A diverse population and global marketplace have made diversity and inclusion (D&I) essential components of a company’s brand:
Understand who you are communicating your brand to, and what is important to them. Consider the values and interests of employees, customers, suppliers, and prospective talent. Be authentic: today companies are held accountable and expected to practice what they preach.
A diverse population and global marketplace have made diversity and inclusion (D&I) essential
components of a company’s brand:
• Over 80% of leaders acknowledge that employer branding has a significant impact on their ability to hire talent.
• 50% of candidates won’t consider working for a company with a bad employer brand, no matter how high the salary offer.
• 56% of professionals said a company’s reputation was the most important factor to consider when contemplating a job offer.
• The majority of consumers feel executives should take a stand on social issues, and 44% of them will purchase more from brands who do.
Understand who you are communicating your brand to, and what is important to them. Consider the values and interests of employees, customers, suppliers, and prospective talent. Be authentic: today companies are held accountable and expected to practice what they preach!
• In 40% of US households, women are the primary breadwinner; 66% of millennial women earn the same or more than their partner or spouse
• Black buying power increased 86% since 2000 to currently account for $1 trillion buying power
• Black buying power is predicted to increase to $1.3 trillion in 2017
• In 2015, Hispanics controlled $1.3 trillion in US buying power
• Projections estimate Hispanic buying power to be $1.7 trillion by 2020
• The LGBTQ community has one of the highest discretionary income pools of any diverse demographic in the US population
• In 2017, LGBTQ consumer buying power exceeded $917 billion.
• The US Hispanic population is three times larger than the Asian American, but the Asian American population is growing at a faster rate overall
• In 2015, Asian Americans had an estimated buying power $825 billion
• Asian American annual buying power is expected to increase to $1.1 trillion by 2020
• In 2017, millennial spending power was estimated at $200 billion.
• Multicultural Millennials represent 42% of the Millennial population, spending more than $65 billion each year and influencing upward of $1 trillion in total consumer spending.
• Disabled Americans have $225 billion in discretionary spending power
• 32% of companies say they don’t have a clear employment brand strategy, but are working on it.
• 35% of companies have a clear brand strategy, but believe it needs further development to be truly effective; 38% of companies plan to increase their investment in this area.
• A Newscred survey found that more than 91% of U.S. marketers agree there is still room for growth in using more diverse images by marketers.
• As of 2016, only 37% of people featured in commercials were women, and 19% were minorities.
• 70% of black millennials say they are more likely to buy from a brand that takes a stand on race-related issues. Their motto: Don’t just reflect society—push it forward.
With the current state of our society, from both a cultural and political perspective, inclusivity and diversity are
consistently hot topics in the media.
The key to staying competitive lies in providing diversified content for diversified audiences, in a way that actually represents present-day society.
From marketing campaigns showcasing a diverse consumer base to physical representations of diversity instore or online, brands need to transform in step with society to maintain relevance in the marketplace.
Inclusivity in branding allows for all customers to see themselves in that brand. When a customer or, even more broadly, when a person feels respected, their affinity for the brand will build, and they will talk about it.
The more a brand can personally connect, build relationships and trust, and include all customers, the more they will differentiate themselves and push the boundaries in the marketplace.
82% of millennials identified an employer’s policy on diversity, equality and workforce inclusion as very important when deciding whether or not to work for an organization.
According to research from Glassdoor, 67% percent of job seekers said that a diverse workforce is an important factor to them when considering companies and job offers.
63% of millennial women and 45% of millennial men said their company’s ‘cause’ work influenced them to accept their job.
94% of people said they would apply for a job if the company actively manages their brand.
Content shared by employees receives 8Xs more engagement than content shared by brand channels. Brand messages reached 561% further when shared by employees.
Employees are 3Xs more trusted than the CEO when it comes to showcasing what its like to work at the
company. The average employee has a network of followers 10Xs larger than the company they work for.
Building a strong D&I brand requires executive sponsorship, cross-functional partnerships between HR, Marketing, Sales and other functions, and input from customers and employees. Here are a few key considerations:
• What is our D&I vision and what is its importance to our key internal and external stakeholders?
• How do our employees and customers feel about our D&I brand?
• What are the best channels we should use for messaging?
• Do we obtain ongoing feedback to ensure that our D&I branding is clear, compelling and authentic?
• Do different key “touch points” in both the employee lifecycle (such as recruiting, onboarding, development) and in the marketplace (relevant products, delivered effectively across the customer value chain), reinforce and strengthen our brand as a great place to work and do business with?
Weak employer brands can result in high employee turnover and unimpressive corporate reputation.
Brands that don’t incorporate elements of CSR and D&I risk alienating diverse communities and millennials who value these components.
Customers who don’t see a strong commitment to social causes and D&I will take their business elsewhere.
What are our values and beliefs?
These answers should form the bedrock of your brand.
A diverse workforce and inclusive culture have become central to employer brand and reputation and key to attracting new talent.
Employees are the face of the brand; involving them in spreading the word about the company through their social media networks can have widespread impact and will authentically resonate with prospective talent and consumers.
Leading companies are engaging key influencers in their organization and using them to dispatch company culture and values by telling their ‘story.’
Some companies create a unique hashtag that employees can use to post information about the company and their jobs on Instagram and Twitter.
Videos, blogs, photos, and employee testimonials provide insight into company culture and communicate what the company values and what it’s like to work there. It’s better to be truthful and authentic than slick.
Move away from traditional media to online advertising and an active social media presence. Establish interactive ways for customers and prospective talent to interact with your brand.
Consider creating a unique hashtag that employees can use to post information about the company and their jobs.
Tap into diverse communication mediums and alternative formats, for example Hispanic radio and Spanish formats.
Consider that Black millennials watch 73% more YouTube on mobile per person than the general population of the same age. Their mobile watch time has more than doubled on YouTube in the last two years.
Social media is a powerful platform for brand promotion and community outreach. These platforms are today’s virtual water coolers where employees hang out and swap stories and information.
Social media allows a constant flow of communication and outreach to target audiences. Employees, ERGs, and even company leaders can participate in threads and discussions, and post news, articles, and blogs.
Brand managers and D&I officers can collaborate to create content that highlights values, culture, and diversity.
According to a 2017 report by Wilson Human Capital Group, the following elements are what prospective employees are looking for on corporate websites and in social media when assessing a company’s brand:
Inclusion and diversity recruitment initiatives: Does the company specify how it fosters an inclusive environment in the workplace and ensures diversity in its recruitment processes?
Gender equality: Does the company mention how it addresses and ensures gender equality in its hiring processes?
Sustainability and green initiatives: Does the company mention any efforts that it’s making to support sustainability and green initiatives on its website?
Corporate ethics: Has the company publicly stated its organization-wide stance on corporate ethics? It may even list a code of ethics by which it abides.
Community outreach and employee volunteer days: How involved is the company in the community, and does it encourage employees to participate in volunteer days for charities and nonprofits?
Employee well-being: Like work-life balance, employee well-being refers to workers’ state of mind and mental and physical health. Does the company mention how it supports these qualities in its workforce?
Veteran recruitment initiatives: What does the company say about hiring veterans?