It’s 2022 and no longer is it enough for brands to just say they’re committed to inclusivity, they must live and breathe it. Inclusive marketing resonates with, and reflects all kinds of, audiences and underrepresented groups. It removes any potential exclusions and embraces real people in the real world.
Although we’re talking about 2022 trends in this blog series, inclusive marketing shouldn’t come under the bracket of ‘ground-breaking’ or ‘innovative’, it should just be the norm.
Every single consumer wants to feel truly understood and represented, which is why inclusion is key to any marketing strategy. According to a recent media study by GLAAD LGBTQ, a huge 82% of people believe marketing efforts to promote LGBTQ+ representation is reflective of brands valuing all forms of diversity and inclusion.
Beauty brands such as Essie are leading the way with diversity and inclusion, making Jonathon Van Ness, Queer Eye star, its first male ambassador in 2021 – targeting the LGBTQ+ audience as well as males who want to express themselves with beauty products.
The Heat Test Report shows that while 94% of brands involved women in a primary role, almost half of the roles were stereotypical, for example, an empathetic mother, a devoted wife, or a boy-focused girl. It’s fair to say that while women are given prominent representation in ads, the portrayals can often be heavily rooted in stereotypical gender roles or expectations.
In Nike’s advert ‘The Toughest Athletes’, the brand strives to remind mothers-to-be and women in general that they are strong enduring athletes, combating stereotypes of being “delicate” and “gentle”. Serena Williams provides the voiceover, emphasising Nike’s support of goals of all ages, races, genders, and walks of life, by giving them the tools they need to succeed and be confident in the world of sports.
Even though one in four people live with a disability, only 1% of ads are representative of this according to the Heat Test Report. Online retailer giant ASOS is contributing to this with campaigns, such as launching a wheelchair-friendly jumpsuit and using models with disabilities. ASOS is a particularly good example of bringing a positive change in society and modelling in general, further setting an example to all retailers to include everyone in advertising and marketing strategies.
So, what does this mean for your business in 2022?
Here are a few Nifty ways of incorporating inclusivity into your strategy:
- Pay attention to the visuals by using diverse imagery in a natural, non-stereotypical way
- Celebrate different awareness days (with cultural intelligence of course!)
- Introduce accessible marketing wherever possible to eliminate any barriers for your brand
Inclusive marketing will continue to be a learning process for all businesses, but one thing is for sure, evolving how we think creates more possibilities for our marketing strategies, enables us to reach more consumers and bring about a deeper engagement with all people.