflects their ethnicity/race. This obviously tells us that consumers are expecting these days from brands to be inclusive and real in their advertising.
This should not come as a surprise actually, and especially as consumers now are very different and multicultural. To establish a liking between your target audience and your brand in a natural way, you have to reflect on the cultural values and beliefs of your customers.
For example, in Bumble’s case “Find Me On Bumble” campaign. What is more interesting about this campaign is that Bumble did not patronize other resources to be inclusive in their marketing work. Rather than that, they choose to outline a few of their Bumble users in real life for this campaign.
Currently, these are not high-fashioned and touched up unrealistic people or models. However, they are real users of the application. Smart!
The goal of the campaign is to celebrate different and inspiring users they saw in New York City. The company has put them all together to share life lessons and tell their real stories they have learned in the way.
There are some examples of their inspiring users in the Bumble video are a political effective and original, an author, an opera singer, an activist, and a model.
Therefore, what did Bumble actually achieve with this campaign?
So, if you may ask, Bumble only wanted to celebrate the life of some real-life users that are inspiring by the application and also show users the quality of their service or product.
Presently, we don’t know what do you think, yet we have had the distress of interacting with many unsatisfied people on dating applications that have made me ask the quality of the application and the users of the app.
However, when we saw this video where users with different cultures and backgrounds and inspiring stories were using the same product as we did, it restored our faith in dating applications that the product was of great quality after all.
For businesses that are aligned as Bumble, there is no better way to get the attention of your probability than showing great examples of how your products affect your exact customers.
3. Celebrate variety
News flash: like last year, one size fits all. People need bigger choice. People need to see real life. People want different cultures and variety.
To connect with your target audience from various parts of the world, you have to create campaigns that reflect various cultures and communities.
A good example of a brand celebrating variety is ThirdLove, the American company for lingerie that targets selling lingerie for everyone. or we may say every ‘body’
Also, ThirdLove is the first lingerie company to start releasing half-cup sizes for ladies who did not fit in the standard sizes. We wish they one day invent 32B ½.
You may say that from the get-go that the organization adopts inclusive marketing efforts. Then, ThirdLove’s social media platforms and the website you will find yourself obscured in photos of ladies in all shapes, races, and ages wearing the lingerie line of the company.
ThirdLove’s “To Each, Her Own” campaign pursued at reflecting ladies “in a way that felt grounded, relatable and universally understood”
Co-founder of ThirdLove, Heidi Zak, stated that: “We want women to look at our campaign and see themselves in the women depicted.”
So, that is just what we feel after watching the video below!
This video is unedited and so raw, it managed to capture the real-life of women in a beautiful way in their daily life. From a mom in her room nursing her baby to a woman in her 60s stretching on a yoga mat, it is difficult not to see yourself in the lady portrayed in the campaign’s photos.
4. Practice what you preach
You can not actually preach inclusion and diversity in your campaigns without applying a little bit of it in your own company, right?
Inclusive marketing is not a trend that you have to get behind only because brands are doing it. Keep in mind, it is not a trend, it’s a movement. Brands have to embrace this and learn more about what it stands for rather than doing it just for following the trend.
Begin with making changes internally.
For example, look at your present teams and think if there is diversity in your team that is enough to make them think out of the box when they brainstorm. Searching for inputs from your team of the same background and culture when your audience may be so authentic and valuable when they are planning your campaigns.
Microsoft is a great example for a company that uses inclusion and diversity like it requires regular self-respect as a major goal.
“We All Win” is a campaign by Microsoft that is so far one of the best inclusive marketing campaigns in this post. Microsoft realized that there was a great need for gaming controllers to understand the need for physically disabled gamers or who has limited mobility.
Microsoft’s Xbox Adaptive Controller launch that included touchpads rather than bright color and button for people who are visually impaired, destroyed the field, and made the chance to play video games for every user.
From adding people with inabilities in the product improvement team to making an inclusive and serious design, Microsoft’s “We All Win” campaign was, of course, a big win.
We are not very soothsayer to tell you that inclusive marketing is the next great trend to be aware of in 2021 as it is just not. Inclusive marketing is not a trend. Full stop.
Inclusive marketing for consumers has to begin with marketing teams with the goal of solving audience group problems and raising cultural awareness.
THIS IS THE GOAL!