In this episode, Linda Hunt and Rich Kozak talk about:
The transformative power of inclusive branding
Emphasizing authentic language usage
Implementing inclusivity from the top down
Enhancing brand identity through accessibility initiatives
Leveraging accessibility as a competitive advantage
Rich Kozak is a passionate, heart-connecting entrepreneur, best-selling author, and Impact Driven Brand Architect & Strategist. As a Certified Global Branding Consultant with decades of experience defining & languaging Brands alongside partners worldwide impacting hundreds of industries, he now shares his gifts with entrepreneurs determined to make IMPACTs on people’s lives, or the world.
Rich Kozak guides experienced heart-centered entrepreneurs in elevating Impacts. The most connecting, deep-listening, caring, Branding Expert.
Rich's purpose is that your unique gifts impact people’s lives. Straight talk you can trust, deep experience you can count on, 47 years of defining & re-launching Brands! From impacting global companies, today Rich mentors individuals in impact-driven branding & publishing books. CLARITY for the IMPACTS You Will Make & STEPS for ”The Brand YOU Will Become.”
Linda Hunt Is an Award-Winning Accessibility Consultant, Speaker, and Author. She is the CEO of Accessibility Solutions and an Advocate for all things related to accessibility.
Linda is the Treasurer of Citizens with Disabilities – Ontario, a member of the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Professional Network, and a Certified Community Champion of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol.
Linda first became a person with a disability in 2004 since then she has been an active and engaging speaker to groups on a variety of accessibility topics.
In addition, Linda is a business owner. Along with her husband Greg, they have operated Grelin Apparel Graphics for over 30 years.
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Welcome to the Accessibility Solutions Podcast hosted by Linda Hunt, an award-winning accessibility consultant, speaker, and author. With over 30 years of experience in senior management rules and indeed passion for creating inclusive environments, Linda brings us unmatched expertise and credibility to our discussions. Join us as we explore the transformative power of accessibility and inclusion in today's world. Through captivating conversations, Linda shares her wealth of knowledge, provides practical solutions, and sheds light on the latest trends and investments in the field. Whether you're a business owner or disability advocate, or simply curious about the world of accessibility, this podcast is your go-to resource. Get ready to unlock new perspectives, break down barriers, and embark on a journey of empowerment. Are you ready to create a more inclusive world? Let's begin! Welcome to the Accessibility Solutions Podcast.
So rich. Let's have a discussion around how a business can improve their brand by being accessible and what that perception does for a business.
Wow, that is a great question and it's an applicable question not just for individuals with special challenges who are or maybe marginalized that were, you know, institutionally by business, but for other things as well. A rich strategy nugget, the guidance of how to do that is the same whether it's dealing with a disability or dealing with just not getting credit for what makes you outstanding. So here goes the most powerful magnet that any business and create for its brand is the way it says, here's what we see for you. Here's what we see for you when you let the brand in. It's the benefits, the impacts, the vision of what their life or their business or their company looks like when they've brought the brand in. How the clarity with which the brand speaks about what it sees for its target audience makes it a magnet. Most brands don't do a good job. Most brands fall flat in that area. So let's take the specific question of how, what can the benefit to the brand be in the way it deals with, let's call it inclusivity. Having a glass ceiling, making sure that it has opportunities for people who have capabilities but are often marginalized when the brand really believes it. And I'm not talking like they're trying to get PR value, like they did a project and they advertise the project and then they go back to sleep. It's gotta be innate. It's gotta be intrinsic to the brand. But when that's the case, when they really believe that it's a better world, it's a better brand, it's a better company when all people are included, when everybody has abilities, the language of the brand. So the answer to the question is you bake into the language of the brand how you say what you do. And I'll be very specific about the characteristics like think adjectives, descriptors that the brand must get credit for to make its impact on its target audience. If you want to attract a target audience for whom it's fairly meaningful that you're applying this mindset of inclusivity, you've got to get credit for it. And that needs to be baked into the language of how you say it. What is important is how you say what you've done, of how you characterize your recent success, of how you lift up a team, of how you picture, how you portray what your company looks like when everyone's working together, you've got to bake it into what the brand does. And when you, when there's really, when the heart of the brand and the people who champion it are true, you can get credit for those things. You can get credit for, you can get credit for the characteristics that you must get credit for to make those impacts. And you can uniquely language your own category of expertise in an area where, let's say some, let's see your CEO speak or your, you know, one of the executives speaks to this aspect of the culture at conferences, you can create the language of that. So you start the moment you're doing it, you're taking credit, just by the way, you're presenting it not like, hey, look at us. You know it's like, it's the old I have, I've got a book. That's not a reason to have a book. You know, there's have a book is a strategic stake in the ground that moves a brand forward. The reason for executives to speak about the importance of inclusivity is to lift up an aspect of the culture. So the brand gets credit and what happens, it attracts more a broader and more powerful palette of new employees that say that's coming. I want to work at, I wanna work at a company that believes that, light attract light and you'll get the best of the best when the brand is stepping into that and lifting it up in a, I'm gonna call it authentic, you know, it's not brinkmanship, it's not tricky talk, it's not PR spin. It's the heart of the brand when it is. So give it. Your brand is faking it. We're not talking to you, we're talking to the other people who really believe that this is worthy. And, it's a part of their heart, part of the heart of the brand, and you're championing that. Does that help?
It very much so, cause, I mean, the companies we work with, I mean, we talk about, you know, if you're really a company that's gonna embrace diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, you know, that doesn't start with, like, your front line person that starts at the top and has to be filtered down through, you know, every department and every, you know, kind of operational level. So that your company is positioned as one that is open, you're open, you're inclusive, whether it's your employing persons with disabilities, and your websites accessible, your store is accessible, your staff is trained on dealing with people with disabilities and all of that. So first of all, you know, the work that I do with businesses. We talk about accessibility is good for business because it does, as you said, it elevates your brand. People like to do business with companies that are very clearly showing to the community or to the world that they are an inclusive corporation. And that does start at the, start at the top. Let's say.
Let me have your permission, it will take maybe one minute max to share examples of language.
Okay, so I spent about a year and a half, maybe two weeks working with a woman who's now the global director of diversity equate inclusion for a major law firm, 11 countries. She's a client, and we dealt with the feelings of being marginalized. Those are the feelings inside the person who is feeling marginalized for, no matter, for depending on it, why could be, where they come from, how they talk, what they are, how they look. It includes everything, so the language for the categories of expertise for that brand included the woman who's speaking at the conference as an expert on reimagining being human on this, on this planet. It's like, wait a minute, what the truth, she's an expert at the true power of natural diversity for organizational transformation. It's like you know, I gotta go to come. I have your card. It was like, it's like, a language, you know, aiming a new benchmark in professional and personal development that companies should be responsible to make sure they imbue into their next level of leadership. It's like, wow, so language is powerful. And you position your company to get credit for what makes you outstanding. That means you find those uniquenesses, and if it's all what the companies are about, great, but if it's just a piece of what the companies are about, it still counts. If somebody from the company speaks to that and gives it life and says, we're using this to make our company stronger and better, and that is, this is how we see it. You've got to get credit for that, and you can't just use the same old line. You know, we've had vice presidents of diversity at major universities for a long time and it kind of became the checklist. You know it's like, oh yeah, we have different, oh yeah, we got one. It's like we're wavy on that. So I just thought I would share that was valuable because man, you know, it sounds so intangible, but it's not. It comes down to clear credit, getting credit. You know what, because people say like, I love how that person talks. You know, I wanna work for a company where things like that clarity is the missing piece. And that clarity of portraying what you see for them when they bring the brand in, doesn't matter if it's a law firm, university, tech firm, it doesn't matter what they're doing.
Yeah, you know, that is again such a great message. I as, you know, we say all the time, accessibility is good for business because it is. And this is so for those of you who are listening, this is Rich from RichBrands, and he's saying, yes, accessibility is good for business. It's a competitive edge, it's something that really elevates your brand. And I think you know, we've really connected on that topic in this episode, Rich. So thank you so much for joining me.
You're welcome. It's been my pleasure. Things happen for a reason, the fact that I've lived through that and we're at that point, and you do what you do. We're supposed to be talking about this today, so perfect right now.
So for those of you listening, thanks again so much for joining us. Rich's contact information will be in the show notes for you to connect with Rich and find out more about what he does. If anything we discussed in this episode resonates with anyone or someone that you know, please feel free to leave us a review on the episode, and also to ask the information along to anyone that you think might find value in this. And until next time, thank you for joining us. Cheers.
Thank you for joining us on the Accessibility Solutions podcast hosted by Linda Hunt. We hope these discussions have inspired you and provided valuable insights into the world of accessibility and inclusion. If you're ready to take the next steps in creating an accessible and inclusive environment, we invite you to book a personalized accessibility solutions consultation with Linda. As an experienced accessibility consultant, Linda will work closely with you to develop innovative solutions tailored to your unique needs and challenges. Together, you'll navigate the complexities of accessibility regulations, explore inclusive design principles, and implement practical strategies to ensure equal access for all. Don't miss this opportunity to make a real difference. Visit our website at solutions for accessibility.com. That's No.4. So solutions four accessibility dot com. Schedule your consultation today. Let's transform your space into an inclusive and welcoming environment for everyone. Thanks again for listening to the Accessibility Solutions podcast. Stay tuned for more empowering episodes as we continue our journey towards a more accessible world.