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Inclusive Marketing: 22 eCommerce brands that do it right

As a brand, you have a platform: a platform to be the voice of all your consumers. Use it to do better, be better. Here's how 22 brands ran some of the best diversity and inclusion campaigns.

Inclusive Marketing: 22 eCommerce brands that do it right

We’ve all heard of inclusive marketing, right? It’s sort of a buzzword in the eCommerce world right now. 

And for good reason. The importance of inclusive marketing is something all minorities can speak for — whether it relates to brands ensuring their products or services that are accessible to everyone, keeping their messages in check, or even promoting diverse advertising.

In fact, a study by Fast Company found that brands performed better (with a 44% stock increase!) when they factored minority groups into their messaging.

Below, we’re sharing some inclusive marketing examples to help you shape your brand.

1. Passionfruit (Show Your Pride)

Over the last 13 years, the relevance of Pride Month has grown significantly. According to AccuraCast, searches have gone up by 100%.

Most brands consider Pride Month when planning their campaigns for the year, but consumers are now starting to become wary of those that only do this for profit.

In fact, nearly half of the US internet users see brands participating in Pride Month as a marketing ploy.

What do you do? Take a note from Passionfruit. Support Pride, but across the year. If you’re going to do something, embrace it fully. You’ll be better for it. 24% of US internet users would also be more likely to shop with you.

Pride Marketing in eCommerce

2. Patagonia (Do More than Talk)

Using cause-marketing to boost your brand identity is a great strategy: one implemented by multiple brands.

But today, it isn’t merely enough to support causes. It’s also critical that you do the work.

When it comes to relevant issues involving the environment, human rights, and racism, several brands have stirred conversations BUT the most memorable ones are those that walk the talk.

One great example is Patagonia and this campaign really shows us why.

Sustainability in eCommerce

3. BoySmells (Skip the Norm-al)

There are more than one million non-binary adults that live in the US. There aren’t nearly enough products to cater to them.

Especially when it comes to beauty and hygiene products, the world is often divided between masculine and feminine — although it doesn’t always need to be.

BoySmells acknowledges that; they take ownership of it. Instead of labeling them as Men or Women, they simply host their perfumes as fragrances: fragrances that can be used by anyone.

In doing so, they open their gender inclusive brand to the entire spectrum of audiences and ensure everyone feels welcome.

Pride Marketing in eCommerce

4. Healthy Roots Dolls (Think About the Kids)

Seniors, Boomers, Gen Z, Gen X, Millenials. There’s still one demographic you’ve missed: kids!

Kids form a major part of the potential target audience — and anyone who’s had kids knows the convincing power (and hence spending power) they come with.

So, it’s important to go beyond the basics. Host products that kids would enjoy (and parents would appreciate). Stuff like Healthy Roots Dolls: dolls that teach kids to look after their own hair.

Black Marketing in eCommerce

5. Blume (Embrace the Uncomfortable)

We get it. Not all conversations are easy.

But some are important.

Especially if you’re in a sensitive industry (think fashion, hygiene, wellness), you tend to win brownie points if you don’t shy away from such conversations.

Take a look at Blume, a gender inclusive brand, that isn’t afraid to have “the talk” and holds conversations that help their audience bloom.

eCommerce personal care branding

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6. UOMA (Beat the Beaten Path)

Most makeup brands have a select range of shades catering to the masses, and people generally struggle to find the one shade that’s perfect for them.

The founder of UOMA wasn’t happy about it. So, she went ahead and built her brand on her range of foundations that cover 51 unique shades.

From White Pearl to Black Pearl, people have the freedom to use makeup that fits them.

Black Marketing in eCommerce

7. Coconut Whisk (Walk the Talk)

It’s 2022. Most brands are amending their practices to be more sustainable, run more inclusive marketing campaigns, and offer more diverse advertising. It isn’t simply enough to just tick these off the checklist for inclusive branding.

You also need to participate. Coconut Whisk, for example, is a vegan food products manufacturer that supports organizations fighting food insecurity.

And they ensure their products are vegan, allergen-free, non-GMO, preservative-free, dietitian-approved, and contain no artificial ingredients.

So, they’re winning on all ends. Take a note. How can you improve your inclusive marketing across the spectrum?

eCommerce Sustainability

8. Google Pixel 2 (Be Real)

Depression, anxiety, suicidal tendencies. All real things.

Why is Google talking about them?

Because they’re trying to connect with real people. Real people like you are me.

And when you address things that really matter, you’re more likely to strike a chord.

Whether they buy your product or not is secondary; the viewers will always remember your brand.

One of the best diversity and inclusion campaigns we've seen, no?

9. Aerie (Show Your Community)

Most people are visual learners. You need to show them what you’re talking about.

It isn’t merely enough to use diverse advertising, you also need to show your audience what diversity means to you.

Take a note from Aerie.

eCommerce Body Positivity

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10. Nike (Have Something for Everyone)

Do you know what makes consumers feel seen?

When they see people like themselves on your page.

When you have products that help someone feel more like themselves, they’ll forever remember it.

Nike did their part with this inclusive branding. How are you?

Nike Fullcoverage Swimwear

11. Kohl Kreatives (make things easy)

Plastics are everywhere — and there are more than we know what to do with them.

Good thing Kohl Kreatives has a solution: they ask their consumers to send in plastics they no longer use and they use it as packaging for their sustainable, upcycled brushes.

The brand hopes to eliminate waste in their processes as much as they can because they believe makeup has the power to heal.

Their campaign #MyArmour puts makeup in the limelight as a tool that has the power to empower.

In line with this, the gender inclusive brand also offers transgender support, free workshops for those experiencing cancer, and online tutorials to help support those with motor disabilities to use these brushes and access disability inclusive brands.

Cause Marketing in eCommerce

12. Sephora (Support Your Allies)

Here are some statistics by McKinsey:

  • 11.1% of total beauty spending comes from Black consumers YET Black brands only make 2.5% of revenue in the industry.
  • Black consumers are 2.2 times as likely to support Black beauty brands YET only 4-7% of beauty brands carried by specialty stores and drugstores are Black beauty brands.

Sephora wanted to make a difference. They want to bring their Black partners to the forefront and they did. Not only did they hold campaigns, they also curated collections to boost the presence of Black beauty brands.

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13. Paul Mitchell (Feature Influencers)

Winnie Harlow, Ashley Graham, Megan Rapinoe, Ruby Rose.

All women of incredible strength; women that had the power to be themselves.

They’ve received a ton of appreciation for their art and have been made the face of several campaigns and launches.

For example, Winnie Harlow for Paul Mitchell. A great partner to an one of the best diversity and inclusion campaigns.

Influencers for Inclusive Marketing

14. Lefty’s (Cater to Underserviced Niches)

The world is ruled by right-handed people, right?

Where do the lefties have their fun?

At Lefty’s.

Lefty’s saw an underserviced segment in the market and they went for it.

Going beyond inclusive branding, they designed their entire store to represent their niche.

Underserviced Niche Marketing in eCommerce

15. Sephora (Be Genuine)

With inclusive marketing being all the rage in 2022, brands tend to hop on the bandwagon.

They tend to align themselves with inclusive marketing and inclusive branding only because everyone else is doing it too.

Sadly, this often goes against them. As we’ve seen in the case of Pride marketing, people prefer associating with brands who aren’t afraid to walk the talk.

They prefer shopping from brands who host conversations but also support their inclusive marketing with real work; brands who are truly genuine.

For example: Sephora. To understand the impact of racism in the retail sphere, Sephora issues a study ‘The Racial Bias in Retail’, and found areas where brands (including themselves) could do better.

Here’s a snippet from their cause-marketing campaign:

Black Marketing in eCommerce

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16. Procter & Gamble (Don’t Shy Away)

Most brands prefer keeping their distance from difficult conversations in the fear that they may lose a part of the audience. They avoid confrontation and keep a very neutral stand.

But often, the truth is that some conversations are essential. When you stand for or against something, you show your integrity as a brand with such inclusive marketing.

You’re more likely to strengthen your connection with a very relevant part of your audience when you put yourself in their shoes. Take a note from Protector & Gamble's diversity and inclusion campaign.

There was no real reason for them to partake in this conversation but they did, and today they’re being spoken of — with good intention.

17. Authored Apparel (Adapt to their Needs)

Here’s something that sounds obvious but isn’t a thought we commonly have: simple instances in our lives can be challenging for others.

Focusing and completing one task at a time, paying attention in class, or even putting on clothes. Stuff that seems normal.

When you have a brand that caters to the masses, you may also want to look into the needs of those that aren’t always thought of as a part of the “masses”: people with mental or physical disabilities.

That’s what Authored Apparel, a disability inclusive brand, does. With a niche as common as daily occurrences, fashion often forgets function. Authored Apparel changes that: they put the fun in functional.

They design specially tailored apparel that can adapt to the users’ needs and reduce dressing challenges.

Marketing to Disabilities

18. Dove (Feature Real People)

Gone are the days when perfect was in.

Now, people like imperfections, they prefer what’s real.

When you include real people in your inclusive marketing, you’re also signaling to your audience that you aren’t afraid to embrace them however they are.

That’s exactly what Dove does here. That's also one of the reasons why they're the most popularly known size inclusive brand.

Using Real People in Marketing eCommerce

19. Victoria’s Secret (Shift Your Lens)

Even for a brand like Victoria’s Secret, perfection is over.

People would rather see a diverse group of people owning their respective identities than one set of the same standard.

When Victoria’s Secret learned this for themselves, they immediately shift their lens.

Today, this campaign is widely seen as one of the best diversity and inclusion campaigns.

Diversity in Branding

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20. NaturAll Nation (Go the Extra Mile)

Sometimes, cause marketing isn’t enough.

Sometimes, it isn’t merely enough to say you support a minority.

And sometimes, inclusive marketing includes having to make adjustments.

When something truly drastic occurs, you need to go the extra mile and play your part in ensuring it doesn’t happen again.

That’s what the NaturAll Nation did.

Black Marketing in eCommerce

21. CocoFloss (Don’t be Afraid to Experiment)

We’ve all been there: experimenting, trying new things, only to have some of it blow up.

But some experiments are good. Some experiments lead to award-winning Banana Daiquiri flavored floss.

Vegan ingredients, compostable packaging, and fun flavors. Now, that’s inclusive branding done right.

To add to their inclusive marketing, they’ve also partnered with Wildlife Conservation Network to help maintain habitats for animals and humans across the globe.

Sustainability in eCommerce

22. Coca-Cola (Embrace Regional Differences)

Spread across 195 countries, 3814 cultures, and 1751 languages, differences make the person.

Why not embrace them?

That’s exactly what Coca-Cola does in this ad. They bring together people from across the globe to share snippets of their experiences and sing in their regional language.

To share one message: together is beautiful.

Don’t you love that inclusive marketing example?

Final word

As a brand, you have a platform: a platform to be the voice of all your consumers.

Use it to do better, be better. Don’t just look at inclusive marketing as an opportunity to bring more conversions.

Drive real conversations, bring forward sustainable practices, and make a difference.

Use cause marketing for what it truly is: an opportunity to support a cause.

‘Cause what good is a world without support?

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