Some values just matter more. Basic business values like affordability and quality never cease to be important to consumers. And then there are values that matter more deeply. Values that speak to who people are at their core and require a brand to live the value deeply before it can be seen as an ally. Of all the change values, equality is the one that holds the greatest benefit to those who live it every day.
Promoting equality the wrong way, with the wrong sense or for the wrong reasons, can spell disaster for a brand. But today’s conscious consumer knows that the onus lies on the powerful. Many call for their brands to use the voice they have, tap into the audience they’ve built, to affect positive change and to promote Equality. Doing it the right way can create an army of lifetime loyalists, proud to support a brand who fought for them. Black Lives Matter, the disability rights movement, LGBTQ+ movements and more yearn for support and amplification. But valuing equality can cause a brand to tread a thin line – your efforts must be authentic, making a clear effort at contributing to change, or you may see the opposite effect. Provide real resources, make real changes – just posting on your social channels and calling it a day could do more harm than good.
Brands which value Equality should strive to promote diversity and fairness, empowering their consumers to achieve. So, who does it best? Who lives the value in a way that never brings into question whether they are being true to a movement or pandering?
Nike’s Until We All Win campaign does it well. If consumers believe a brand is solely getting in on the conversation in order to monetize the effort, disaster can strike. But, in this campaign, not only does Nike provide gear that caters to religion and culture, but they also give a voice to the groups who need it most.
Google is all about accessibility across their entire ecosystem. The brand was built on providing equality of information, but they’ve also launched features catering to those often neglected. Google Maps’ new Accessible Places feature highlights establishments that are accessible for wheelchair users – from entrances to parking spots to restrooms.
Brands like Salesforce and LaunchCode tout robust initiatives designed to increase women’s presence in the tech field – a field in desperate need of a demographic shift. Programs like these benefit both brand and consumer, creating loyalists while educating and empowering them to continue the mission and affect the world in a positive way. LaunchCode’s Women+ program is “also intentionally inclusive of those who are trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming.” People of marginalized genders have long sought to smash through the barrier and begin their tech careers. LaunchCode’s true value for Equality has empowered women across the country, shifting the narrative in a positive direction.
As the world grows more and more connected each day, the barriers we’ve built become more and more apparent. To be a brand that can tear down barriers and build up equality is a powerful thing – benefiting the world at large and aligning with an ever-growing customer demographic.