Leverage the Power of Color, Culture, and Inclusivity in 2023

In our increas­ing­ly inter­con­nect­ed soci­ety, we must stop mak­ing assump­tions about diver­si­ty and cul­ture. When we fail to under­stand our audi­ence, it cre­ates a dis­con­nect and ulti­mate­ly affects our sales. 

leverage the power of diversity and inclusion in 2023

Think­ing about diver­si­ty, cul­ture, and inclu­sion can not be an after­thought. If you are ready to make a mean­ing­ful and more inclu­sive impact in the new year, you have come to the right place. Know­ing where to start might feel over­whelm­ing, but this blog post will share strate­gies you can imple­ment in 2023 to bet­ter con­nect with your diverse audience. 

Leverage the Power of Color, Culture, and Inclusivity in 2023

Create a Strategic Plan for Diversity & Cultural Inclusion 

The first step in cre­at­ing an inclu­sive brand is to devel­op a strate­gic plan that out­lines your goals and objec­tives regard­ing diver­si­ty and cul­tur­al inclu­sion. Many brands amp up their inclu­sion focus dur­ing her­itage months, but their efforts dis­si­pate the rest of the year. To be tru­ly inclu­sive, inclu­sion should be rel­e­vant through­out the year. 

As you think about your goals, con­sid­er some of these ques­tions to cre­ate a clear action plan that every­one in your orga­ni­za­tion can follow.

  • What are the key areas you want to focus on? 
  • How do you want to reach out to diverse audiences? 
  • Do you need to con­sult with experts in the com­mu­ni­ty for cul­tur­al accuracy?
  • Do your visu­al assets make these com­mu­ni­ties feel seen, heard, and understood?
  • How do their cul­ture and her­itage influ­ence their experiences?
  • Do your brand col­ors hold a cul­tur­al significance? 
  • What is your imple­men­ta­tion time­line, and who is respon­si­ble for what?
leverage the power of diversity and inclusion in 2023

Develop Culturally-Specific Content 

Once you have estab­lished an over­ar­ch­ing plan, it’s time to start cre­at­ing cul­tur­al­ly rel­e­vant con­tent for your diverse audi­ences. This could mean writ­ing arti­cles or blog posts about top­ics relat­ed to their cul­ture or expe­ri­ences or cre­at­ing visu­als that rep­re­sent dif­fer­ent cul­tures authen­ti­cal­ly (with­out stereo­types). The key is not to fake cul­ture for the sake of a sale.

You like­ly already know that col­or builds brand recog­ni­tion, helps gen­er­ate sales, and evokes cer­tain emo­tions. How­ev­er, only a few con­sid­er col­ors’ impact on cul­ture and her­itage. At NCD, we see this as a nec­es­sary step in brand­ing and a cru­cial step for human connections! 

Any­time we cre­ate a mar­ket­ing cam­paign, a social media post, print, videos, or illus­tra­tions, we have to form an under­stand­ing of how our audi­ence will con­nect with that con­tent. Ensure that any ele­ments used in your con­tent reflect under­stand­ing and open­ness towards oth­er cultures—this includes avoid­ing lan­guage that could be seen as exclu­sion­ary or insensitive. 

We dig deep­er into this top­ic in our LinkedIn Learn­ing course: Col­or and Cul­tur­al Connections. 


Color Psychology and Culture

Col­or and Cul­tur­al Connections

In this course, you will gain a pow­er­ful per­spec­tive on the rela­tion­ship between col­or and cul­tur­al her­itage, you’ll build a con­nec­tion with com­mu­ni­ties that thrive on cul­tur­al diver­si­ty, and you’ll leave inspired to cre­ate con­scious inclu­sion with­in your com­pa­ny cul­ture and brand.

In this course, you will learn: 

  • The impact and mean­ing of col­or across cultures 
  • How col­or, emo­tion, and per­cep­tion interconnect 
  • The con­nec­tion between col­or and cul­tur­al heritage 
  • How to estab­lish cul­tur­al­ly con­scious mar­ket­ing and visuals
  • Val­i­dat­ing cul­tur­al accuracy

Get Intentional About Your Visual Communication

The graph­ics you use to rep­re­sent your orga­ni­za­tion are just as impor­tant as the words you use when com­mu­ni­cat­ing your brand’s val­ues of diver­si­ty and inclu­sion. Incor­po­rat­ing peo­ple of all ages, races, gen­ders, abil­i­ties, and body types in your images increas­es the like­li­hood that your audi­ence will iden­ti­fy with and sup­port your brand.

The visu­als you use must reflect cul­tur­al under­stand­ing rather than appropriation—for exam­ple, using tra­di­tion­al cul­tur­al sym­bols with­out per­mis­sion from the orig­i­na­tors of those sym­bols may be seen as offen­sive by some peo­ple. Indige­nous com­mu­ni­ties have suf­fered pla­gia­rism and appro­pri­a­tion of their pat­terns for mass con­sumers. One exam­ple is Venezue­lan fash­ion design­er Car­oli­na Her­rera, who the Mex­i­can gov­ern­ment is accus­ing of cul­tur­al appropriation. 

As you work with visu­al ele­ments in your brand­ing, con­sid­er the following:

  • Does it reflect the diver­si­ty of your audience? 
  • Is it inclu­sive and void of bias? 
  • Are you ver­i­fy­ing that the graph­ics you use are cul­tur­al­ly correct?
  • Does the body lan­guage set a pos­i­tive tone?
  • Does your team have an approved asset library where they can pull content?

Ded­i­cat­ing time to estab­lish­ing and review­ing your images is cru­cial for any brand. We cov­er strate­gies to imple­ment this in our LinkedIn Learn­ing course, Work­ing With Inclu­sive Images.


How to Promote Diversity and Inclusion in Brand Communications

Work­ing with Inclu­sive Images

Dis­cov­er brand com­mu­ni­ca­tion and image design strate­gies that pro­mote diver­si­ty and inclu­sion with your audi­ence. Learn the impor­tance in prac­tic­ing empa­thy and pro­mot­ing inclu­sion with diverse content.

In this course, you will learn: 

  • The pow­er of visu­al language
  • The impor­tance of know­ing your audience 
  • Ways to rep­re­sent your inter­nal brand culture 
  • How to show empa­thy in your visuals 
  • Effec­tive ways to work­ing with stock pho­tos, brand pho­tog­ra­phers, and inclu­sion experts

Cre­at­ing an inclu­sive brand doesn’t hap­pen overnight. It takes time and effort to get it right. But by fol­low­ing these strate­gies, your brand will be well on its way toward becom­ing more cul­tur­al­ly inclu­sive in 2023—and beyond! 

Lever­ag­ing col­or and cul­tur­al con­nec­tions with inclu­sive images is a pow­er­ful and under­uti­lized strat­e­gy to cre­ate mean­ing­ful cus­tomer rela­tion­ships. If done cor­rect­ly, this strat­e­gy can build loy­al­ty and attract new customers!

So don’t hes­i­tate to start lever­ag­ing cul­tur­al con­nec­tions today! You’ll become part of the solu­tion, lead­ing us to an era where brands are gen­uine­ly reflec­tive of our increas­ing­ly diverse world!

About the Author

Nicte Cuevas, Principal of Nicte Creative Design, empowers mission-driven businesses through strategic design & branding. Nicte has applied this when working with Adobe Spark and Twitter Business, LinkedIn Learning, Dogs on Deployment and Purina, Girl Scouts, The Houston Zoo and The Contemporary Arts Museum. Her excellence in communication design & marketing has been recognized by multiple national / international awards, including a coveted feature in Graphic Design USA's People to Watch.

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