No longer a niche.
It took 45 years for Dominique Apollon to see a bandage that matched his brown skin. To most of the folks that read this article that won’t seem like a very big deal. You may have read the viral post he made on social media this week about it. You may have felt the story tug at your heart strings a bit…but do you know how big of a deal this was?
I spend a lot of my time dissecting marketing campaigns in an effort to promote inclusive language and images. It is an obsession that I have turned into a passion. Tru-Colour Bandages caught me off guard a bit this week and made me turn my focus from the advertising realm, to the product development world. I believe inclusion in advertising is mandatory and should not be considered a daunting task. But companies like Tru-Colour take inclusion to the next level by designing products for the multicultural consumer. They make products for us. That is representation that deserves a standing ovation. Diversity in Healing.
Designing and marketing a product specifically to a minority group used to be considered “niche marketing”, but more and more it is becoming common. Procter and Gamble has successfully launched numerous products of this nature…my favorite products and ensuing campaign being the “Pantene Gold Series“. African American women across the country rejoiced when the national ad campaign for hair care products celebrated the beauty of black hair.
My favorite Shark Tank predator Daymond John achieved fame and fortune when he and a few close friends launched FUBU, a clothing line that was For Us By Us. Six billion dollars in global sales later I think it is pretty safe to say that the African American consumer is no longer a niche.
So today, I am happy to celebrate all of the companies that are taking the idea of inclusion and running with it. Bringing products to the marketplace that are specifically for us is inclusion at its best. The next step is to get our country to a place where a brown bandage isn’t a viral sensation…rather it is the status quo.