Nova Reid of Nu Bride discusses broadening representation and diversity in today’s wedding industry
The wedding industry landscape is changing, and the many businesses that are resting on their laurels are in danger of getting left behind. Diversity has never been such a hot topic in the industry and in turn, society. Consumers have more choice than ever before. From where they can get married, to the type of ceremony they can have, what they wear and even the traditions they can keep, ditch or reinvent.
But what is changing the most is the demographic of couples getting married. They are not the same as they were 10 years ago and many businesses are not adapting to this change quick enough.
One thing that hasn’t changed is expectations. These are still high, perhaps even higher. What’s more, expectations of value for money and quality are possibly even more important, especially when you take into account the uncertain economy and couple who are socially conscious.
Social media not only brings about the power of choice but also a power to influence a personal buying decision (or not). Couples don’t need to settle for what is local and on their doorstep anymore, they can cast the net wider to get what they want. Many are intentionally choosing to work with businesses that are visually representative of them in terms of personal values. For some couples, this goes beyond choice.
The wedding industry is representative of wider society and we are all experiencing the shift of our current socio-political climate. In 2018, a Nu Bride survey revealed that 66% of couples experience discrimination during their wedding planning – something they don’t expect during the frivolity and joy of getting married. But nevertheless, they do.
It also means some couples are looking for signals from business owners like you, that you are not only a safe and inclusive space for them but that you and your team are skilled at offering services that suit their needs, without making them feel excluded.
So how do you stand out from the crowd? How do customers know that you are a safe, inclusive space for them?
It’s worth noting that as well as expectations, the demographics of couples are changing. They are more multicultural and more integrated than ever before, and mixed-race couples are thought to be the fastest-growing demographics in the UK.
So it’s no surprise that an industry report from Mintel revealed the top three growing sectors in the UK wedding industry are multicultural, LGBTQ and couples having second-time marriages. If you are not working with that consumer base, you may well be noticing a decline in business.
Humanitarian aspects of caring about equality and including different types of people aside, extensive international research by diversity leaders Mckinsey revealed that you are three times more likely to be outsold and outperformed by peers if your business is not diverse.
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Numerous reports also state that consumers are more likely to buy a product or service when they see themselves represented. So at the very least, you should be intentionally marketing to them, because not doing so, not prioritizing this, feeling stuck about how, is 100% costing your business and potentially your brand reputation too.
There is no longer a need to debate why diversity matters, but rather why it is not being prioritised by everyone? Common reasons are often driven by fear:
Couples are holding businesses to higher standards. Times are changing, as are needs, and they want you to do things differently. They want more value, choice and more inclusive services for their wedding, whatever their background or personal tastes. Not everyone wants to marry in a tux and tails at a stately home. People want more and if you are not catering to them, they will just go elsewhere.
Nova Redi is the founder of multi-award-winning wedding platform Nu Bride, the UK’s leading wedding platform dedicated to diversity. She is also a diversity campaigner, media expert and consultant working with small business owns and organisations who want to lead by example and be the change they want to see in their industry and beyond. For more information, take a look at the Nu Bride website here.