Spotlight /

June 2022

Polycultural Brand Building With Khari Motayne

Khari Motayne is a business strategist and director at Direct Agents, an independent New York-based minority-owned marketing agency that focuses on innovation in the digital media space. In 2020, he founded the agency's inclusive marketing practice to advise brands on how and where to make genuine connections with an increasingly diverse market. His innovation in the space was highlighted by Digiday for two years in a row when he was named a finalist in their Future Leader Awards. His approach to inclusive strategy dubbed the 'Polycultural Angle,' was an honorable mention in Fast Company's World Changing Ideas (2022).

Key takeaways

01 Understand that culture is fluid and be proactive to its evolutions

Culture has evolved from the traditional, ‘multicultural’ view to a more dynamic ‘polycultural’ way–meaning it is fluid and constantly changing. When looking at cultural marketing practices, take note of the continued cultural evolution in order to create lasting and authentic connections with your audiences.

02 Celebrate diversity on an ongoing basis to build trust with your audience

Rather than recognizing cultural celebrations as they come and pass, make sure they’re amplified and supported by continued conversations over time. People want to see more diversity because it’s more reflective of the world they’re living in, and having constant dialogues–rather than one-off celebrations–will build trust among audiences.

03 Make sure inclusivity is a pillar of your organization

Make your brand inclusive by ensuring inclusivity is a pillar of the internal organization. Brands will be able to better reach individuals within their company if they’re able to tell a story that includes everyone.

04 Have open conversations with team members at every level

Reputation is a key component of any business’ success, and in order to create and maintain a positive one, hold open conversations with every person within the organization to ensure everyone is aligned with the mission of your brand.

05 Practice active listening and ask good questions to captivate the interest of others

To be a good problem-solver, it’s important to intently listen and ask questions on the topics of conversation to reach the deepest understanding of what’s being communicated. By showing genuine interest in others, people will be more likely to open up and fully engage with you.

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