Digital and Diversity. These are the top two trends of the 21st century according to media-tech maven Steven Wolfe Pereira. And he's building direct-to-consumer brands with exactly that at the heart of it all with his new venture Encantos. After a fascinating career in tech, telecommunications, finance and media, Steven is focused on building brands that truly represent the modern-day family. And they are off to a strong start with the already Emmy-nominated Canticos, a bilingual nursery rhyme series exclusively on Nick Jr.
Steven also talks about having pride in his company's cultural authenticity, from female majority-ownership to multi-cultural talent. Tune in to hear from Steven on how he’s leveraging the best of both digital and diversity insights to build authentic, multicultural brands and hear a sneak peek of the next brand to launch under Encantos umbrella. In the meantime, below are four foundational pillars for bringing diversity to the forefront as a key driver for growth:
On this Episode: Four Tips for Bringing Diversity to the Forefront
- Extend D&I Beyond HR. "We truly believe that today, diversity is a business imperative. No matter what industry you're in, whether it's beauty, retail, financial services, automotive, tech, you name the category the growth engine is going to be multicultural. I'm a data-driven guy and if you see what the stats are across the country – the top 20 DMAs are all multicultural majorities, 18 percent of the country is Hispanic, 13 percent African-American, 5 percent plus are Asian. A lot of the D&I conversation tends to be an HR one. And there's certainly nothing wrong with that, but we need to have many different types of conversations. Do you have women and people of color at the board level, at the C-suite level and specifically running P&Ls, because I think that's where the most impact actually happens. And by having someone that will be of the community that will be cultural, authentic, that can actually understand the consumer and help drive the business, is really a growth conversation."
- Don't Confuse Motion and Progress. "If you actually look at the stats of women and people of color on corporate boards, in the C-Suite, CEO and CMO positions, we're actually moving backward, and it does not make sense given the stats you see in terms of the population and certainly the demand and the growth. And what's really surprising is that there are many programs for people coming out of college or getting that first job, but there is a leaky bucket, there is a retention issue. You have your 20s, where you work really hard, but somehow your 30s are like the twilight zone years, and a lot of people end up going sideways, and they don't achieve that escape velocity in their career to get to that VP level or get that overseas assignment. And then, by the time you're in your 40s, if you've been going sideways for the better half of your 30s, you're not gonna get that opportunity. So you hit this type of ceiling, and a lot of folks end up also leaving industries."
- Take Pride in Diverse Leadership. "We are a female majority-owned company, and from that, we take a lot of pride in. So of our 50 percent of the company, Nodia, my wife and much better half owns 60 percent I own 40 percent, while Susie owns 60 percent and her husband owns 40 percent. It truly has been this incredible partnership and purpose because we are really creating something that is culturally authentic. We're also multicultural owned and led company with a whole mix of talent, from designers to developers, we're building a different type of studio that is leveraging the way to build brands in this direct-to-consumer world."
- Go Straight to the Audience. "We want to go direct to the audience, to the community, and we truly believe that multicultural done well is multicultural that is for the mainstream. And so that was really the way we started with a book. And it was really doing data-driven approaches where we would A/B test the content. We did a 3-D animated video and put it on Youtube, no marketing, and it got over 20 million views. So that's where we knew, hey, we're onto something here. There is demand, there's a marketplace for it. It's going to direct-to-consumer in the literal sense of the word. And if you zoom out, what are going to be the two most important trends of the 21st century? Of course, it's going to be digital, but diversity is the other most important trend, and I think a lot of folks forget that one."