As you may know, I come from the entertainment industry. And as "diversity" became popular, I noticed a different trend--diversity for diversity's sake. As a woman of color, it felt like going from one kind of invisible to another. Watching the Netflix Abercrombie documentary, reminded me of this.
It also reminded me of one of the reasons I became so passionate about copywriting. Brands have so much power, especially in their words . They are culture changers, influencers, and at the very least enablers. I've also seen many brands become culprits of diversity for diversity's sake, and dare I say it...even cultural appropriation.
So, if you want your brand to be genuinely inclusive, here are a few copy tips to keep in mind:
If you have a product that is inspired by or originates in another culture, acknowledge that culture. Maybe even give a little history. Not only does this show that you're aware of where your product comes from, but that you care and have genuine interest in what you're selling. It can also set you apart as an expert.
I've seen this issue a lot with skin care and tools like gua sha. When the ancient Chinese healing technique known as "gua sha" became popular, many skin care companies began producing their own gua sha tools. However, I rarely, if ever, see anyone actually mention its Chinese origins and why this ancient technique is effective or how it works. Not to mention, that it isn't originally meant as a facial technique.
I also see this issue arise with clothing brands and food brands. Often I'll see a brand claim cultural inspiration for a design, but their words and marketing feel very superficial.
So, give credit where credit is due, and be genuine about the inspiration you take from other cultures.
Let your values be known
Nowadays, your values are essential to your marketing and your brand image. Some brands, especially smaller brands are afraid of polarizing their customers or losing customers. But it matters to your customers. They want to know what you stand for and if your values are in line with their's.
By showing people your values, you're showing them who you really are as a brand. And the ones who feel aligned with your values will be all the more loyal, because they'll want to support a brand that shares their values.
Don't post just to post
Avoid simply sharing your one "Happy Pride Month" or "Happy Hispanic Heritage Month" post. If you want to bring attention to something you care about, consider a campaign or series of posts that educate your audience on the issues and values that matter to you.
Make sure your imagery matches your words
Many brands are getting better at showing diverse faces, but their copy still reads vanilla. The "diversity" doesn't feel genuine. It feels empty.
Think about the people who will actually see and read what you're putting out there. Write from a place of authenticity, and be genuine in your messaging.
And remember that inclusivity means being inclusive of race, ethnicity, nationality, culture, gender, sexuality, disabilities, mental health challenges, education, and non-native speakers.
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