From pro sports to packaged goods, brands have been taking a long, hard look at their identities and choosing to make a positive change. The Cleveland Guardians and Washington Commanders have dropped old names and mascots from their team rosters. And food brands have done their part so grocery store shelves can be stocked with Pearl Milling Company pancake mixes and syrups as well as Ben’s Original rice. Let’s unpack how travel, tourism and hospitality brands are viewing their own identities through the lens of social responsibility and reinventing themselves to keep up the momentum…
As part of Airbnb’s Work to Fight Discrimination and Build Inclusion, the company has not only taken meaningful steps to improve booking success equity, but has also removed property listings that do not align with their values and vision. Taking a page from the same book, Disney Parks is reimagining Splash Mountain to be Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. And a California ski resort has rebranded as Palisades Tahoe – a new name that “captures the individuality of our people and welcomes all guests to take part in our new chapter.”
You’ll notice many of your LinkedIn connections (like me) have added pronouns to their profiles, so others feel comfortable doing the same. In the travel space, Virgin Atlantic’s new uniform policy allows flight crew members to wear the company clothing that best expresses how they identify and present themselves. It’s a gigantic leap forward from the sexualized stewardess persona of the late 1960s and early 70s.
In addition to embracing people of different races, sexualities, gender identities and abilities (for more on that, check out our blog post on Representation in Marketing here), brands have a responsibility to treat issues that impact people’s lives with sensitivity. In 2020, 125 Americans died by their own hand. Every. Single. Day. In light of this growing mental health crisis, a ski resort in Vermont has rebranded as Saskadena Six with the dual intention of dropping its former name and honoring the region’s indigenous Western Abenaki population.
Consumers everywhere have made clear they want to spend their dollars on products, services and experiences from companies that do their part to make the world a better place. If you feel your brand is ready for a reckoning (or even just a refresh!), contact Lynn Kaniper at 609.466.9187 ext. 117 or email@example.com today.