What’s driving the next wave of inclusion for brands?

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Wunderman Thompson has launched a ‘global trends’ report – Inclusion’s Next Wave – throwing light on the forces driving the next wave of inclusion. It reveals that brands can play a powerful role by putting inclusion at the heart of their business, design, and storytelling in the workplace, to create authenticity and reflect life the way it is lived. Key trends in inclusion are identified by Wunderman Thompson Intelligence, and it notes 10 actions that authentically inclusive brands can take from the office to the metaverse to show their audiences. 

According to 82% of the study’s respondents feel that acts of inclusion and equality should be integrated throughout the business, and 63% of the respondents are more likely to buy products and services from brands that make more effort to represent people like them. In addition, 60% of the people agree that brands that do not deliver on inclusion will eventually become irrelevant. 

The study also suggests that brands must now pivot to ensure that they are building safe, inclusive, accessible, and democratic digital spaces. About 82% of the respondents who have heard about the metaverse say that companies should make efforts to ensure that digital worlds are accessible to everyone. Also, many respondents say that the digital space should not be used as an excuse to avoid providing accessible spaces in the real world. 

Key trends in inclusion: 

  • Inclusivepreneurs: This implies that there is an increasing number of entrepreneurs from undesired communities that are innovating for themselves. 
  • Meta-inclusion: This means that brands have an unprecedented opportunity to build equity, accessibility, and inclusion from the start, with the coming of new virtual worlds. 
  • Mass inclusive design: With mass distribution being the goal, more accessible products and services can hit the mainstream. 
  • Intersectional storytelling: A new era of storytelling where there is diversity both on and off the screen. 
  • Revolutionary rest: Marginalized communities are permitting themselves to focus on rest, having been exhausted from the constant fight to hold their corner. 

Studying ‘representation’ in media, such as the Film and TV industries, Wunderman Thompson found out that 46% of neurodiverse respondents, 45% of disabled respondents, 42% of those with mental health issues, and 35% of both LGBTQ+ and those aged 60 and above feel that there are not enough characters depicted on the screen that share their traits. 

Wunderman Thompson has worked with accessibility experts to make sure that the study’s report is fully accessible to all types of people, with the experts using multiple accessibility measuring tools for identifying usability issues. 

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