From tokenism to transformation: How to avoid lip service and build an authentically inclusive foundation

It’s time for brands to act. 

Kantar, through their work with the Unstereotype Alliance, has demonstrated that removing harmful stereotypes is a commercial and social imperative. Consumers expect brands to play an active role: In Kantar’s 2021 Sustainability Sector Index we see that 39% of people believe that brands have an important part to play in the social conversation about issues like gender equality and race or immigrant relations – and in the UK that figure jumps to a significant 58%.

It’s a hard path to navigate, but it’s incumbent on brands to rise to consumer expectations.  The No7 Beauty Company is passionate about driving real tangible change. They took immediate action looking at all aspects of their six global beauty brands.

One of the key areas was product development, starting with product testing panels. Back in July 2020, No7 Beauty Company consumer testing panel was made up of 50k volunteers, of which 81% were white, the rest other ethnicities. The business recognised that was not enough to truly understand the performance of their products on all skin types.

To ensure future product testing was representative of all ethnicities, the team ran several recruitment campaigns to encourage women from underrepresented groups to join their testing panel and have their say on product development. Through these campaigns they were able to significantly increase the panel and doubled the number of volunteers from underrepresented groups. No7 Beauty Company is really proud that all consumer testing now uses this broader group.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. From their ongoing cosmetics relaunch and inclusive shades expansion and product naming, to training beauty advisors, and launching a new advertising campaign tested in partnership with Kantar Marketplace – this is expansive and important work that they take very seriously.

Munnawar Chishty, Global Vice President & Category Director Beauty, No 7 Beauty Company will be speaking at MAD//Fest London with Amy Cashman, Executive Managing Director, Kantar, at the Kantar Marketplace keynote session on Tuesday 5 July at 11:20 AM on the Hexagon Stage. Click here for the agenda.