In today's world, brands are no longer a mere extension of the products or services they sell. Instead, they are integral parts of our everyday lives. As such, brands have become powerful tools that you can use to influence people's perceptions and behaviors in meaningful ways—for better or worse.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion are hot topics these days. They're so crucial that we see more brands taking the issue seriously and making fundamental changes internally and externally to improve their level of representation in both the workplace and marketplace.
In this article, we will explore how brands can use brand storytelling effectively to grow diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). We'll look at the business benefits of DEI, why it's vital for brands to care about diversity and inclusion, how to measure your organization's progress towards DEI goals, and how to use Brand Storytelling to drive change within your organization.
Why Is This Important?
DEI is not a new idea or theory. But it has never been more critical than it is today. DEI (Diversity Equity & Inclusion) is a business imperative that requires strategy, commitment, a culture of belonging, and storytelling. Why? Because brands have more transformational power than even governments do, and when brands use their stories to positively impact the world we live in, they help shape our future.
We have created the world we know through stories and can change it through stories. Brands are stories too. Think of Dove and how they changed the perception of beauty by showing how young ladies today have an unrealistic perception of beauty—that was revolutionary! It helped people see themselves differently and helped them embrace their beauty. It made millions of people feel better about themselves, which was good for their self-esteem and confidence, which led them to be happier with their lives overall—it was great for business!
Brands can also build communities as Red Bull has done with their extreme sports events and community of athletes that support each other in their journey towards being the best version of themselves. They can also advocate for causes, as Patagonia has done with theirenvironmental advocacy and activism. They've built a network of passionate activists about protecting the planet and preserving its natural resources, which is good for business because it helps them stay on top of current trends and keeps them relevant.
Brands have a much more significant influence on our lives than many companies would like to admit. Some brands are associated with specific values, such as sustainability and diversity equity and inclusion (DEI). You cannot separate these values from the organizations that espouse them because they manifest throughout the leadership, marketing efforts, and supply chain management.
If you make diversity, equity, and inclusion an integral part of your brand's story, you can help change the world.
Research shows that when brands are authentic, they resonate on a deeper level with their audiences. And that is the secret to their success: authenticity. The world is changing, and brands need to be at the forefront of this change. It's time for brands to step up and use their power for good. And it's time for us all to hold them accountable.
Why Should Brands Care From a Business Perspective?
We created Crant AI to allow brands to have a tangible impact on society. Instead of worrying about the lower funnel tactics such as optimizing their advertising ROI or adding push notifications, marketers should focus on creating value for themselves and consumers.
Brands must realize that they are not just in business to make money but also responsible for the social good. By positively impacting society, brands will build trust with their customers and increase revenue over time.
We're here to help companies grow their DEI efforts by facilitating the connection between what they say and how they do business. Our goal is to make these concepts concrete through our storytelling model, providing Brands with measurable steps you can take towards increasing their DEI equity.
Because it is not a competition but rather an opportunity to learn from each other, brands can track their progress and benchmark against other companies in the space.
How Does It Work?
The DEI Tracker is an AI tool that helps brands monitor how well their DEI initiatives are doing. It integrates classic branding and storytelling frameworks like Love Marks, Ogilvy's Big Idea, or Simon Sinek's golden circle with Artificial Intelligence and big data to create a framework for brands to track their DEI efforts. The tool then provides Brands with concrete steps that they can take to increase their DEI equity.
It allows brands to understand their audiences' sexual identity, race, ethnicity, gender, age, class, and disability and make decisions based on this information. The platform analyzes how relevant each brand is for its audiences in different dimensions, drawing on data from sources like social media.
The tool allows brands to make their efforts more measurable and actionable, helping them find insights into how best to serve their audiences and act on those insights. It provides a dashboard that monitors your brand's digital, environmental and social impact at any time. You can then use the dashboard to make data-driven, informed decisions about your marketing campaigns. You'll be able to see how your efforts are performing and adjust them accordingly.
What Kind of Insights Can It Generate?
The most interesting insights come from how people react to the different DEI pillars and how they interact with them. By looking at the different types of people who respond to your content and what kind of reaction they have, you can better understand why certain people are drawn to your brand, and others aren't. This analysis can help you determine whether or not you need to adjust any aspects of your content to make it more appealing to a broader audience.
It's difficult for companies to discuss diversity issues in their marketing communications. Companies that do so often encounter resistance from the public, who feel they have to take sides or be labeled racist, sexist, or homophobic. So, most brands generally use a tiny percentage of DEI-related content versus non-DEI-related content.
However, if brands use DEI-related content to communicate their values and beliefs, people respond positively because the brand expresses itself in ways that recognize and validate their concerns. For example, social media users are more likely to engage with brands if the content is relevant — for instance, by discussing topics like #blacklivesmatter or pay equity.
You can use the insights from analyzing your brand storytelling content to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion in your marketing efforts. The insights can help you determine the effectiveness of your content in reaching its intended audience and giving them what they need to make an informed decision about your brand.
Example of insights in the travel and tourism industry:
Our research shows that DEI-related content generates 2x more engagement than non–DEI related material, and disruptor brands' audiences are likelier to engage with this type of content than audiences from traditional and luxury brands.
These results align with what we saw across all industries: Audiences are eager to consume stories about how your company incorporates diversity and inclusion into its culture. And they're particularly enthusiastic if your brand disrupts an existing industry!
If you're not already doing it, start brainstorming ways to integrate DEI into your marketing strategy. This doesn't have to be a one-off campaign; instead, think about how you can weave inclusivity into everything from the copy on your website to the photos in your social media posts.
Brands can learn a lot from their customers and the people around them. Listen to what they say and understand how they feel. This will help you create a product or service that meets their needs and improves their lives in some way (even if it's just for fun).
It also means being open about yourself; don't be afraid to share stories about your experience! After all, that's how you can make your brand more relatable and help people feel like they belong.
Growing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) using brand storytelling is a powerful way for businesses to learn about their customers and build stronger relationships with them. As a bonus, it's also a great way to attract new customers and make your brand more appealing to potential employees!
Every brand that cares about delivering positive engagement should use Crant AI to help them build better relationships with their customers. Contact Crant AI if you're interested in learning more about how your business can use DEI to tell stories that will make an impact!