Photo by Maddi Bazzocco on Unsplash

Fashion app Dote has been called out across social media for their lack of diversity in their Dote Girls branded campaigns.

YouTube star Daniella Perkins shared her recent experience with racial exclusion at the Dote house where the influencers were staying while promoting Dote at Coachella. The shocking revelation prompted many A-list Gen Z influencers to end their relationship with the fashion app.

Dote vows to be a more inclusive brand, but wants to know how the influencer marketing ecosystem can be more representative of all genders, races, sexualities, and perspectives.

Here are how brands, influencers, and influencer marketplace and agencies can collectively work together to promote diversity and inclusion.

Brands Should Highlight Diversity in Campaigns

Since brands are leveraging influencers now more than ever, they need to think about inclusivity from the very start of their campaign strategy.

Eric Toda, former marketing executive at Gap Inc., Airbnb, Nike, and Snapchat shared his thoughts on how brands can do better:

“It’s not a secret that marketing is a predominantly white industry so naturally there are marketers who choose influencers who look like them; it’s safe, it’s relatable, but unfortunately, it’s not real life.”

Toda said that marketers continue to influence large masses of people. They need to put value-driven messages out there, show real life and not a sterilized mirage, and instill purpose. He added that marketers “can achieve this by partnering with influencers that represent different stories, races, socioeconomic backgrounds, etc.”

Influencer Marketing Takeaway: When crafting campaigns, marketers should think about the target demographic and imagine how they’d react to a non-diverse influencer mix. They should find influencers that represent the brand’s audience and values.

Influencers Should Look For the Right Partnerships

Being an influencer is a business. With a high-followership, influencers have opportunities to produce content for a broader audience through brand partnerships. Influencers need to research and work with the right brands. 

Before agreeing to any campaigns, influencers should study the brand from looking at their products, social media accounts, and past campaigns.

Influencer Marketing Takeaway: Influencers need to align with forward-thinking inclusive brands that are not only creating products for a wide audience, but are also showcasing diversity on their social media accounts and campaigns.

Influencer Marketplaces And Agencies Should Educate Clients.

Employees at influencer marketplaces and agencies can help educate their clients on how to optimize successful campaigns by showing data and insights that highlight the importance of inclusivity.

Brands should work with influencers of all ethnicities, genders, sizes, and perspectives – diverse, everyday people who are actually the brand’s consumers.

Sometimes, brands are looking for cookie-cutter influencers that usually represent traditional standards of beauty. However, agencies have to tell the brands owners that working with real people, serving their actual demographic, is much better for their brand as shown by campaign results.  

Influencer Marketing Takeaway: Influencer marketplaces and agencies need to lead the campaign in providing a diverse array of influencers to their clients. By showing data points and leveraging insider knowledge they can help to create impactful campaigns that transcend the traditional standards of beauty.