The Rise of Customer Advocacy : The H&M Backlash

Broadcasting content to a diverse customer? Inclusive Content and Inclusive Products & Services are interrelated.  Read on as we explore the connection:

Redefined aspirations are transforming the ways organisations deliver value for their diverse customers. Organisations need to reflect on a truer representation of the diversity of their customers and a diaspora of identities -professional ethnic/ racial to gain a diminished groupthink and, genuine brand value and customer orientation. 

There is a new paradigm shift to go back to the roots and basics and reconnect with a value-driven inclusion-sensitive and highly evolved consumer of today.

Everything related to diverse customers is encompassed in a layer of Inclusion and brands are coerced to review their inclusive touch-points in the wake of this disruption. This is a classic conundrum faced by many products and services organisations, mostly Tech companies that have predominantly been late adopters and are still eschewing large-scale diversification of thought in their products and services portfolio in the weight of its implications.

Organisations are facing other challenges as just having a D&I strategy isn't enough anymore as their efforts seem akin to blindly throwing darts at a board missing the target and not producing the desired results. The right messaging strategy has become the deciding factor of the tenacity to survive for a brand. There must be a huge emphasis on making content that is as diverse and inclusive to all as possible. This is my tuppence-worth observation.

Consumers are a lot aware of value sensitivity because they can share online reviews and make deep-dive comparisons via user-generated-content that make it all possible with a click of a button. In a matter of few dislikes, a brand's image can come crashing down.

We have seen how a wrong messaging strategy can backfire for companies like Dove and, H&M more recently. 

Dove: More on this in our earlier post:: 


When a brand 's advertising and branding process lacks Diversity Of Thought on the drawing board, this sort of insouciant messaging is the most likely outcome which in turn leads to this(top) poorly thought-out slogan on a sweatshirt. 

I've conceived messaging strategy for a close competitor (H&M's) and my first impression of the way such brands operate is that despite having diverse teams (supposedly that is the basis of an assumption that there shouldn't be any impropriety) they have a method of working in silos where the concept-to-consumer teams often work against each other, than with each other! The resultant downside is that lack of cohesiveness also leads to poor products and services.

While brands are using digital marketing campaigns to economize and increase profitability, they need to be wary of knowing the customer in and out and in a more individualistic and personalized narrative as opposed to having a generic overview of the diverse customer.  

H&M has learned the lesson on content marketing and messaging the hard way which translates to the products they create for mass consumption:

H&M closes all its stores in South Africa after protests