Now, more than ever, brands and businesses are expected to create equitable and inclusive experiences for their consumers and their employees.
The Inclusion Experience specialty at VML is a strategic consultancy and executing partner that works with clients to bring about sustainable cultural change within their organizations.
Inclusion Experience is a critical step toward creating connected brands and companies that are culturally aware, diverse, equitable and inclusive.
Inclusion Experience (IX) is a strategic consulting and implementation practice. Our IX speciality partners with clients to bring about sustainable cultural change both within their organizations and beyond externally to the customers and communities they serve.
IX is both a speciality and capability with its own unique offerings. The three focus areas for IX are inclusion for the brand and consumer, inclusion for the employee, and inclusion for the business. Each of these focus areas has unique offerings and outputs.
Cultural movements affect companies, their people, and their products. Sixty-eight percent of consumers expect brands to be clear about their values. This, coupled with the emerging demographic trends and increased purchasing power of these groups, makes IX more vital now than ever.
Multiple consultancies have entered the space to guide companies on ways to address their diversity, equity and inclusion challenges. While these companies charge top dollar for keen insights and deliver large prescriptive presentations, VML is uniquely poised to help companies realize their DEI ambitions by employing techniques that we’ve developed over the years and are refining daily.
We apply our unique human-centered design methodology to solve challenges at the intersection of business and culture, equity and technology, inclusion and belonging, and more.
As a speciality, IX is staffed by talented individuals from every department, discipline and geography that VML has to draw from. The speciality thrives thanks to individuals that bring strategic, technical, and client-facing acumen to solve two of our most complex business challenges: systemic racism and structural disadvantages.
Prior to the formal launch of IX, VML had already been working with client partners to make lasting, sustainable change both internally and externally. From working with partners like Google, Ford, and New Balance on racial equity and talent diversification to more recent work with Wendy’s, BASF, Lee Jeans, and Conagra addressing the cultural resonance of their communications, we have demonstrated a strong commitment to amplifying the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion across all facets of our business.
Generally, when we talk about customer experience, the “customer” is not an inclusive representation of the marketplaces in which our brands reside or in the society in which we live. Typically, we ask “how can our creative be more inclusive?” IX will ask “how can our overall strategy be more inclusive considering impacted key segments?” Inclusion as a business imperative affects all other processes down-funnel. If we get it right at the top, we’re better off in the end.
VML has launched the Inclusion Experience (IX) Advisory Council, a strategic group that works on the critical need to redefine standards and raise the bar for inclusive teams, representative marketing, and more.
Comprised of diverse leaders across a variety of industries from some of the nation’s largest and most well-known organizations, the council’s goals are to further evolve the narratives and practices around multicultural marketing, inclusive design, and experience strategy.
Read the full press release here.