How Brands Can Approach Authenticity, Diversity, and Pride


In June of 2020, it became abundantly clear that any individual or brand with a platform must use it constructively or face public scrutiny.  This concept is increasingly more important: brands cannot fake authenticity and diversity. With UGC and influencer marketing, they don’t have to. 

The Duty to Represent Authentically

An aptly titled article from RetailDive sums up the impetus for brands to embrace social change: Consumers want retailers to do the right thing. And the data shared in that article overwhelmingly indicates that the right thing is to embrace the social changes encouraged by the Black Lives Matter movement. But consequently, virtue signaling or shouting empty messages into the ether with little action to back it up can be equally harmful. 

Every marketer has thought over this exact challenge for the past month. And some have arrived at the same conclusion Pixlee has. The best message is one that your diverse, authentic community is already sharing. As brands strive for authenticity, marketers have a duty to amplify the diverse and passionate content from their community.

Aspiring for Better

Some brands are rising to these demands by customers better than others. Some organizations are already better amplifying a diverse community. The AdCouncil has created multiple campaigns that highlight gender, sexual orientation, and racial diversity such as Love Has No Labels.

But that doesn’t mean that traditional brands can’t also adopt similar approaches to their messaging.  Tarte Cosmetics highlights its diverse community throughout their website and through their outward communications.

Authenticity here is key. Real people who back a brand speak volumes to the brand’s community. Brands looking to improve representation overall can focus on amplifying these sorts of voices, as a start. And while there are myriad ways brands need to improve, being authentic is a pretty decent place to start.

This article originally appeared in the Pixlee blog and has been published here with permission.

About the author

Steve Hutt

Steve has entrepreneurship in his DNA. In the early days of online commerce, he achieved Power Seller status at eBay, which then propelled him to become a founding partner of, a contact lens, and eyewear retailer. After a successful exit from his startup, he embarked on his next journey into agency work in e-commerce and digital strategy.

Currently, Steve is part of the Merchant Success Team at Shopify Plus, where he is a Strategic Advisor helping brands continue to grow and scale with the Shopify Commerce Platform.

To maintain a competitive edge and life of learning mantra, Steve also hosts and produces a top-rated weekly podcast show, eCommerce Fastlane, where he interviews Shopify partners and subject matter experts who share the latest marketing strategy, tactics, platforms, and must-have apps, to help Shopify brands build and scale lifetime customer loyalty.