Why Inclusive Branding Matters: The Case for Creating Welcoming Environments

branding diversity inclusion inclusive intersectionality representation small business the aligned values framework™ Sep 05, 2023

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you didn't feel welcome? 

Perhaps a time when you felt left out or disregarded, and no one noticed? 

I imagine it wasn’t a good feeling and you were less inclined to want to spend more time in that space. That feeling you recall is the same feeling that arises when people don't see themselves represented or feel welcome in a space–including brands that have seemingly excluded populations from their narrative.

Now, think about a time when you've felt welcome. You might have felt comfortable and open, perhaps even connected to those present. That memory likely feels more positive.

That positive feeling is what people seek when they interact with brands. They want to feel comfortable, open and connected. They want to feel like they matter, especially if they're investing their time, energy, and money to support the brand.

The feelings people experience from their perceptions and interactions with a brand influence how they will talk about it. This creates an opportunity for a ripple effect that can be positive or negative. This is why inclusivity consulting has the power to impact you, your brand, and the people you connect with.

Inclusivity is so much more than diversity, and representation. Inclusivity is being open and mindful through learning and unlearning what is truly welcoming to all people. It requires awareness from within yourself as a leader and your team as your organization's representatives. To be aware, it’s important first to understand that there is a difference between diversity, representation, and inclusion when it comes to organizational structures and brands. 

Definitions for the words diversity, representation, and inclusion all seem to have a similar meaning; however when applied to brands and organizational structures, diversity and representation can quickly become meaningless if they aren't truly welcoming towards the groups they’re outwardly trying to show representation for. This is why The Aligned Values Framework was created.

When it comes to inclusion, it’s important to be mindful of other people's experiences when we welcome them into our brands. It’s also important to remember that inclusion isn’t just black and white. In order to be truly inclusive intersectionality must be incorporated to ensure all people feel welcome, regardless of their race, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity, or ability. There have been a lot of discussions about diversity, representation, and inclusion; including questions about the difference between them. 

Here’s how we view it: diversity brings people in, representation gives them a voice, and inclusion makes them feel welcome, heard, and understood. Click here to download our free Inclusive, Aligned Brand Statement Guide to clarify your commitment to creating welcoming environments! 

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