Wunderman Thompson Intelligence presents “Inclusion’s Next Wave,” a global trend report outlining the driving forces propelling the next wave of inclusion.

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Meaningful and authentic action on inclusion is now a brand imperative. A grassroots push from historically marginalized communities (who are increasingly willing to self-identify as such) is aligning with rising employee activism and consumer expectations.

Black trans woman wearing a blue sweater and checked trousers sitting against a wall. The wall has cutouts of trans icons like Marsha P. Johnson, a Black trans woman, on it.
Trans Day of Visibility by We Are Fluide features the trans model Sophia Hernandez. Image courtesy of Landyn Pan.

In a global survey for Wunderman Thompson, 90% say equality is now everyone’s business, and 75% say companies and brands must play a role in solving big societal challenges such as equality and social justice. And consumers will reward brands that deliver, with 66% of people agreeing that they are more inclined to buy from companies who speak out on issues of equality and inclusion.

A Black disabled woman with glasses and a limb difference uses the Adaptive Kit opener with a lanyard to open a laptop.
Microsoft’s Surface Adaptive Kit

The report unpacks the emerging consumer trends and shares implications for brands and businesses, building on original research conducted by Wunderman Thompson Data in Brazil, China, Japan, the UK and the US and exclusive interviews with 18 experts, global ethnographic interviews with 18 people from marginalized communities, case studies and brand takeaways.

New inclusion trends include:

Intersectional Storytelling: Diversity both on-screen and behind the camera is shaping a new era of inclusive storytelling

Stories are so important. If stories weren’t important, you wouldn’t see people trying to ban them.

Wajahat Ali

Columnist for the Daily Beast and author of Go Back To Where You Came From

Inclusivepreneurs: Entrepreneurs from underserved communities are innovating for themselves

The disabled community has coined themselves the original hackers.

Christina Mallon

Director of inclusive design, Microsoft

Two smiling children with disabilities wearing the adaptive clothing range. One child is Black and in a wheelchair, and the other is Asian and wearing glasses.
Tommy Hilfiger’s Tommy Adaptive range, which includes children's wear

Mass inclusive design: Accessible products and services are hitting the mainstream as brands target mass distribution

Meta-inclusion: As we build new virtual worlds, brands have an unprecedented opportunity to build in inclusion, accessibility and equity from the start

Revolutionary Rest: Exhausted from constantly fighting their corner, marginalized communities are giving themselves permission to focus on rest

Close up on torso of a White woman with an ostomy bag who is putting on an adaptable bright orange two-piece swimsuit.
Miga Swimwear

Survey findings include:

  • 82% of global respondents feel that actions on inclusion and equality should be integrated throughout the entire business
  • 63% are more likely to buy from brands that made more effort to represent people like them
  • 60% agree that brands who do not deliver on inclusion will become irrelevant

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