Brands must be inclusive, or be obsolete

5 Reasons Why Brands Need To Re-INVENT


It’s a New World!

The Great Reset radically transformed the mindset and environment your brand lives in. Does your brand reflect the times and what people care about most?


If your brand is not speaking to or representing inclusivity, you will eventually be obsolete!


Company values are reflected in an organization’s brand – internally in culture and externally with consumers. Are you living your values? Are your values brought forward in your brand?


People are starved for joy, empathy and compassion – what energy is your brand projecting? Consumers are preferring brands that lift up humanity, promote equanimity, generate positive energy, change, and impact in the world


Is your brand accountable for its impact on the climate, environment, living systems, and resources?

It’s a New World for Branding

Branding has taken on a new purpose in this time of radical change and transformation. The brands that keep pace with shifts in consumer values and accurately reflect the times will be brands that thrive and survive. 

According to a McKinsey Global Study of Consumer Brand Sentiment Post-Covid, 3 out of 4 Americans have changed their shopping behavior since COVID-19 began, of which 40% say they have changed brands, with the level of brand switching doubling in 2020 compared to 2019. Convenience and value have been the main drivers of shopping behavior change; however, quality and seeking brands that match their values also inspire change for about 40% of younger consumers.


Brands Must Be Inclusive, or Be Obsolete

We’ve all been living the dismantling of exclusionary systems in our political, social, cultural, municipal, and law enforcement structures. With this, the rise of diversity, equity, and inclusion as a mindset and sensitivity are paving new rules for brands, companies, and the leaders making decisions at the top. With these dramatic changes influencing our mindsets, well-being and behaviors, brands that lead with inclusivity, empathy, and compassion will be the brands and companies that succeed. 

Consumer product preferences are driven by a desire to connect with something deeper – this means creating space to have opportunities for all – and a brand that creates this association through visuals and language will generate stronger emotional bonds, and therefore loyalty. Going forward, companies can build these connections by addressing physical well-being, psychological safety, and inclusivity in their communications. Demonstrating these values authentically in branding will influence whether consumers align or avoid your brand.


Does your Brand Reflect the Values of Your Leaders and Organization?

Simone Biles recently ended her contract with Nike and signed with Athelta. This strategic move is an example of influencers putting principles above paychecks. We’ll likely see more of these moves as influencers partner with value-aligned brands and gravitate toward followers with their shared values.

As consumers, our values and motivations, experiences and orientations influence our purchasing decisions and which brands to support with our loyalty and money. Given our rapid news/social cycles, consumers have more transparency into what a company stands for, what its leaders value, and how they treat employees and customers. When companies anchor brand messaging and visuals to their core purpose, and transparently communicate from this place, consumers are more likely to resonate and develop an instantaneous preference.

From our standpoint, branding has always been about reflecting the authentic core purpose of an organization and is ultimately used to elevate, not manipulate consumers. If a brand resonants with its mission in a real way, and embodies its values, consumers will sense this and will align with preference, loyalty and support.  We create brands that make an impact, create positive change in the world, and improve the quality of life for humanity. This is the true power of brands and is central to the work we do here at Intune.


Inside-Out Branding: A Combined Brand Experience for CHROs and CMOs

We see many companies whose external brand experience completely contradicts their internal culture and employee experience. We also see companies shapeshifting their brand positioning in response to competition or market share versus reflecting the core purpose or inherent strengths. We also witness key leaders at the top of organizations not aligned or in agreement around a brand’s north star, key messaging, or experience they want to create for customers and employees. This creates brand fragmentation for employees and internal culture and confusion and misalignment externally with consumers and other stakeholders. The goal is to unify leaders around a shared brand vision, clarify purpose and intent, and create messaging and visuals reflective of this alignment to bring brand vision and strategy to life in employee and customer experiences.

To bring alignment to branding, we use a process called ‘Entity Visioning,’™ where we lead leadership teams through an interactive experience to clarify a shared purpose and focus for the brand. We help you vision the potential of your brand and capture real-time reflections in the graphic illustration to refine and turn them into rich brand expressions. During these sessions, we help leaders surface language, actions, modeling, experiences, design, and reflections that can be applied to strategy, organizational change, brand communication and visuals. The outcome from these ‘Entity Visioning,’™ sessions is a powerful alignment of leaders, teams, and the organization all oriented toward a singular brand focus, reflective of internal and external voices that generate prosperity beyond what’s been previously planned or imagined. 


How can your Brand reflect the BEST of what’s possible in our world?

When done optimally, branding shows us images of what’s possible beyond what we can see, new realities and experiences we can touch, and new solutions we can have. Branding generates language that touches us our hearts and minds, deepens compassion and understanding, and educates us on the boundlessness of our capacity, life, and world. Branding can be drivers of positive change, create movements that unite us, and elevate our understanding of what is possible. The time is perfect to vision new possibilities for the collective benefit of both brands and humanity.