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What can brands do to improve and harness cultural diversity?

By Matthias Gray |

Freedman International


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May 23, 2022 | 5 min read

On this year’s UN World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue – celebrated last weekend, May 21 – Freedman’s strategy director Matthias Gray explores the make-up of cultural diversity, covering the four main types of diversity and the role it plays in effective brand communications and in wider social cohesion.

The UN describes cultural diversity as ​​“a driving force of development, not only with respect to economic growth, but also as a means of leading a more fulfilling intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual life.”

Freedman on how brands can better embrace cultural diversity.

Freedman on how brands can better embrace cultural diversity

It goes on to say that cultural diversity is “an asset that is indispensable for poverty reduction and the achievement of sustainable development” and that “acceptance and recognition of cultural diversity ... are conducive to dialogue among civilizations and cultures, respect and mutual understanding.”

Brands play a pivotal role in promoting cohesion and understanding. When done right, their work can bring people together. Understanding and respecting cultural diversity and applying this knowledge and insight into how a brand communicates is a first and pivotal step to positively contributing to this movement.

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When looking at the tapestry of cultural diversity, it’s important to understand the pillars that make up diversity. There are four main types of diversity to consider:

  • Internal diversity: This relates to characteristics a person has that they cannot control, for example race, ethnicity, age, physical ability, assigned sex or mental ability

  • External diversity: These are factors heavily influenced by others and their surroundings, for example personal interests, appearance, education, location or religious beliefs

  • Organizational diversity: This covers differences between people assigned to them by an organization/workplace, for example job function, place of work, management status or pay type

  • Worldview diversity: This final type brings together elements of all three that shape a person’s worldview. This changes over time, evolving with the different experiences we have with others and our continuous learning about ourselves, including political beliefs, moral compass, outlook on life and epistemology

Each type contributes to the make-up of cultural diversity on a societal and individual level, and each plays an essential role in understanding and relating to different people around the world. Taking time to gather these insights puts a brand in a strong position to be a driving force for cultural diversity, using their platform across markets for good, and building invaluable, authentic connections with local audiences.

At Freedman we work closely with brands to understand and nurture cultural diversity through insights that can be used to shape the creative direction of campaigns and refine communication across multiple markets.

Using a network of cultural experts across over 95 countries, we explore cultural insights that give brands a unique advantage and enable them to effectively build their brand and connect with local audiences in a meaningful way. With local insights to ensure cultural relevance remains a key driver in the development of localization strategies and the creative direction of a campaign, we also check the cultural competence of a campaign idea to ensure it is not only culturally relevant but compliant to local markets’ advertising regulations and consistent to brands’ core tone of voice, personality and identity.

Finally, we have in-house creative adaptation, brand guardian and production teams that work with global and local brand teams to create assets across all media platforms including TV, digital, social, out-of-home (OOH) and digital out-of-home (DOOH). These ensure the campaigns land effectively and are on point for every market. This all contributes to the successful global expansion of a brand across multiple markets. With over 30 years of experience working with a variety of global brands, we understand what it takes to look after a brand internationally. At Freedman we believe brands that embrace local culture are more successful around the world.

Modern Marketing Agency

Content by The Drum Network member:

We help ensure that what your brand stands for is replicated internationally. Our local teams use cultural insights to make sure your marketing communications really connect with local target audiences, while keeping your brand consistent around the world.

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