Television, movies, magazines, billboards, and practically everywhere the eye goes – we all yearn to see ourselves represented authentically. This need for representation follows us right into our workplace too! And no matter how much we underplay it, seeing ourselves in the people around us makes us feel like we belong.
Building an inclusive brand identity is all about enhancing the emotional connection of your audience. To be able to see themselves in the images you display will help them connect with you on a deeper level.
For this process, we bring to you: our three most important tips for inclusivity in designing brand identity, that you can work on!
#1: Be intersectional in your brand imagery
“71% of LGBTQ consumers are more likely to interact with an online ad that authentically represents their sexual orientation.” – Think with Google
Searching for stock images and videos for your brand means going through a collection of mostly white people in suits. And in case you’re looking for images with disabled or queer people in casual spaces, you’re in for hours of a witch-hunt!
With intersectionality in your brand identity is to tell your audience, ‘We see you. All of you. And we hope you can see yourself in us.’ This will include people of color (POC), people with disabilities, LGBTQ+ individuals, people of all ages, people of all sizes, and people from diverse cultures!
#2: Amplify customer voices!
Third Love’s online catalog is proof itself of their highly inclusive brand identity and a diverse customer base. Featuring women of all sizes and colors, it is quite apparent how their brand had a 347% sales growth on Shopify by diversifying their visual identity.
Amplification of customer voices means passing the mic to the marginalized communities and showcasing the real stories of your audience**.** Why? Because most of us don’t look like the size-zero models we see our clothes on! So, find out who your audience is, what they look like, what their needs are, and plan how your brand can deliver.
#3: Give us more options!
Picking your gender from just two boxes of ‘Male’ and ‘Female’ on a dating app is very off-putting for every non-binary person. Similarly for Indians when they “don’t look Asian enough” after selecting their ethnicity from limited options on an interview form.
The same visual identity and brand message just don’t apply to every customer like a one-size-fits-all! Give your audience the option to fully and authentically express who they are, loud and clear.
For example: As a makeup brand, ensure your foundations are usable for all complexions. As a haircare brand, ensure the availability of special products for black hair. Or, as a clothing brand, display how comfortable your jeans are for wheelchair users!
The work doesn’t end here! It is now time to do better with the efforts you put into your company branding process.
- Organize meetings with your teammates and ask them what issues do they feel under-representative in.
- Run a customer poll and research what all backgrounds your audiences come from.
- Be a part of social causes to see what people are in the greatest need for
- And most importantly, listen.
Simplified Tip: While searching for ‘Images’ for your Simplified workspace, include keywords of communities you should be including more of in your brand identity. For example: multicultural and diverse.