People with disabilities - Diversity Beyond Ethnicity

People with Disabilities are brand loyalists and have their unique brand preferences. When brands help them navigate their day, with support, understanding and empathy, these consumers in turn help grow their market with repeat purchases.

Their support group, made up of friends and family, tend to become brand loyalists too. This means that they are less likely to be influenced by competitive coupons or deals and not easily swayed away from their preferred brands.

In Canada, with a market size of 6.2 million consumers (aged 15 and above), people with disabilities represent a purchasing power of more than $50 billion annually. Together with their friends and family, they are the 3rd largest market segment in North America. With factors like an aging population in the mix, this market is forecasted to grow exponentially over the next two decades.

Factors such as, type of impairment (visible or hidden), age, barriers to accessibility to information, etc. make the consumer with disabilities market diverse and heterogeneous. The types of impairment include physical limitations like vision and hearing difficulty, learning disability, intellectual disability, mental health, etc. Inclusivity becomes the key when reaching out and connecting with this target audience.

Inclusive marketing and advertising help brands engage and strike a chord with this untapped consumer group. Identifying every touchpoint along the consumer journey of people with disabilities can lead to brand loyalty, differentiation, and credibility.

An inclusive advertising strategy is one that is innovative, empathetic and aims to lift attitudinal barriers by including the person with a disability in any brand communication (online and offline), in a natural, supportive way. This will help grow brand affinity among consumers with disabilities, including their friends and families.

Accessible media is another inclusive approach. This involves the use of multiple channels and formats such as TV commercials with subtitles and audio descriptions, printed material including in braille, audio commercials on radio stations, programme content for people with listening disability, accessible events, and websites etc. Other marketing choices can be direct mail and partnering with disability publications and influencers.

Being inclusive and accessible is a must-have approach for brands to build long-term consumer relationships with this brand-loyal target group. Contact us to help you create an inclusive marketing strategy to reach your consumers with disabilities.