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Jun 23, 2023

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Pride in Every Detail: Promoting Inclusivity Through Product Information

Explore how major global brands like Adidas, North Face, and Levi's have authentically incorporated inclusivity in their product experience strategies during this Pride Month, and discover the omnichannel, coordinated approaches that enabled them to communicate their support through their product information.

Keywords

B2C

Customer Experience

Digital Commerce

Pride Month

Retail Trends

With major companies like BudLight and Target facing backlash for their Pride campaigns this year, many brands are scaling back their Pride Month activities, resulting in a quieter year for the LGBTQ+ community in the retail industry.

But communicating who you are as a brand is important to consumers – the Akeneo 2023 Global B2C Survey Results indicated that two-fifths of customers would be willing to pay more for a company that communicated its brand values. In an increasingly competitive environment, customers have more opportunities than ever before to make informed purchase decisions, and the social issues that you stand for are becoming an important decision factor. And consumers are putting their dollars where their mouths are – as we’ll cover later, despite The North Face receiving calls for boycotts after partnering with trans spokesperson, their Summer of Pride event in July is completely sold out and sales remain steadily growing.

But showing your support for the LGBTQ+ community is more than just changing your social media picture rainbow. It needs to be integrated into your products and processes and part of your company DNA – whether you work with queer businesses or designers, or you donate a percentage of your profits to an LGBTQ+ organization, communicating your support for the community requires a coordinated, omnichannel approach that allows you to populate crucial product information at speed.

If that sounds difficult, that’s because it is. But Just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it’s impossible – let’s take a look at three brands who have successfully incorporated inclusivity into their product experience strategy for 2023 Pride.

 

1. Adidas

Adidas’s Pride 2023 collection represents a significant step towards promoting inclusivity and allyship in the world of sports. By launching this collection, the brand emphasizes its commitment to creating a space where athletes can be true to themselves, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

In collaboration with queer designer Rich Mnisi, Adidas incorporates a powerful element of personal expression into the Pride collection. Mnisi’s contribution, in the form of a love letter he wrote to his younger self, adds an intimate touch to the campaign. The letter serves as a source of inspiration and encouragement for individuals to embrace their true identities without fear or hesitation.

Adidas 2023 Pride Collection

This year, Adidas also partnered with Olympic gold medalist Tom Daley. As an openly gay athlete who has faced and overcome challenges throughout his career, Daley’s involvement brings firsthand experience and credibility to the message of inclusivity, and empower individuals who may have felt marginalized or excluded within the sports world.

The Adidas Pride 2023 collection really demonstrates how love knows no boundaries – not only does it spans across various sporting good categories like  apparel and footwear, but Adidas also partnered with EA SPORTS to offer several pieces from the range to wear in-game and use in two separate game modes in FIFA 23. Players can unlock the ‘Let Love Be Your Legacy’ pack by completing certain objectives during the entire month of Pride.

Adidas also continues to facilitate the Title IX Athlete Leadership Summit and workshops at eight Adidas-partnered NCAA college campuses, driving education and policy reform to spur equity on campus and in sports.

 

We as a brand believe in the power of collaboration to create a more equal world of sport. We will continue to work with partners such as Athlete Ally, listen to our LGBTQIA+ athletes and support our communities to create more possibilities - by creating safe and inclusive spaces to express their authentic selves while playing sport.

2. North Face

North Face’s Pride campaign, featuring the drag queen Pattie Gonia, embodies the brand’s commitment to a more inclusive outdoor industry. The company believes that the outdoors should be a “welcoming, equitable, and safe space for all individuals”. By organizing the “Summer of Pride” events across the United States, North Face actively fosters community and belonging in the outdoors, aligning with their core values.

North Face’s integration of these values into its product information communicates a deeper level of support for the LGBTQ+ community. By aligning its brand messaging with actions and initiatives that promote inclusivity, North Face establishes itself as an advocate for change and progress. This approach goes beyond a simple rainbow logo or token gesture, showing a genuine dedication to creating a more diverse and welcoming outdoor industry.

North Face 'Summer of Pride' Campaign

And when you support the LGBTQ+ community, it supports you back. GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis issued a statement praising North Face: “Including LGBTQ people and holding true to your corporate values is good for business. The North Face is following hundreds of other businesses that include and stand with LGBTQ people and our allies. At a time when over 20% of Gen Z is LGBTQ and a supermajority of Americans support LGBTQ people, The North Face’s decision should be a signal to other companies that including LGBTQ people and allies is better for business than siding with a small number of violent extremists who want to keep LGBTQ consumers and employees invisible.”

 

3. Levi’s

Levi’s, a renowned brand with a rich history, pays homage to LGBTQIA+ activist groups through its lavender-hued 2023 Pride collection. This collection serves as a symbolic tribute, embracing the spirit and energy of both past and present queer and trans youth. By doing so, Levi’s aligns itself with a culture of resistance and empowerment, reinforcing its commitment to inclusivity and social progress.

At the center of the Pride collection is the iconic 501 ’93 straight, a garment known for its historical significance in challenging traditional gender norms. This particular style has a longstanding reputation for blurring the lines of gender and embracing a more inclusive and fluid understanding of self-expression.Levi's Pride Collection 2023

Levi’s accompanying campaign, titled “How do you show up?” further reinforces the brand’s celebration of self-expression as a diverse spectrum. By highlighting the multiplicity of identities and encouraging individuals to embrace their true selves, regardless of societal expectations, Levi’s empowers people to express their authentic selves freely. This campaign serves as a reminder that there is no singular way to show up and that individuality should be cherished.

In addition to the Pride collection and campaign, Levi’s demonstrates its ongoing commitment to the LGBTQIA+ community through philanthropy. The brand makes a generous annual donation to Outright International, a global organization dedicated to advancing human rights for LGBTQIA+ individuals.

The Levi’s Pride 2023 campaign is a global celebration of the LGBTQIA+ community and its powerful history of genuine self-expression. From clubs to protests to Pride parades, wherever people gather in the name of love and inclusivity, so many of them will proudly show up in their Levi’s and 501 jeans.

As consumers become increasingly discerning and seek brands that align with their values, it is crucial for companies to move beyond surface-level gestures during Pride Month. By engaging with queer designers, featuring diverse voices and experiences, and actively contributing to LGBTQ+ organizations, these brands showcase the importance of incorporating inclusivity into their entire product experience strategy, enabling them to communicate what matters most to them as an organization to their customers. As we continue to navigate an evolving retail landscape, let us celebrate brands that embrace diversity, respect, and authenticity, not just during Pride Month but throughout the year.

Are you looking for a way to include inclusivity into your product experience strategy? It starts with your product information. Reach out to an Akeneo expert today to see how the Akeneo Product Cloud technology can help you communicate what matters most to customers.

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