It’s no longer business as usual. Consumers expect to patronize brands that take a stand, especially on big issues. 70% of U.S. consumers say it’s important for brands to take a stand on social and political issues. Additionally, 67% of people believe brands hold the power to raise awareness around pressing public issues if they speak out using online platforms like social media.
Is your business taking a stand for social justice issues? You can do so by intentionally branding, sharing inclusive messages, and being diversity-focused with your hiring practices.
Today, we’re featuring another case study of a company intentionally weaving inclusivity with their branding messages and business practices. Esusu Financial, Inc., a financial technology platform that helps people build their credit and save money, has taken a stand against systemic racism within the financial sector. The company is minority-owned and from the outset, were determined to have a social impact beyond solely earning income. They recognize that even being minority-owned is not enough. They understand the need to help set the stage and norm of brands being intentionally inclusive.
Here’s What Esusu Financial Have Done Since They Began in 2016
*Provided rent relief during COVID-19, issuing statements acknowledging that a large portion of those hardest hit during the pandemic were minorities.
*Issued public statements addressing police brutality. Esusu does not shy away from publicly standing against racial injustice. They’ve made statements against police brutality and emphasized the need for deep systemic change.
*Posted statements about the racial injustice in the financial institutions of the United States. The racial divide in the US is greatly fueled by the massive financial gap between races. This gap didn’t develop by accident. For decades, there were policies and practices that kept ethnic minorities excluded from incentives and opportunities for upward financial mobility.
*Maintained their vision. As we’ve highlighted in the Brandview Framework, your vision is an integral part of your brand. Esusu’s vision is to ‘use data to eliminate the racial gap.’ They stay committed to that vision by continuing to offer programs that encourage their target base to learn, become proactive in their financial management, and save what they can. Their solutions are intentionally aimed at helping bridge the massive racial disparity in terms of socioeconomic status.
Esusu is an exemplary example of powerful intentional branding. They aren’t simply putting out advertisements that show diversity. They’re looking at their programs, customers and clients, and shaping their solutions around the needs of their clients, bearing in mind that many of them may come from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Now, It’s Your Turn. What Can You Do?
Have a look at your company policies, branding, and marketing messages. Are you intentionally inclusive? Are you embracing diversity? Have you taken the time recently to assess your business practices to ensure inclusion and diversity? Are you taking a stand against social injustice? If so, how? If not, what can you do?
As you ask yourself and your team these questions, remember that change doesn’t come overnight. Thus intentional branding isn’t something that is a quick fix. You’ll likely need to devote time and energy to assess your current practices and then put a plan of action into place that reflects your commitment to inclusion and diversity within your company and your outward branding. This is deep work that may take time to unfurl. But like all deep work, it will be rewarding and will help you hone your brand message and intentionality in the marketplace and the world.