Cause Marketing: The diversity well runs deep with Wells Fargo - Manifest Communications
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Cause Marketing: The diversity well runs deep with Wells Fargo

01 May Cause Marketing: The diversity well runs deep with Wells Fargo

We’re seeing more and more companies taking on big societal issues like diversity, inclusiveness and equality in their marketing efforts these days.  Last year, we saw Cheerios feature an interracial couple for the first time.  Even Air Canada is better reflecting the world we live in with a same-sex couple in their current inflight safety video.

We applaud these efforts but we couldn’t help but ask ourselves:  Are these skin deep?  Are companies using diversity as a marketing ploy to get some buzz and attention?  Are they simply trying to project a progressive brand?  Or is there real depth behind some of these efforts?

A new campaign by Wells Fargo that launched earlier this week gives us confidence that some leading companies are practicing what they preach.  While this isn’t a cause marketing campaign, it is such a heart-warming spot that shines a light on the company’s diversity philosophy.  And it sets a standard for not just talking about diversity, but also for ensuring diversity practices are well entrenched into corporate culture.


How we know this is more than lip service:

Some key examples of the company’s diversity and accessibility practices:

  • Focuses on recruiting and retaining a diverse workplace – and it’s not just a goal, it is a reality and has many awards to back it up, like 2nd Best Company in the US for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Employees
  • Provides equal opportunity for all team members including veterans, minorities, women, people with disabilities, people from the LBGTQ community – this takes into account everything from compensation to benefits, and from training to after-hours recreational activities
  • Ensures customers with disabilities have access to the most innovative products – like talking ATMs, accessible storefronts, customized service for individuals that are hard of hearing or visually impaired, and more
  • Champions the needs of marginalized communities – was the first major bank in the US to accept the Matricula card as a primary form of identification for Mexican nationals to open bank accounts

How it could work better:

  • Be as genuine as possible – in reviewing the Wells Fargo diversity program, it is incredibly robust. But one of the first lines in a message from the Chairman and CEO clearly states the program is there “so we can earn more business from women, people with disabilities and minorities”.  Consumers inherently understand this is a business strategy but it comes off as insincere when you are so blatant about it.

What do you think?  We’d welcome your thoughts and comments too.

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