Diversity and Inclusion: Brand Content and Consumer Reaction Research

Goals

To have a broad understanding of recent (since 2019) brand content, announcements, and/or initiatives around diversity and inclusion, and how consumers reacted to them. An ideal response would include examples of companies receiving both negative and positive reactions from consumers regarding their diversity and inclusion (D&I) brand content, announcements, and/or initiatives. This would include a brief description as to what the brand content, announcements, and/or initiatives were, along with a description of what the negative/positive reactions were from consumers. News outlets reactions would be acceptable as well if consumer sentiment is not available.

Early Findings

  • We were not provided a geographic focus for this project, so we assumed a broad approach and looked globally. If a more targeted approach is desired, for example, the United States, this would have to be clearly communicated to us in any reply.
  • Global brands are dealing with diversity and inclusion in many ways, but most efforts by companies can be bucketed into four types of approaches:

Communications Driven Initiatives:

Society Driven Initiatives:

  • "Airbnb, Adidas, Apple, Amazon, Coca-Cola, Facebook, Nike, and YouTube have announced that they will donate significant amounts of money and resources to organizations and initiatives that focus on fighting inequality and systemic racism, or are committed to award grants for Black-owned businesses. Some brands are focusing specifically on education, like Adidas, which announced 50 annual university scholarships for outstanding Black students over the next five years."

Brand Management Driven Initiatives:

  • "Some companies are reviewing their portfolios to either evolve or eliminate ‘brands with racist origins’ (for example, PepsiCo with Aunt Jemima.) Others are reconsidering their association with social media platforms (for example, as part of the Stop Hate for Profit campaign, Patagonia and Unilever, have pulled ads from Facebook and Instagram because they consider the find the platforms to be ‘complicit in spreading disinformation and fomenting fear and hatred’)."

Human Resource Driven Initiatives:

  • "Internal branding the philosophy at the core of a company’s culture is just as important as the external facing corporate and product brand. In fact, these days, internal branding is where many companies introduce D&I in order to have long term impact on the brand. Adidas is an example of a brand that has taken this approach with a series of talent-related measures, by pledging to hire Black and Latino professionals for 30% of all new positions in the US."

Summary Of Our Early Findings Relevant To The Goals

  • As discussed at the top of the document, we were not provided a geographic focus for this project, so we assumed a broad approach and looked globally. If a more targeted approach is desired, for example, the United States, this would have to be clearly communicated to us in any reply. Please keep in mind that many of these brands are global in nature so we are highly recommending keeping a global view.
  • Our initial hour of research was spent ensuring that there was publicly available data surrounding the research questions, and then providing relevant and salient information, data, and statistics to set the table for future research.
  • Please select one or more of the options provided in the proposed scoping section below.

Proposed next steps:

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