Brand inclusivity holds a lot of weight in 2020. Businesses in every sector that have strong ethics and get involved with the wider political landscape inspire customers and see great success. On the lead up to International Woman’s Day, let’s consider what it really means for a brand to be empowering and inspiring.
For a brand to truly resonate with modern consumers they must prioritise inclusivity and wave the flag of empowerment. Some brands go above and beyond to ensure that both their staff and their customers feel supported. Whether that’s through the initiatives that they support, employee benefits to ease the strain on working mothers, or a range of makeup that is inclusive of all, every step towards inclusivity and empowerment represents a huge milestone. Here, we explore the businesses worth celebrating this International Woman’s Day and see who’s paving the way towards a successful and inclusive business mindset.
If you’re looking for a female-led brand that has been supporting women for over 60 years, then you won’t have to look much further than the sanitary product provider, Lil-Lets. Back in 1954, the SmartFit tampon that this brand is renowned for was first developed by a female gynaecologist. Naturally, this product was designed with the comfort and convenience of women in mind.
Since then, Lil-Lets has persistently worked to support and empower women in a variety of ways; from, of course, creating sanitary products such as organic tampons and maternity pads, to acting in the fight against period poverty.
Their work with the charity, Brook (which provides free & confidential sexual health & wellbeing advice and support) shines light on Lil-Lets’ commitment. As a team, the two organisations are fighting to tackle period poverty among young people in the UK. While detailing their ambitions, Lil-Lets explained, “At Lil-Lets it’s important to us that we support women whatever their time of month, or time of life. And regardless of whatever challenges they face, we’re here to make a difference to those in need. We’re committed to tackling period poverty, from all angles, and have partnered with the young people’s charity, Brook, to work together to achieve this.”
As well as fighting to tackle period poverty and empower young women through education, Lil-Lets has also had meaningful impacts on community projects. For example, they are the official partner of Everton FC Women, supporting them both on the pitch and alongside the Everton in the Community program.
As a concept in and of itself, Bumble focusses on female empowerment. This game-changing dating app was first developed after its CEO, Whitney Wolfe Herd, left her previous job due to sexism and sexual harassment. She wished to create something new that championed equality. Thus, Bumble — the dating app that encourages women to make the first move — was born.
As well as championing female empowerment through its app (which also offers options for friend meetups and networking opportunities as well as dating) it empowers its female employees and makes sure that the company benefits them however it can. The Bumble perks include:
- 16 weeks of paid parental leave
- designated breast-feeding rooms
- 100% health care coverage
- the ability for parents to bring children to the office as needed
With an 80% female executive team, women within the Bumble family benefit from inspirational role models and a company that considers their needs.
First launched by Rihanna in 2017, the ‘Fenty Phenomenon’ completely changed the game in the beauty industry. The inclusive “beauty for all” campaign set out to do just that — design beauty products for everyone, regardless of their skin tone and ethnicity. Fenty’s 50 different foundation shades, which range from the palest to the darkest skin tone, serve to provide products for those who struggled to find makeup previously. As well as this, the diverse range also radiates a clear message that resists media whitewashing and assures people of colour that they are seen.
Interestingly, the concept of inclusivity was never explicitly stated in Fenty’s marketing campaign. In relation to this, Sandy Saputo, Chief Marketing Officer at Kendo Brands, said: “Our approach to inclusion marketing has always been about ‘showing, not telling’ … [we want] to share authentic stories that are rooted in culture and are emotionally meaningful to consumers.” In the same interview she conducted with Google, she went on to say that this beauty campaign set out to “break and disrupt all the traditional marketing rules and carve a new path,” and to create a “call to action for all industries to do more and challenge the status quo.”
Each of these businesses has made powerful changes, both big and small. By having their employees, customers, and the wider community in mind, they have been able to define their own brands and make sure that their businesses are empowering and inclusive. In 2020, we are seeing more and more brands strive towards empowerment and it will be exciting to see what the future holds for inspiring campaigns.