Black History Month is a time to celebrate Black joy. Not exclusive to February, we need to continue to celebrate and uplift Black voices year round.
At Flourish, we believe inclusive brands are the key to building trust and growing missions. Embedding inclusion into our brands is a key way to move beyond honor months (which can still serve a purpose), and into an honor culture year round.
So, what does brand inclusion look like?
We start from the inside out. Rather than focusing only on the outside (hello performative #BHM statements), there must be a culture shift within the brand/organization. If we want to move from Optics to Authenticity on the Brand Inclusion Spectrum, we have to dig deeper.
At Flourish we like to describe it with these four elements of inclusive brands >>
We like to start with purpose, peeling back the why behind the mission of your organization or business. Then we can move onto people, examine your brand leaders as well as the internal and external culture of your organization. Next we can address our practices which are the hands-on ways our brand can be more inclusive at a tactical level while developing creative and communications. And finally, power. Power is the opportunity to embed brand inclusion into our systems, processes, and procedures for accountability.
In this way, we move beyond Black History Month social media posts and dive deeper into the roots of our brand.
Some questions your brand might ask to go beyond Black History Month >>
- How are all levels of the organization learning and becoming actively anti-racist — starting with the top?
- How is Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging embedded into our strategic plan?
- How have we defined the measurable shifts DEIB will bring at our organization?
- What black creators can we hire / commission to help with our brand work?
As we always say at Flourish, becoming an inclusive brand is just that … becoming. We will never fully arrive. Stay humble, listen, and learn on the journey. We hope you’ll join us.
More to come soon on Flourish’s inclusive brand trainings …
Organizational/leadership consultants we recommend: