32 min

Ep. 234: Naiara De León & Madison Dyal Anderson | All Customers Just Want to Belong: What Defines an Inclusive Retail Experience‪?‬ Customer Confidential: Untold Stories of Earned Growth

    • Management

Why do some retailers excel at creating a welcoming environment for a diverse customer base while others fall short?
Bain & Company's Naiara De León and Madison Dyal Anderson discuss their research on how companies that excel in customer advocacy and inclusion consistently outperform their peers by a staggering 10 percentage points annually.
Beyond quantifying inclusion's sizable revenue impact, they also share data from their survey of over 7,700 US consumers on the lasting negative psychological toll exclusion has on retail customers—and why one bad experience can turn someone off a brand forever.
We analyze the root of the issue: What causes consumer exclusion in the first place? We also share examples of companies’ winning inclusive strategies, from the importance of eye contact to plentiful product assortment to purposefully designed campaigns.
Guest: Naiara De León, Partner, Bain & Company
Guest: Madison Dyal Anderson, Partner, Bain & Company
Host: Rob Markey, Partner, Bain & Company
Give Us Feedback:
We’d love to hear from you. Help us enhance your podcast experience by providing feedback here in our listener survey.
Want to get in touch? Send a note to host Rob Markey: https://www.robmarkey.com/contact-rob
Time-stamped list of topics covered:
[3:30] Research study overview and key findings
[6:33] Research findings on how inclusion is universally important
[8:02] Personal experiences of feeling welcomed or excluded in different stores
[10:13] Balancing inclusivity with a retail brand’s target market
[12:16] How the feeling of belonging or being welcomed affects customer advocacy
[13:04] Types of negative retail experiences that lead to customer detractors
[15:00] The subtleties of interaction that affect customer perceptions of inclusion
[20:14] Examples of companies that have created welcoming and inclusive atmospheres
[22:10] How product assortments and staff training contribute to inclusivity
[26:32] How retailers can assess and improve their levels of inclusivity for good
[30:54] The greater impact of inclusive practices on strategy and market position
Time-stamped list of notable quotes:
[00:32] “There is this line between welcomed and belonging. The core customer needs to feel like they belong.”
[2:24] “Universally, customers across all demographics desire to feel invited and welcomed.”
[6:33] “Inclusion matters to everyone. It's actually pretty universal.”
[10:34] “The core customer needs to feel like they belong. That's where you are tuning in to those behaviors and those customer segment needs and wants. Make people feel heard and seen.”
[14:45] “[In terms of survey findings, there were] verbatims that talked about, ‘The store associate never made eye contact with me. I have hearing loss and that made [communication] very hard. English is not my first language and I need that eye contact to carry all the way through [a conversation].”
[31:13] “It is quite profitable to [prioritize inclusivity] because it helps you grow. It helps you lead, versus your peers. It’s also the right thing to do.”
Additional Resources:
Read Madison and Naiara’s Bain research, In Retail, Inclusive Customer Journeys Lead to Growth

Why do some retailers excel at creating a welcoming environment for a diverse customer base while others fall short?
Bain & Company's Naiara De León and Madison Dyal Anderson discuss their research on how companies that excel in customer advocacy and inclusion consistently outperform their peers by a staggering 10 percentage points annually.
Beyond quantifying inclusion's sizable revenue impact, they also share data from their survey of over 7,700 US consumers on the lasting negative psychological toll exclusion has on retail customers—and why one bad experience can turn someone off a brand forever.
We analyze the root of the issue: What causes consumer exclusion in the first place? We also share examples of companies’ winning inclusive strategies, from the importance of eye contact to plentiful product assortment to purposefully designed campaigns.
Guest: Naiara De León, Partner, Bain & Company
Guest: Madison Dyal Anderson, Partner, Bain & Company
Host: Rob Markey, Partner, Bain & Company
Give Us Feedback:
We’d love to hear from you. Help us enhance your podcast experience by providing feedback here in our listener survey.
Want to get in touch? Send a note to host Rob Markey: https://www.robmarkey.com/contact-rob
Time-stamped list of topics covered:
[3:30] Research study overview and key findings
[6:33] Research findings on how inclusion is universally important
[8:02] Personal experiences of feeling welcomed or excluded in different stores
[10:13] Balancing inclusivity with a retail brand’s target market
[12:16] How the feeling of belonging or being welcomed affects customer advocacy
[13:04] Types of negative retail experiences that lead to customer detractors
[15:00] The subtleties of interaction that affect customer perceptions of inclusion
[20:14] Examples of companies that have created welcoming and inclusive atmospheres
[22:10] How product assortments and staff training contribute to inclusivity
[26:32] How retailers can assess and improve their levels of inclusivity for good
[30:54] The greater impact of inclusive practices on strategy and market position
Time-stamped list of notable quotes:
[00:32] “There is this line between welcomed and belonging. The core customer needs to feel like they belong.”
[2:24] “Universally, customers across all demographics desire to feel invited and welcomed.”
[6:33] “Inclusion matters to everyone. It's actually pretty universal.”
[10:34] “The core customer needs to feel like they belong. That's where you are tuning in to those behaviors and those customer segment needs and wants. Make people feel heard and seen.”
[14:45] “[In terms of survey findings, there were] verbatims that talked about, ‘The store associate never made eye contact with me. I have hearing loss and that made [communication] very hard. English is not my first language and I need that eye contact to carry all the way through [a conversation].”
[31:13] “It is quite profitable to [prioritize inclusivity] because it helps you grow. It helps you lead, versus your peers. It’s also the right thing to do.”
Additional Resources:
Read Madison and Naiara’s Bain research, In Retail, Inclusive Customer Journeys Lead to Growth

32 min