The non-freedom
of inclusive communication

Camilo Castro & Jéssica Almeida | 08 Jun 2020

During our repositioning process in 2020 and before the pandemic worsened abruptly on the planet, we felt the need to get even closer to our partners in order to form a fairer, stronger, and more concise collaborative network.

As a company that is responsible for developing brands for the market, our philosophy is that these brands are social assets and that business should be at the service of society.

In the midst of this process, we asked ourselves about relevant themes that could intervene in society in a more incisive way, and we created “The people’s brand”, a series of contents to give voice and value to the places of speech, addressing social aspects that need to be addressed.

Society is a tangle of constructions and deconstructions, daily challenges and questions that make us reflect on structural and historical patterns such as prejudice, race, gender, freedom, diversity, respect, education, and other issues.

Considering that since the beginning of the year the most addressed issues, besides the spread of Covid-19, are racism and violence against women, we invited Jéssica Almeida, a citizen, woman, mother, black, northeasterner, Bahian and publicist to share her story, her vision of the communication market and how she “faces” it in a unified and synergetic way.

“As a communication professional, there is no verb that has greater meaning than transform.

I started in the market very young, in 2005, and have seen innovative communication models fall apart and give rise to even more disruptive models. I have seen technologies, apps, social networks, and a flood of data and algorithms give way to years and years of ethnographic research, mapping consumer behavior beyond demographics.

But what has really amazed me over the years is how communication has had a transformative change in the way it views its audience. The “mass” has given place to the “individual”, and this is the result of an upsurge of social agendas that were not addressed by the common society before, and were only dealt with in (few) academic environments.

The concepts of otherness and identity have never been so discussed in the formation of a brand culture, directly impacting communication and markets. The specific look to the different feminisms, to the gender, race, and class agendas have turned communication upside down, taking specific consultancies inside the companies, showing the power and the protagonism of groups that used to be marginalized and today hold great market shares.

The brands learned the power of individuality and taught the consumer to embrace their own identity, within a collective logic of consumption.

Let me bring you a simple example: products for curly and coily hair. Until the early 2000s, brands brought in their labels the descriptions for “ethnic hair”, being that more than 80% of the Brazilian population is formed by black people with hair between curly and frizzy, so we are dealing with ethnicities and yes a majority public. Moreover, the benefits of the products brought expressions and properties that treated hair with this characteristic as a “problem” and that needed to be tamed, tamed, and reduced.

Today the reality is opposite, in addition to a whole range of products of various brands and for different types of curly and frizzy hair, the expressions on the packaging are empowering and encouraging such as: “volumão” (big volume), “curls devastating” and “my curl, my life.

Black and peripheral women, like me, started to see their faces in ads and campaigns, gaining prominence and specific products that fit their bodies and their realities.

The big corporations and their agencies began to understand that it was necessary to have women speaking for women, blacks speaking for blacks, peripherals speaking for peripherals, but allowing capitalism to speak for all of them.

For me, to be a woman within this new social logic is to understand that the presence of women and their strength is much more than just being represented and recognized by the market; in fact, this is only truly possible when we talk about respect and equity.

We live in the era of inclusive communication, but we are still minorities in political positions, in management positions in large companies, we have lower salaries to perform the same functions as a man and, in addition, we suffer harassment in our work environment, besides the countless daily violence that add to the statistics.

For this reason, we cannot be complacent with the advances, we still have a long way to go to finally rest.”

As a society, we are multiple, we should complete each other in our differences, but, at the same time, we are individual beings fighting for our particular beliefs.

How do we find the sweet spot in relationships based on respect, ethics, morality, and harmony?

The journey is arduous, the struggle is continuous, and evolution is long lasting.

The business context is an extremely important pillar in the construction of behaviors, of a social network that is fair, equal, and able to address relevant issues, opening paths to possibilities, and serving as an example to other groups.

Also in this context, communication is one of the most powerful tools that can translate the essence of people and businesses to meet the market demands and offers in a healthy and sustainable way.

The journey is horizontal. So is the power.

Just like businesses, people are brands, they are, they tell and they make history.

What are you and your business doing today for the good of society?