Let’s get straight to the point: If your brand supports diversity and inclusion, it takes advantage of many opportunities. Not only are you missing out on the chance to make the world more respectful, but also money. You also miss out on money and business.
Before I get to the data, imagine a few scenarios. Think about yourself as a customer: Would you purchase a product that didn’t consider you? You don’t think it represents your needs, or can you not imagine how to gain value amongst your peers?
Think as a marketing or salesperson. Why do you think that your persona, target, or whatever would buy from you if they don’t feel comfortable talking to you, that you can assist them, and that you are concerned about their problems?
Conversations are the heart of marketing. But throughout history, the conversation has been aimed at a specific group of people: married whites with two children who are straight and have a good car. I’m talking about standards. One crucial marketing tool was the advertisement. It focused on empowering standards.
The “perfect family” in the Coca-Cola Christmas commercial, the TV fitness model who says you’d buy anything she sells just to be “beautiful,” the cleaning products that are advertised by submissive women dedicated to caring for their children, home, husbands, etc.
Advertisements aren’t the same as people, and they don’t recognize themselves.
Try to look at the ads with modern eyes. These ads are all about treating people equally, regardless of gender or lifestyle. People are unique in their characteristics and desires. If you think our publicists and marketers have evolved, I would like to share some bad news.
, a Meta study found that 54% of people don’t think they are represented in ads. Even in 2022, sexism will persist: women are 14x more likely to appear in ads wearing revealing clothing. People with disabilities and LGBTQIAP+ members are almost non-existent: only 1.1% and 0.3%, respectively.
We see this problem in other media. According to a report from the World Economic Forum, only 18% (out of the massive gaming industry) of the games launched in 2020 will feature female characters. And only 4.2% will have them as the protagonists. The number was even lower for people of color: only 3%.
According to the same study, streaming technology is changing the landscape in the movie industry. The entire industry has, on average, a 28% underrepresented group of protagonists. Netflix has a much higher number: 36%. Even Netflix needs help to resolve this.
The Company conducted a study of content released between 2018 and 2019. The leading characters were the same for both males and women, but there was only one nonbinary character in the same situation. Plus: Netflix has a lot of work to do regarding the LGBTQIAP+ and people with disabilities communities: the representation in all films and series released during the period is only ten percent.
Your brand should reflect the personality of your customers.
Soon I will discuss the benefits of empowering diversity and inclusivity in society. As a marketer, you may think: “Ok, but I have to sell.” You’re paid for it.” This is one of the reasons why you should investigate this further.
According to the US Census, by 2042, more than half the American population will belong to some underrepresented group. You can think of the word “minorities.” Together, they will make up the majority. You may not get the desired results by presenting your customers as straight white married couples with two children.
A Google study revealed that 69% of Black consumers would prefer to purchase from a brand that represents them. The LGBTQIAP+ community is even more significant: 71%.
Meta, another big tech company, researched Facebook’s advertisements. In 90% of the cases, diversity advertisements performed better than traditional ads that have been in use since the last century. Do you want to know more? According to the same Meta study, 71% of customers expect brands to commit to ad diversity.
Adobe has also released a new study that confirms the opposite. Over one-third (35%) of US adults say they will stop supporting brands if they do not represent their values. This percentage is higher among LGBTQIA (58%), Black (53%), and Latinos (40%).
Make a Difference in the World
We are now going to discuss the best part. As we have seen, having a purpose for your brand will help you sell more. The beauty of inclusion and diversity begs the question: Why don’t you use your brand to make the world a better place to live for everyone?
The impact is real. Procter & Gamble conducted research in the US among non-LGBTQIAP+ individuals. 80% of respondents who had been exposed to queer individuals in the media support equal rights for LGBTQIAP+ people.
Plus: the media exposure increased their comfort level with having an LGBTQIAP+ family member (72%), as opposed to those who had not been exposed (66%).
For 80% of them, brands need to include LGBTQIAP+ individuals in their ads to empower the community.