It is a known fact that brands have long held generalised images for their target demographics concerning age, income and social standing. Then what happens when your consumer base steps out of these specific categories? The answer is stereotyping. A stereotype dictates a set of expectations that you should have from a group of people about their behaviour and appearance. Several brands today use such baseless presumptions to sell to their target audience, which often results in a vain and borderline offensive attempt at marketing.
What you, as an inclusive brand, must engage in is breaking free from these unnecessary notions. Since digital marketing is constantly evolving to meet the ever-changing requirements of consumers, marketers must now resort to inclusive content. Everything from discussing mental health issues to treating people equally across genders, sexual orientations, races and cultures is included in inclusive content creation. Inclusivity for a brand’s content should also include people with different or partial abilities, language barriers, etc. Holding an inclusive brand image is more of a need-of-the-hour practice than a mere strategy.
So, a question that most present-day businesses ask is, “how do we market ourselves as a diverse brand?” The answer to that lies within the ideology of that brand. If you are someone with a truly global vision then everything from your marketing strategy, right to the design on the packing of your product must be all-encompassing. For instance, your current-day customers would be more likely to relate to your product if the models in your ads resemble the appearance of the average individual instead of some model with desirable physical features.
In 2018, singer Rihanna launched Savage X Fenty, a body-inclusive fashion show that featured models with various body shapes, genders, and racial backgrounds. It was successful because of its inclusive nature that reached out to a market that may have previously been excluded from the lingerie industry. It resonated with the thought process of the audience at the most basic level and became a preference.
Becoming an inclusive brand involves reaching out to your core, reevaluating your brand and rebuilding it. While that sounds like a lot of work it's the only way to not be left behind. As choices increase, consumers look at a lot more than just quality and price; they notice the way a brand makes them feel which makes it all the more crucial to curate content that can be consumed by all spheres of consumers.
If your firm has a website, then regardless of your target audience it becomes your responsibility to ensure that it can be read by those with vision impairments and learning disabilities as inclusivity goes beyond its own stereotyped definition. It is crucial to monitor the style of language you use as your writing is the soul of what you create, and it shouldn’t come off as indirectly offensive or culturally inaccurate as it won't bode well for your brand. Simple things like avoiding gender-specific words and connotations with negative historical implications can go a long way in ensuring that your content appeals to a broader range of audiences.
A thought to abide by is that each individual coming across any content you create deserves to be welcomed as inclusivity is and always will be the hallmark of a truly progressive society. Understanding this and adapting it to the best effect will only guarantee growth for those involved.