Should Your Brand Be Inclusive or Exclusive? - Pop of Colour
Inclusive brand, exclusive brand… Both have their pros and cons, so let me help you figure out which direction to take yours!
branding, exclusive brand, inclusive brand, personal brand,
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Should Your Brand Be Inclusive or Exclusive?

branding, exclusive brand, inclusive brand, personal brand,

Inclusive brand, exclusive brand… Both have their pros and cons, so let me help you figure out which direction to take yours!

INCLUSIVE

Examples: Zara, Disney, Starbucks…

Pros:

It’ll be easy to adapt to changing trends, and expand your offerings. Your brand is more likely to live a long, relevant life. It’ll be easier to build a global, diverse audience.

Cons:

It’ll be harder to articulate what makes you different and special in a crowded marketplace. Your content and marketing materials can easily fall into the trap of being bland, vanilla, and therefore ineffective.

CREATING AN INCLUSIVE BRAND MIGHT WORK FOR YOU IF…

You’re not afraid to jump outside of your comfort zones.

You are currently boycotting a brand. You have a large circle of friends of various ages, interests and backgrounds.

You tend to be a people pleaser.

You respect it when cis people list their pronouns in their social media bio

.You get hurt easily by online comments, even though you know you should’t.

You tend to get “compassion burnout” from trying to support so many causes that matter to you.

If someone you respect unintentionally says something offensive, you will educate them politely and privately

.You believe most people can change.

You think every kid should grow up with tv/movie heroes that look like them.

Tips For Inclusive Brands:

Never stop consuming content created by people with different views and life stories than yours.

Create different versions of your online ads, with different actors, slang and references, aimed at different segments of your audience.

Offer different products/services/experiences across price ranges, so that everyone has the ability to purchase something from you.

Remember that most people haven’t yet heard of you, so make your “about me” section easy to find.

Collaborate frequently.

If creating an online community, set some ground rules and hire a moderator. You want everyone to feel safe and respected.

Encourage your staff or colleagues to take part in social media content creation, showcasing their different personalities and perspectives.

Know that at some point, you’re likely to make a PR blunder, tweet something recklessly, or use a word you didn’t know was offensive. Take it as a learning experience, and don’t beat yourself up about it.

Don’t be afraid to ask your audience for feedback, with surveys or even just in the DM!

Perfect your visual and personality style guide. Download a free copy here.

EXCLUSIVE: 

Examples: Harley Davidson, Lululemon, Sephora…

Pros:

Potential clients will quickly know whether your brand is for them or not, making the on-boarding process simple and time effective. You’re far more likely to build super fans who champion your brand through word of mouth. If you take care of them well, you’ll likely to have repeat, life-long clients.

Cons:

It’ll be more difficult to adapt across cultures, for example into foreign markets. Changes and reinventions may be met with resistance from your longterm audience.

CREATING AN EXCLUSIVE BRAND MIGHT WORK FOR YOU IF…

You can make decisions quickly and don’t worry about what might have been.

You believe first impressions matter.

You’re not afraid to voice your opinions on the internet, even if they’re controversial.

You have an edgy sense of humour.

Your heritage, skin colour, orientation and/or health status is a big part of how you see yourself.

When it comes to love, your friends would say you have a “type.” 

You refuse to continuously perform unrequited emotional labour.

You don’t feel guilty about ghosting people.

You only care about the opinions of those closest to me.

You care a lot about decorum, manners, and etiquette. 

Tips For Exclusive Brands:

Begin by offering a very small selection of experiences/products/services, constantly tweaking them until perfection.

Price yourself higher than the average market rate.

Make yourself memorable at events.

Focus more of your marketing efforts on show your current fans appreciation, rather than trying to convince strangers to buy from you.

Create a few inside jokes, references, or sayings to regularly use in your content. Laughing together will strengthen the bond between you and your audience, and also between them.

Don’t be afraid to “fire” headache clients. Not all money is the right money.

Brainstorm how to create a loyalty program/fan club/email list that provides ridiculous value to your people.

Start learning the manners, habits, and customs of a foreign market long before you plan to expand there. Find ways to balance respecting their culture with staying true to your brand.

Host in person events for your clients to meet each other and bond over their mutual love for your work.

Perfect your visual and personality style guide. Download a free copy here.

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