Here’s an interesting insight uncovered by Kantar Futures, a consultancy within WPP media and marketing research arm. While the news is filled with stories about discriminatory behaviour by law enforcement, more people in this country experience discrimination while shopping.

That’s obviously a real problem for brands and among the reasons Kantar Futures has launched a new unit designed to help companies embrace and profit from diversity. It’s been dubbed the Inclusivity Practice.

The unit will work with clients to build diversity and inclusion into their companies’ structures.

According to Kantar research, there’s a $4 trillion-plus (yes, trillion) market of underserved demographics in the U.S.

“Profitability will increasingly come from recognising, embracing and celebrating diversity, both within consumer audiences and inside companies,” stated Valeria Piaggio, head of the new practice. “The evidence clearly shows that inclusive, diverse businesses perform better financially, are more innovative and are better able to meet the demands of today’s American consumers,” Piaggio added.

The unit is designed to help firms boost market share, enhance brand reputation and develop a more “future-focused” corporate culture.

Kantar believes a lot of brands may not even realise they’re discriminating. But the firm’s research shows many minority groups aren’t feeling their love.

For example, 80% of African Americans said they agreed with the statement, “I am frustrated by brands who treat people like me as an afterthought.” And 70% of both Hispanics and people with disabilities said they felt the same way.

At a time when many companies are struggling to achieve growth, this would seem like an obvious path to explore.

Oh, and here’s another insight: It’s also the right thing to do.

Originally published in MediaPost | December 2017

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