Brands and Diversity – Learnings from Adidas, Coca-Cola and Louis Vuitton

A growing number of organisations globally are re-engineering their entire vision towards building effective organisational frameworks centring around Diversity and Inclusion and by doing so, succeeding by leaps and bounds, both with internal(employees) and external(customers) stakeholders.

Now, soak in this statement below:

 

“I believe its a unique combination to have : Diversity Recruitment and  Blogging”

 

I act as a common thread between these two diverse skill sets. Obviously, the link is my ability to find candidates for my clients and in engaging myself in that activity, I help create a buzz around employer branding for these cognitively diverse organisations. It helps in establishing trust in the brand and connect them to a diverse set of consumers who become effective advocates for brand equity. I love to tell this to my clients that when I speak to a candidate and tell how committed they are to Diversity, the candidates instinctively feel my client is a great employer and has a fantastic and inclusive work culture. It incites them to know more about my clients’ products and services and by default puts them right in front of highly diverse crowds.

 

“I believe word-to-mouth publicity to be the best way in not only converting a candidate to a prospective employee but also in converting an informed person to a potential customer”

 

“To elaborate, let me tell you the unique position I am in (without mindless chatter and bragging but admittedly a bit of digressing from the topic yet, still sticking to the context :))”

As a Diversity Recruiter, I’m enthusiastic about my commitment towards building world class diverse teams,helping my clients in expanding their diversity footprint and fulfil their talent needs across critical business functions globally.

I work with equal opportunity organisations across industries that are amongst the World’s Most Valuable Brands to Fortune 500 Technology, Internet,  Retail, Luxury, Management Consulting global players and fast growing Start-Ups & SME’s backed by private equity + venture capital. I focus on designing and implementing global Talent Management strategy ensuring that it meets their inclusion criteria while at the same time offering high potential diversity candidates who add tremendous value both from a cultural and business perspective.

 

“THE POWER OF COLLECTIVE THOUGHT”

 

My clients come to me asking for unique candidates. They are often seeking specialists who can communicate a measurable change in driving key initiatives like women in leadership and important diversity topics amongst others. They are seeking leaders who can emphasise on outcomes and quantifiable result tackling collective issues like cultural overhauling, generational fitment, work-life integration, unconscious bias, wage inequity etc. I say collective because the inequities get resolved by the collaboration of people engaged in a collective thought process. Diversity is what meets the eye and operates in different streams like Gender, PwD (People with Disability), LGBT and other target communities – sans grouping, monoculturalization or prioritising representation of any kind.

In their quest to seek the right leaders to drive change and create a positive impact by creating a culture of inclusivity for communities, organisations are sending a clear message to the outside world that they are committed to the greater good through their equality and diversity policies thereby gaining considerable competitive advantages in new markets and new customer segments as consumers respond more positively to organisations for their services, and brands for their products – that are more people driven, diverse in thought and practice, more accepting, empathetic and friendly towards unrepresented and marginalized sections.

You just read through the recruiter side of my profile, now witness the fashion blogger angle:

I was recently asked to give inputs and comment on some data by Oxford Strategic Consulting that highlights the trends towards productivity during the fasting period of Ramadan – citing a report, where during a miners’ strike in the 1970s, production fell by just 6% despite working three-day weeks. Studies have suggested that employees spending more time with families during this period can actually make them happier at work, as well as instil a stronger focus on the effectiveness of work rather than the number of hours worked, thus helping company culture.

I was asked to enlist my diversity & inclusion policies and how I would support employees who are fasting, without letting this impact productivity.

On researching on this subject, I was drawn to the new Coca-Cola commercial. Watch it here. Although, what was asked and what made me write this article is a separate discussion altogether:

Remove labels this Ramadan

 

It also led me into deciphering the Diversity DNA of other global brands, especially my clients like Adidas :

Read more:

Adidas Makes A Play For Women

In addition to amplifying diversity, the CSR efforts of many brands have led them to believe that upping their diversity quotient has long-term benefits as they are able to engage at a more granular level with a very value-driven mindset of customers today.

Deep diving into the diversity DNA, I also came across CSR efforts of brands and how they connect a chord with customers to drive business opportunities, become profitable and grow their revenues and expand into new territories and yet be centred around spreading awareness about the most serious issues plaguing our world today. This is the surest way how a brand can reach out to consumers on a basis of trust. This is a form of emotional branding and a tenet of most CSR-driven brands that want to offer value real-time:

Louis Vuitton launched a campaign called “#MAKEAPROMISE for South Africa” to raise funds for UNICEF.

Throughout the year, for each sale of the SilverLockit (bracelet or necklace) in Louis Vuitton stores or on louisvuitton.com, Louis Vuitton donates $200 to UNICEF to help children in emergencies and in vulnerable situations around the world.

During this campaign  “#MAKEAPROMISE for South Africa” (Started: June 23rd 2016), $100 will be directly donated to UNICEF to support programmes in South Africa, while the other $100 will be donated to children in need everywhere in the world.

Information from: www.louisvuitton.com/lvforunicef

 

Incidentally, Louis Vuitton is also one of the few luxury brands to have a presence in this largely untapped market citing partnership and investment as the key drivers to establish a new consumer base. Louis Vuitton is also the top rated clothing & accessory brand in Africa as per the survey conducted by New World Wealth in 2015.

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Getting into the nitty gritty of numbers and statistics is useless at this juncture as the global impact of Diversity is omnipresent….in a good way, of course. Organisations are not only creating a conducive environment for employees, increasing productivity by maximising their contribution but also establishing a foothold in the existing markets and creating new markets and segments for their products and services with a highly engaged consumer who often oscillates between two broad spectrums – The least diverse organisations have customers that are brand oblivious Vs. the most diverse organisations that have customers who become brand connoisseurs – An approach that walks the talk.

- Amit Anand

 

 

With over 20,000 followers across our social media network, Vogueistic aims to bridge the gap between The Brand and the Consumer, celebrating individuality, uniqueness and the spirit of #ThisIsMe as opposed to #ThisIsThemAndWeNeedToBeLikeThem! Vogueistic focuses on value perception in an increasingly value-driven marketplace of today.

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