Recently, I was asked to consult with a large conglomerate on how they could better reach the minority market — specifically the latino population in North America. This is a question I often hear from potential clients and from audience members after my keynotes — and for good reason. After all, the minority market, be it Latino, Asian, or mixed race, is becoming the fastest growing segment of the market that companies are trying to reach. To connect with these rising demographics requires a strategy with nuance.
In other words, language is not the only barrier. Companies also need to think about how they express their commitment to diversity, their understanding of cultural hybrids, and their willingness to adapt their offerings to the customers they’re serving.
When it comes to diversity, walk the talk.
It’s easy for a company or corporation to say that diversity is a value, but the bigger question is how that value is reflected in everything from employment policies to leadership. As the Instagram photo shared by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, in which 11 out of 12 partners were men, (or rather, the uproar it was met by when posted) revealed, people are paying attention to how brands “walk the talk.” Of course, this isn’t encouragement to hire “token” staff members to stand in for a real dedication to diversity. Rather, companies must take a holistic approach to ensure that their hiring policies and day to day procedures are inclusive.
And for companies who recognize that diverse perspectives and backgrounds are a strength, rather than an inconvenience, I always recommend that they make that a part of their public image…