If diversity is the future, why are companies ignoring it?

Kate Wilson
Culture Watch

Companies must wake up to the opportunities presented by marketing more intelligently and inclusively to Britain's increasingly diverse cultural make-up. Here Kate Wilson outlines how companies can take a fresh approach to cultural diversity.

Reporting on the publication of the 2011 UK Census data, the BBC announced: "Diversity is the future of Britain." This statement is supported by both factual and anecdotal evidence in the media on an almost daily basis.

  • The 2011 Census data, released in December 2012, showed how rapidly the population of the UK has changed in the past decade — with 7.5 million people (13% of the population) born overseas and dramatic changes taking place in the make-up of the population. Over 60% of children born in London have one or both parents who were born abroad – and one in four for the country as a whole.
  • In the past, minority populations were concentrated in London, but are now more diffused, with dramatic growth rates in towns where ethnic minority groups have increased by 90%. As The Economist noted: "The rest of the country is looking more like London: less white and more diverse."
  • During the Boxing Day sales in London, Chinese and Middle Eastern customers accounted for £12m of the £50m sales in the West End, with an average spend of over £1000 per customer – typically on luxury brands.