Last week was Spirit Day, which began in 2010 as a way to show support for LGBT youth and take a stand against bullying. Many businesses showed their support and harnessed this national day as a platform to showcase a celebration of diversity.
Just as brand builders and social media strategists use days of national importance for marketing campaigns, business leaders also use these milestones as opportunities to showcase company culture and their business values. Coca Cola has long been a company that has had inclusivity right at the heart of its brand message and company culture. Lisa Borders, VP Global Community Connections and executive sponsor for Coca Cola’s LGBTA employee resource group broadcast a message to reaffirm the companies values of diversity and support for Spirit Day.
GLAAD (the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), a U.S. non-governmental media monitoring founded by LGBT people in the media, rang the bell at NASDAQ Stock Market on Spirit Day. Demonstrations such as this helps to break down stereotypes and bring diversity into the trading and the stock market industry, which is predominately portrayed as a heterosexual, male environment.
These messages intersect the business functions of Corporate Social Responsibility, Human Resources and Sales, with diversity impacting a brand’s perception. In order to attract and retain talent in an organisation and consumers for your brand, LGBTA and diversity initiatives are critical. Global brands are touching more cultures and more markets than ever before. Celebrating this diversity can lead to stronger brand loyalty and, ultimately, stronger sales.