missing out business case customer diversity

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Businesses missing out by ignoring diverse customers

27 February 2017: One in three customers from diverse backgrounds ceased a sale in the past 12 months because they were not treated fairly or respectfully, according to a new report released today by the Australian Human Rights Commisssion and Deloitte.

The report - Missing out: The business case for customer diversty - which includes real-world examples of leading Australian organisations, including Qantas Airways and Westpac, found businesses that fail to meet the needs of their diverse customers are missing out on sales and customer loyalty.

“Equality, fairness and respect are fundamental values in our community. This report now shows us how important they are to businesses and their bottom line, especially in our increasingly empowered marketplace,” said President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Professor Gillian Triggs.

This is resonating in successful advertising campaigns such as the Tiffany Rings campaign for marriage equality and Audi’s Superbowl advertisement promoting gender equality. Catering to a diverse market makes good business sense; Missing out found one in five customers from Indigenous, gay, lesbian, bisexual or faith backgrounds abandoned a transaction because they were not treated fairly or respectfully.

It also found half of those surveyed were positively influenced by messages of equality.

“The old advertising mantra was ’sex-sells’, now it’s ‘equality sells’. Two forces are at play. First, in a diverse and globally accessible market place, customers have choices. Unfortunately, organisations often imagine customers come in one shape and size. Our diversity has been overlooked. And that’s a huge opportunity. Second, many customers feel alienated by political messages of disrepect. We want to express our humanity and we can do that with our buying choices and the brands we support,” said Deloitte Human Capital Partner and co-author of the report, Juliet Bourke.

The report, which will be officially released to market at an event held in the Sydney Deloitte offices, features case studies of several Australian businesses including: Qantas Airways, QBE Insurance, SBS and Westpac, whose insights further highlight the findings of the research.


AHRC – Professor Gillian Triggs, President
Deloitte – Juliet Bourke, Partner, Human Capital
Deloitte – Jenny Wilson, Partner, Customer Practice
Qantas – Alan Joyce, CEO
SBS – Michael Ebeid, Managing Director
St. George Business Banking Group – Cathy Yuncken, General Manager

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Adrian Letilovic

Corporate Affairs & Communications
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