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Inclusive Branding Reaps Rewards for Business

Successful brands are realising the benefits of marketing to those beyond the mainstream. Adopting an inclusive approach to differentiate their brand from their competitors can reap real rewards for businesses and access potential new markets of people with disabilities and their friends and families.

Mars’ long running diversity campaign, prominently featuring people with visible disabilities for their Maltesers product, grew the brand sales by 8% - double the expectation. From a purely business perspective it has been the single most successful marketing campaign for Mars in over a decade, according to their Vice President of Marketing Michelle Oliver.

And now other companies are joining the disability inclusion marketing revolution and harnessing the power of what is known as the ‘Purple Pound’, the spending power of disabled people and their friends and families which adds up to $8 trillion yearly worldwide.

Fashion brands Asos, Marks & Spencer, Tommy Hilfiger and River Island have all moved towards inclusive marketing over the past year. M&S and Tommy Hilfiger have gone a step further and are designing adaptive clothing for children and adults with physical and intellectual disabilities, consulting the disabled community at every stage of the process up to advertising the range.

To celebrate Barbie’s 60th birthday, Mattel have released two new dolls with disabilities; a wheelchair user Barbie and a Barbie with a prosthetic leg. The company say that they are responding to customer demand. This month 59 new disability emojis have also been released to better represent all people in society. While Starbucks made headlines around the world when it opened its first sign language coffee shop in Washington DC where all employees are fluent in American Sign Language.

Research from the Business Disability Forum UK shows that 3 out of 4 people with a disability left a shop or business because of poor disability awareness or understanding, representing a figure of £1.8 billion per month being lost to businesses. Similarly, the Click-Away Pound survey showed that 71% of customers with a disability will click away from a website that they find difficult to use. Those customers who click away have an estimated spending power of £11.75 billion, around 10% of the total UK online spend.

Find out more about the spending power of disability by clicking here.

If you need information or advice in relation to making your business and products more accessible to large potential new markets, please do not hesitate to contact one of our team on (01) 415 12 85 or e-mail .[email protected]essconsultancy.ie