In 2020, it’s no surprise that a brand must do more than simply sell a product. Each company needs to go above and beyond to retain customers and establish its place as a market leader — involvement with wider political matters is a big part of this effort. When brand ethics shine through, customers will appreciate the company’s commitment when it comes to championing inclusivity and empowerment.
When brands wave the flag of empowerment, consumers are bound to listen. Some brands go above and beyond to ensure that both their staff and their customers feel supported. Whether that’s through the initiatives that they support, employee benefits to ease the strain on working mothers, or a range of makeup that is inclusive of all, every step towards inclusivity and empowerment represents a huge milestone.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at the businesses that are championing empowerment in 2020.
Bumble focusses on female empowerment down to its very core. This game-changing dating app was first developed after its CEO, Whitney Wolfe Herd, left her previous job due to sexism and sexual harassment. She wished to create something new that championed equality. Thus, Bumble — the dating app that encourages women to make the first move — was born.
This company champions female empowerment both through its app (which also offers options for friend meetups and networking opportunities as well as dating) and by offering direct support to its female employees. The Bumble perks include:
- 16 weeks of paid parental leave
- designated breast-feeding rooms
- 100% health care coverage
- the ability for parents to bring children to the office as needed
If this isn’t exciting enough, the executive team is 80% female — meaning that every woman within the company has an inspirational role model to look up to.
For the past 60 years, this female-led brand has been proudly supporting women all over the world. Back in 1954, the SmartFit tampon that this brand is renowned for was first developed by a female gynaecologist. Naturally, this product was designed with the comfort and convenience of women in mind.
Ever since the company was created, Lil-Lets has played a strong role in the empowerment of women. This has ranged from, of course, creating sanitary products such as non-applicator tampons and stock piling your hospital bag with maternity pads, to acting in the fight against period poverty.
Lil-Lets have completed a lot of important work with the charity, Brook. This charity (provides free and confidential sexual health and wellbeing advice and support. As a team, the two organisations are fighting to tackle period poverty among young people in the UK. While detailing their ambitions, Lil-Lets explained, “At Lil-Lets it’s important to us that we support women whatever their time of month, or time of life. And regardless of whatever challenges they face, we’re here to make a difference to those in need. We’re committed to tackling period poverty, from all angles, and have partnered with the young people’s charity, Brook, to work together to achieve this.”
Lil-Lets has also played a big part and had a meaningful impact in relation to community projects. For example, they are the official partner of Everton FC Women, supporting them both on the pitch and alongside the Everton in the Community program.
In 2017 the ‘Fenty Phenomenon’, swept the beauty world thanks to Rihanna’s new company. The inclusive “beauty for all” campaign set out to do just that — design beauty products for everyone, regardless of their skin tone and ethnicity. Fenty’s 50 different foundation shades, which range from the palest to the darkest skin tone, serve to provide products for those who struggled to find makeup previously. As well as this, the diverse range also radiates a clear message that resists media whitewashing and assures people of colour that they are seen.
Within Fenty’s marketing campaign, the word ‘inclusivity’ was never actually used. In relation to this, Sandy Saputo, Chief Marketing Officer at Kendo Brands, said: “Our approach to inclusion marketing has always been about ‘showing, not telling’ … [we want] to share authentic stories that are rooted in culture and are emotionally meaningful to consumers.” In the same interview she conducted with Google, she went on to say that this beauty campaign set out to “break and disrupt all the traditional marketing rules and carve a new path,” and to create a “call to action for all industries to do more and challenge the status quo.”
All three of these businesses have made huge steps towards empowerment. By having their employees, customers, and the wider community in mind, they have been able to define their own brands and make sure that their businesses are empowering and inclusive. In 2020, we are seeing more and more brands strive towards empowerment and it will be exciting to see what the future holds for inspiring campaigns.