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Inclusivity is the biggest driver of a brand’s popularity

The popularity of a brand is decided by six key factors – the most important being inclusivity – according to research from Publicis Groupe-owned Leo Burnett. The research, which is part of the creative agency’s PopIndex, was unveiled at an event featuring the likes of model and activist Munroe Bergdorf, Netflix’s Director of Original Series Chris Sussman, presenter and disability activist Samantha Renke, and Founder of The Unmistakables Asad Dhunna.

Leo Burnett found that – alongside inclusivity – reliability, relatability, relevancy, social awareness, and cultural fluency all also played a role in a brand becoming a populist success. The creative agency tested the importance of the six factors by looking at the gap between leading and challenger brands. It found that the biggest gap between leading and challenger brands was on how they score on inclusivity.

“DE&I is on everyone’s agenda, but the pace of change in advertising is nowhere near as fast as it needs to be. One of the reasons is that the industry hasn’t made the case for change clearly enough to clients. This research shows that making a brand’s advertising more representative of the nation’s diversity isn’t just the right thing to do ethically – it’s the smart thing to do commercially,” said Josh Bullmore, Chief Strategy Officer at Leo Burnett.

The PopFest event explored how populist brands can become more representative and inclusive in their communications. Leo Burnett’s Global Chief Creative Officer, Chaka Sobhani, hosted a discussion between Bergdorf, Sussman, Renke, and Dhunna looking at theme. The panel covered a range of topics, including how brands can deliver on diversity, tokenism, the role of politics, inclusive media, and more. Bullmore then shared a presentation on how brands can deliver on the diversity opportunity.

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