September 15, 2016

By Crystal Albanese, senior manager of committees and conferences at ANA

For Eric Reynolds and his team at Clorox, diversity has been a cornerstone of their efforts to create teams that help keep the company and its brands vibrant. “We set ambitious goals for attracting, retaining, and developing diverse talent,” says Reynolds, CMO at the Clorox Co. “We believe that diverse, robust teams create better strategies and ideas, and certainly more exciting creative.”

Reynolds, a featured speaker at the upcoming ANA Multicultural Marketing and Diversity Conference, shares why Clorox is a leader in multicultural marketing and why brands should do more than just check the box when it comes to diversity.

What does it take to be a leader in multicultural marketing and diversity?

Clorox’s belief in, and commitment to, multicultural marketing springs from our culture of putting the consumer at the center of everything. If a brand is truly consumer-centric, you end up spending time on multicultural. You have to put your money where your heart (and growth) is.

Clorox marketers naturally embrace multicultural marketing because often the consumer and product insights are the most vivid and different with these populations. But more than sentiment, it takes a team of exceptional people and a dogged persistence over time to get the strategy, insights, and execution right. A great program takes years in the making, and you need to stay current. And yes, it takes resources — money and time. We believe you must dedicate a material portion of your resources to the multicultural consumer, and not just “disaster check” your general creative against them. That’s how you consistently win.

What can individuals expect to learn from your session at the ANA’s Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference?

Last year, Clorox had a strong year of performance and share growth with 50 percent of our entire share growth coming from Hispanic consumers. I hope participants will have a better sense of how we approach our efforts, and why we do what we do. This could serve to inspire or inform others on their efforts in their brands and companies.

People at the session will come out with a more informed view of the often confusing idea of “total market.” I’ll share our approach and how it has served us well. Clorox has long been a total market shop in that we often let multicultural insights and creative lead the general market work. We always start our efforts trying to rally around common insights and activations, but if we find that there’s a divergence on the insight level, we produce separate executions. I hope that attendees will have an informed sense of what it takes to win with multicultural consumers, and find inspiration on how to bring that back to their organizations.

What are the unique benefits of having your headquarters on the West Coast?

Our brands are particularly strong with African-American and Hispanic consumers. We are fortunate to have been located in Oakland, California — one of the most diverse cities in the U.S. — for 104 years. Diversity of thought and people is in our blood, as the entire West Coast has the kinds of consumers and employees who are naturally open to thinking about diversity. 

Our team members are passionate and engaged. If they don’t they think our efforts are robust enough, speaking in a voice that’s true, or think they are fundamentally disconnected from a certain group of people, we hear about it. This type of rowdy, passionate dialogue around diversity keeps us on our toes to avoid complacency or lazy marketing. This, I think, keeps us fresh, open to new ideas, and endlessly curious.

To hear more from Eric Reynolds, join us at the 2016 ANA Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference, October 9–11, in Los Angeles, Calif. His presentation will focus on how Clorox has evolved toward a new mainstream marketing approach. He’ll be joined by CMOs and top marketers from Wells Fargo, Target, Nestlé, Prudential, Intel, Lane Bryant, Pernod Ricard USA, and more.

 

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