Diversity In Small Business
Diversity is no longer a term that people can use just for “good pr.” It has been proven, in a number of organizations, that diversity actually helps your business run and grow more effectively when incorporated into your mission, value statements and daily procedures.
Marketing is about putting out a message, understanding how people will interpret that message and then having them take a prescribed action. If you don’t have a diverse set of eyes and ears looking at the messages that you are putting out, there is a good chance your message may not be interpreted the way you expect.
Recently, we have seen large marketing campaigns that have suffered from not being aware of how a diverse audience may interpret a campaign. For example, Bud Light’s recent marketing fiasco of placing the tagline “Removing No from your Vocabulary” on the side of their beer. If Bud Light had a more diverse set of people reviewing and providing feedback on the multiple ways that message could be interpreted, it’s possible that fiasco could have been avoided. Think of the time and money wasted on cleaning up their reputation.
We have also seen organizations flourish by truly embracing diversity. The Office Pile (one our favorite community partners) has managed to find a unique message that has propelled them forward in a VERY saturated field of co-working and incubator spaces. They were recently listed as one of the top 5 co-working spaces in the nation. Diversity is at the very core of this organization.
So how can you use diversity in your business?
Think about your “official” and “un-official” board of advisors? Do they all look or sound the same? How about the groups you network with?
Recently we were proud to be a sponsor of the Positively Powerful Women Awards. At this event, racism, sexism and all the other ism’s were discussed openly. These are normally topics that we tend to shy away from in a business setting. One of the messages we heard, it is easy to gravitate towards people that look and sound similar. So, the simple act of being aware and taking strategic steps to reach out to new audiences can have a profound impact on our communities and our businesses. It’s not easy. Change rarely is. At a time when our Nation is once again confronted with the results of just ignoring the problem, we can all take small steps.
Who can you reach out to today and get to know better? You might be surprised at the benefit you will see in your community and your bottom line. Let us know if you’ve taken steps to diversify your life and what effect it’s had on you or your business.