The Diversity Dialogue – Series 2 - The Curious Case of Rihanna's Doublespeak, Fenty Beauty and Fur + Stella Mccartney's Perfection

Many brands use a collaboration strategy to become marketable. They collaborate with celebrities to cash in on their popularity. Naturally, it is an upside to have an endorsement from a star with a huge pull factor, but there is a downside too. Many such collaborations are a matter of convenience and economics. Most celebrities who endorse products don't care about the product as much, with very little understanding of the product they are endorsing, let alone experiencing and consuming it. Some celebrities have not been in the trenches, can’t share real-world insights or stories based on their personal experience with the product they are endorsing. Whether the product will be successful or not, is a risk most brands are willing to take. The punitive thinking of such orchestrations, spin, exaggeration led by brands and the belief that anything a celebrity sells will sell is a confirmation bias that also foretells a brand's demise.

Perhaps brands don't see a true change because they keep doing the same, mundane branding, over and over again. They repeat because they don't know how to bring in catalyst change. Diverse Customer can help! Drop me a line at 

There is a great divide brands are witnessing: Celebrity endorsements that are boastful with vapid self-proclamations of me-myself-mine and all its frivolity versus endorsements from real world practitioners who recognise the sensitivities of a diverse customer who is less likely to perceive bias if the endorsements are from someone from a diverse demographic background.They endorse or create the product because they value it themselves and that brings in authenticity in their endorsement and optimize on all the differences our world offers.

Today's customers, diverse or not are well informed. You could be B2B, B2C, what differentiates you from others is your customer experience. Today, brands are created through experiences. 

The social media landscape allows anyone to see through the real agenda. Is it really the diversity of purpose or just pure economics at play... This is an era where the customer is increasingly being driven by their ability to connect with brands that empathize with them and make a positive if not a big difference in their buying ecosystem.

This brings us to the Series 2 of our The Diversity Dialogue: Stop seeking a customer’s attention through Gimmickry. Do something worth paying attention to and that has a profound sense of purpose! 

Rihanna launched her new makeup line, Fenty Beauty. This is a great example of how the diversity of purpose can lead to the success of any product. The Fenty Beauty line includes 40 shades of foundation to accommodate women of different complexions all over the world. The diversity in its product range is the most noteworthy attribute, obviously, the quality of the product in addition to being launched by Rihanna adds to Fenty Beauty's credibility. Many other beauty brands since then have launched deeper foundation shades.

This is the power of authenticity when you rise by lifting others. The other noteworthy aspect of this product range is cruelty-free, meaning it has not been tested on animals.


Rihanna's Fenty Beauty does win big for its diversity but she herself exudes doublespeak which leads many customers who do care about cruelty-free think about her as someone less authentic. Genuinity and Character are not mutually exclusive. Her ennui reflects her own limitations as an endorser. This is where many brands falter and fail to perpetuate anything that has little or no true value whatsoever. This isn't her only tryst with fur, of course.

Image: Metro

PETA slams Rihanna for wearing a fur coat and send her a fake one to replace it

Stella Mccartney is a perfect example of being a brand that embodies a passion for diversity and not succumbing to doublespeak to look good and sell their products. The brand's ongoing commitment to animal activism, reducing environmental waste is not limited to just sustainability, the brand has been very vocal about its support for diversity in its team, translating to the design of its creations right up to the runways. 

Image: Fashion School Daily

Stella McCartney shoots fall 2017 campaign in a landfill

Quoting Gandhi here couldn't be more apt:

-Amit Anand