Strategic Marketing & Branding

Diversity Strategies

Yes, the disability market of 56.7 million Americans boasts some $220 billion in purchasing power — that’s more than the coveted teen market.

But how do you tap the potential of that brand-loyal market segment — plus family, friends and allies, to become the company, brand or employer of choice?

Here’s where EIN SOF and our diverse partners can customize and fortify your strategic marketing game plan to yield a higher return. We combine market research, sophisticated strategic marketing, brand development, public relations, crisis communications, social media, guerilla and cause-related marketing, with disability-savvy language, strategic alliances and/or accessible events, in addition to diversity-savvy award-winning photography.

EIN SOF and our team of partners have the passion, knowledge and expertise – the keys to unlock and drive successful, dynamic and creative campaigns.

Scroll through the menu below to explore full-service or a la carte options to maximize goals, meet your budget and triage your priorities.

Just as disability lives at the intersection of the built, physical, electronic and attitudinal environment, strategic marketing and branding occurs at the crossroads of your product, goods and services and potential customers, employees and stakeholders with – and without – disabilities…plus their brand-loyal family, friends and allies.

For a sample of success stories with corporate, government and entertainment clients and projects, click here. We will be posting more, so check back again.

Quantitative and Qualitative (Focus Groups/Ethnographies) Market Research

EIN SOF market research and analysis expertise has been tapped by the private sector for corporations such as AT&T; the public sector, for government agencies like the National Council on Disability (NCD) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ VetSuccess division; and for academic institutions like UCLA Anderson School of Management.

From focus groups and ethnographies, to on-line questionnaires and surveys, EIN SOF market research can help you differentiate your brand in the cluttered marketplace.

For corporate clients like AT&T, EIN SOF teams with Joseph Craig, former partner of Entertainment Marketing Research (ERm) and Senior VP of Nielsen National Research Group independent (NRGi). Craig has over 20 years in entertainment marketing and market research.

Together, Squire and Craig created the Disability Community Market Research Initiative with disability thought leaders, trend setters, key influencers and opinion makers of the American Council of the Blind, Hearing Loss Association of America, MS Society, National Spinal Cord Injury Association and Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. for companies like AT&T, Acorda Therapeutics, Avis Access, Bank of America, Motorola, and Universal Home Entertainment, to name a few. Our Initiative was featured in Adweek and Fortune Small Business.

Customized services for our comprehensive focus groups and ethnographies include recruiting, accessible facility location, logistics and coordination, accessibility accommodations, honorariums, moderators guide, facilitation, and full report.

ERm and EIN SOF recruited and conducted focus groups and ethnographies for AT&T for a disability-inclusive advertising pilot, and as a result, the company created its Text Accessibility Plan (TAP) for Deaf and hard of hearing customers.

For the National Council on Disability (NCD), an independent federal agency making policy recommendations to the President, Congress and other federal agencies, EIN SOF (a former GSA Federal Contractor specializing in Market Research & Analysis) teamed with the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) to design, conduct, analyze and disseminate an open-ended questionnaire in the 2012 general election cycle. The results of almost 900 voters with disabilities from 46 states and the District of Columbia are documented in the October 24, 2013 released NCD Report, Experience of Voters with Disabilities in the 2012 General Election Cycle, identifying architectural, technological, and attitudinal barriers to voting with key recommendations moving forward.

For the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ VetSuccess division, EIN SOF partnered with Always Good To Go (AGTG), LLC, a service-connected disabled veteran-owned small business, to conduct Descriptive Field Research on the gaps, challenges, lessons learned and best practices in hiring veterans with disabilities in five high-growth sectors: Entertainment/Broadcasting, Financial Services, Retail, Telecommunications and Pharmaceutical. Read more about it by clicking here.

When UCLA Anderson School of Management was challenged by Ted Childs, former VP of Global Diversity for IBM to design a Leadership Institute for Managers with Disabilities within its critically-acclaimed portfolio of diversity Leadership Institutes, it tapped EIN SOF to design, conduct and analyze a first-of-its kind Feasibility Study. Heretofore, efforts had been focused on the first three provision of Title I Employment Provision of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – recruiting, hiring, retaining, but not promoting.

The result of EIN SOF’s Feasibility Study for UCLA Anderson confirmed a critical mass of managers and high-potentials exist in the private sector marketplace to merit creation of the first-ever Leadership Institute for Managers with Disabilities, and subsequent Alliance Agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP).

The next iteration of the five-month UCLA Anderson Leadership Institute for Managers with Disabilities, now the UCLA Anderson Multidimensional Leaders’ Institute s is scheduled for May 2016 on the UCLA campus. Read more about it by clicking here.

For multi-language and multi-cultural market research, EIN SOF partners with TEN Advertising, an Ad Age Top 10 Asian Advertising Agency. TEN Advertising is recognized in the industry for innovative marketing solutions and client success. Made up of diverse marketing experts specializing in media planning and buying, research, and extensive creative services, TEN’s full-service communications company provides original marketing strategies including advertising, PR, and interactive content.
TEN is Asian-owned and has been helping businesses reach, connect, and grow in this unique market for over twenty years. TEN also develops educational social campaigns that draw attention to important issues in the Asian community. TEN Advertising is more than an agency – TEN IS a creative force that breathes life into marketing what matters to you.

TEN executives are fluent in Chinese, Japanese, Korean,  Vietnamese and Portuguese.

For a confidential exploration of how EIN SOF’s market research can sharpen your competitive edge, click here.

Cover story in Adweek magazine “Disability On Display” with wheelchair logo.

Adweek

Crisis Communications

With the best of intentions, disability-inclusive diversity efforts occasionally move in directions that are unexpected.

Understandably, this possibility may account for some of pushback from corporations on their journey toward disability-inclusive diversity.

Before Mattel launched Share-A-Smile Beckytm (Barbie’s friend who uses a wheelchair) into its diversity line of dolls, it retained EIN SOF to design and execute its launch campaign.

EIN SOF’s campaign included producing and promoting a Washington, DC launch event in collaboration with disability rights leaders and hosted by VSArts; a disability-savvy PR campaign, promotional tie-in with the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA); and accessibility quick-tips for retailers to weave an accessible welcome mat for customers with disabilities.

The campaign was so successful that Becky sold out in just two weeks, and garnered over 500 news hits around the world as kids with (and without) disabilities now had a roll/role model to help develop a solid sense of Disability Power & Pride, shattering antiquated myths about people with disabilities.

However, nobody ever dreamed that the elevator of the Barbie Dream House was not accessible to Becky’s wheelchair — until it happened.

EIN SOF sprang into action, tapping its extensive network and successfully recommended that the father of “Universal Design” Ron Mace, be hired as a consultant to make the Barbie Dream House more accessible. Ron had consulted with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, U.S. Capitol, US Holocaust Memorial Museum and Hyatt (so the Dream house was in good company), and with Ron’s expertise, created a truly inclusive neighborhood for kids with — and without — disabilities, and Becky too.

Fox Searchlight tapped EIN SOF to develop a sophisticated disability strategic marketing campaign for its breakthrough film, The Sessions, about Berkeley-based poet and author Mark O’Brien who spent most of his time in an iron lung.

EIN SOF’s disability-savvy campaign included customized production notes; film review by disability-cinema scholar with a disability rights perspective; promotional tie-in; and opinion-maker screenings with national disability-inclusive diversity organizations with key disability thought leaders in New York, Washington, DC and the San Francisco Bay area attended by cast, filmmaker, and disability-media savvy experts in panel discussions.

No one ever imagined that an employee of an independent movie theatre in Berkeley, home of Mark O’Brien and birthplace of the disability independent living movement, would decide to move The Sessions up a flight of stairs to a screen with no elevator. EIN SOF assured the disability community this one-time mistake, was just that – a disrespectful mistake. Subsequently, Fox Searchlight moved The Sessions to an accessible movie theatre.

For a confidential exploration of how EIN SOF’s crisis communication can pro-actively avert, or pull your brand out of a tailspin, click here.

becky-cartoon

Social Media

Social media is vital in developing and polishing awareness, brand loyalty and sustainable engagement. It is a currency savvy corporations, government entities and grass-roots community groups need to sharper their competitive edge in order to reach and influence prospective employees, stakeholders and customers.

Sundance Channel chose EIN SOF to help elevate and propel its brand for the launch of its audacious series Push Girls, about four BFFs who happen to be wheelchair users.

Team EIN SOF researched and recommended multiple daily Facebook posts and Twitter feeds coinciding with the arc of the storylines for each of the Push Girls. The campaign was so successful that Facebook likes increased from 2,000 to 50,000.

EIN SOF was tapped by two federal agencies to fortify their social media presence:

1) The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) engaged EIN SOF to sustain its online disability public awareness campaign called What’s Your Connection?, generating corporate and entertainment submissions to this popular internet campaign for disability.gov, a social media hub and media blog for 21 federal agencies with some 85,000 subscribers.

2) The National Council on Disability (an independent federal agency making policy recommendations to the President, Congress and other federal agencies) contracted EIN SOF and the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) to research, develop, analyze and disseminate an open-ended questionnaire and subsequent Report on the Experience of Voters with Disabilities in the 2012 Election Cycle.

EIN SOF activated its social media network to maximize awareness of and engagement with this important questionnaire and for dissemination of the Report that was released on October 24, 2013.

For a confidential exploration of how EIN SOF can add more social in your social media campaigns, click here.

Alt Tag: Photo of The Push Girls, four women who are best friends and wheelchair users.

Sundance Channel’s Push Girls

Disability-Savvy Language

Thinking about what language to use in your messaging, marketing collateral, outreach and website? Good, that is a great start!

Using outdated colloquialisms like special needs, differently-abled, handi-cappable, and physically-challenged are not an effective way to reach customers with disabilities. And actually turns them away from your brand. Those phrases are artificial terms bestowed upon people with disabilities by well-intentioned non-disabled parents and service providers. Unfortunately, these terms reinforce the medical model view of disability, marginalizing people with disabilities because they don’t respect the social-political, social justice, or civil rights lens of people with disabilities AKA “Disability Power & Pride.”

When it comes right down to it, a disability occurs at the intersection of the person and the built or electronic environment.

Associated Press Stylebook – working with the former editor, EIN SOF coordinated feedback with national disability organizations for more disability-savvy language and semantics, now found on page 83 of the AP Stylebook.  Here is a sample:

Associated Press Stylebook – expanding upon references found on page 83

Disabled, handicapped in general, do not describe an individual as disabled or handicapped unless it is clearly pertinent to a story. If a description must be used, try to be specific.  An ad featuring actor Michael J. Fox swaying noticeably from the effects of Parkinson’s disease drew nationwide attention.

Avoid descriptions that connote pity, such as afflicted with or suffers from multiple sclerosis. Rather, has multiple sclerosis.

Some terms include:

  • cripple Often considered offensive when used to describe a person who is lame or disabled.
  • disabled A general term used for a physical, sensory, mental, developmental or intellectual disability. Do not use mentally retarded.
  • handicap It should be avoided in describing a disability.
  • blind  Describes a person with complete loss of sight. For others, use terms such as low vision.
  • deaf Describes a person with total hearing loss. For others, use partial hearing loss, partially deaf, or hard of hearing. Avoid using deaf-mute. Do not use deaf and dumb.
  • muteDescribes a person who physically cannot speak. Others with speaking difficulties have speech disabilities.
  • Wheelchair-user People use wheelchairs for independent mobility. Do not use confined to a wheelchair or wheelchair bound.  If a wheelchair is needed, say why.

 

Public Relations

EIN SOF has provided PR services for corporations across a variety of sectors including AOL, AT&T, Fox Searchlight for The Sessions, HP, Mattel/Toys “R” Us, Microsoft, and Sundance Channel’s Push Girls; to government entities like The National Council on Disability (NCD) for its Report, Experience of Voters with Disabilities in the 2012 Election Cycle, U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy for its National Listening Tour, Sector Summits, What’s Your Connection? disability awareness campaign and Add Us In California Consortium.

EIN SOF also provides PR expertise to national disability-focused organizations such as American Council of the Blind, ADAPT, Career Opportunities for Students with Disabilities, National Association of the Deaf, National Spinal Cord Injury Association, and World Institute on Disability, to name few.

When it comes to disability public relations, EIN SOF wrote the book on disability PR – really!

Under a U.S. Department of Education “Field Initiated Research” grant with the National Institute on Disability Rehabilitation & Research (NIDRR), Squire and Mary Johnson (editor of the Disability Rag, Ragged Edge and the book Make Them Go Away), were awarded a grant to research and create the book Making News: How to Get Coverage for Disability Rights Issues

EIN SOF’s full-service public relations and media services result in extensive coverage for its corporate, government, entertainment and non-profit clients, including:

ABC 20/20
ABC Nightline
Adweek
Associated Press
Atlanta Journal Constitution
Careers & the disABLED
CBS News: Weekend Roundup
CNN Headline News
CNN Showbiz Today
Dateline NBC
Diversity Matters (National Retail Federation)
EMMY Magazine (Academy of Television Arts & Sciences)
Fortune Small Business
Huffington Post
Lodging (American Hotel and Lodging Association)
Los Angeles Times
New York Times
Newsweek
People Magazine
USA Today
U.S. News & World Report
Wall Street Journal
Washington Post

For a confidential exploration of how EIN SOF’s public relations expertise can sharpen your competitive edge, click here.

Cover of the book “Making News: How to Get Coverage for Disability Rights Issues” by Tari Susan Hartman and Mary Johnson.

Brand Development

Under the banner of our new Diversity Strategies Initiatives, EIN SOF is proud to announce we are joining forces with Patrick Florville of Florville Catalyst, a certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) to fortify your disability-inclusive diversity branding campaigns.

Florville Catalyst is a branding and design agency, founded on the belief that engaging and effective communication embodies creativity + science. Florville distills passion + purpose, strategy + value, aesthetics + results, and turns the complex to simple, the static to engaging, the mundane to moving — ensuring clients success in the marketplace. Florville has created innovative and effective campaigns for HBO, Merrill Lynch, United Negro College Fund, Colgate and the U.S. Census, among others.

Sustainable Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) initiatives require different skills at different stages to be effective. EIN SOF and Florville Catalyst are now collaborating to create cutting-edge strategic marketing and branding solutions with a full-service, dynamic, unique and holistic approach to customize your message, training curricula, diversity or general market campaigns and overall strategy to build and fortify your disability-inclusive diversity and community engagement campaigns to maximize sustainable results.

Together, the two companies provide comprehensive, creative and insightful branding that captures the imagination and loyalty of the disability market segment of $220 billion plus family, friends and allies.

For confidential exploration of how EIN SOF/Florville can sharpen your competitive branding edge, click here.

HBO Picture Diversity

Award-Winning Diversity-Savvy Photography

Because a picture is worth a thousand words, we want to introduce you to EIN SOF partner Christopher Voelker and his award-winning work.

EIN SOF partners with Christopher Voelker, a critically-acclaimed photographer to help savvy corporations, government entities and community organizations present dynamic images to attract new customers and fortify brand loyalty.

Whether you are about to embark upon a new print or electronic advertising campaign or just rebooting your website, brochures, or marketing publications, you will want to connect with EIN SOF/Voelker.

Now’s your chance to dump those antiquated images perpetuating stereotypes, like clunky chrome wheelchairs, circa 1962, to shatter myths about people with disabilities and other diversity groups in order to strengthen your brand with the authentic images of Power & Pride.

Voelker has been photographing people with — and without — disabilities for covers of top-selling albums, magazines in Europe and America, and leading journals for 25 years in his state-of-the-art studio in Los Angeles.

Check out EIN SOF/Christopher Voelker’s Diversity Strategies here.

To find out more about Christopher Voelker and Voelker Studio award-winning photography, check here.

lynn7104_

Photograph of Performance Artist Lynn Manning

Strategic Alliances

Results from EIN SOF/ERm “Disability Community Market Research Initiative” reveal that thought leaders with disabilities are hesitant to consider corporate websites a “trusted source” if the corporation does not already have a relationship or engagement with the disability community.

Reaching the disability market segments is a challenge because most of the nation’s 56.7 million with disabilities do not self-identify; for example aging Baby Boomers.

Over the years, EIN SOF has developed strong, trusted and sustainable relationships with thought leaders of the disability rights movement and diversity organizations across a variety of constituencies. We have paved the way for strategic alliances with select disability-savvy corporations and grass-roots and national organizations. Strategic alliances can be a powerful bridge to build customers, pipeline prospective employees, and create relationships with stakeholders.

With respect to the disability, aging and diversity market segments, this is a two-way mutually-beneficial street.

For example, people with disabilities – the true experts of their experiences,– enlighten corporations about accessible and usable products, and the companies benefit from keen disability-inclusive diversity insights from disability-specific and cross-disability national organizations.

EIN SOF strategic alliances include recruiting pipelines with Career Opportunities for Students with Disabilities (COSD); and career advancement resources with UCLA Anderson School of Management’s Leadership Institute for Managers with Disabilities. EIN SOF is proud to sponsor the Diversity Market segment portion of the Multicultural Marketing Resources Expert Guide for promotion of diversity initiatives.

For our five-year Add Us In grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, our strategic alliances include the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) as business partner; California Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) as disability partner, and Youth Organizing (YO!) Disabled & Proud, as youth partner.

To explore how EIN SOF can help you explore the right kind of strategic alliances to authentically strengthen your brand in the marketplace and workplace, click here.

Visa-Nation Disability Institute’s Real Economic Impact Tour Co-Branded “Financial Soccer” DVD

Visa-Nation Disability Institute’s Real Economic Impact Tour Co-Branded “Financial Soccer” DVD

Training/Presentations

Reaching any diversity market segment can be difficult — especially the disability market because most of the nation’s 56.7 million Americans with disabilities do not self-identify.

At the request of former U.S. Department of Justice Assistant Attorney General Ralph Boyd, EIN SOF developed and now customizes its “Strategic Marketing WITH the Disability Community” presentation training with disability thought leaders, first developed for DOJ’s ADA Business Connection.

“Thanks so very much for the great, great presentation. We really appreciate and value your work. I’m really grateful.”

Ralph F. Boyd, Jr., Assistant Attorney General,
Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice

Through the years, this dynamic presentation has been for entities such as:

AT&T
American Marketing Association
California State University Chancellor-driven “Accessible Technology Initiative”
California State University, Northridge, Annual Conference on Technology and Persons with Disabilities
The Conference Board’s Diversity Conference
Eastern Kentucky University

Forum on Workplace Inclusion

John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ Leadership Exchange in Arts & Disability (LEAD)

Library of Congress/AAPD
Macy’s
Multicultural Marketing Resources
National Business & Disability Council
National Council on Independent Living
National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
National Retail Federation’s Diversity Committee and Annual Convention
National Industry Liaison Group

Out & Equal Workplace Summit
Public Relations Society of America/Orange County Chapter
TASH
US Business Leadership Network
U.S. Department of Justice’s ADA Business Connection

For employment-related marketing presentations and trainings, EIN SOF partners with Career Opportunities for Students with Disabilities (COSD).

EIN SOF also partners with dynamic performers and spokespersons with disabilities including Robert David Hall (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation) who introduced President Obama at the White House signing ceremony for the 20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and presented disability awareness keynotes to AT&T, Walmart, the US Business Leadership Network, Career Opportunities for Students with Disabilities and others; Geri Jewell (Facts of Life, Deadwood and I’m Walking As Straight AS I Can) and Tobias Forrest (The Sessions, Cityzen, PetCo’s Co-Pilot commercial).

To request EIN SOF’s “Strategic Marketing WITH the Disability Community” presentation and training, click here.

Marketing Publications Development

Publications, brochures, annual reports and marketing collaterals can be your first impression to your prospective customers, employees and shareholders, and we know that first impressions are lasting.

EIN SOF created the first brochure for the AT&T Advisory Panel on Access & Aging (AAPAA) as well as other commemorative Awards program books such as for the Media Access Awards and Alliance for Technology Access.

For a confidential exploration of how EIN SOF Marketing Publications can sharpen your competitive edge, click here.

Accessible Events

So you have been told to reach out to prospective customers and employees with disabilities to prove your intent to be disability-inclusive… Great!
How do you create the most effective strategic approach to weave an accessible welcome mat?

EIN SOF brings over 25 years experience creating, designing, producing and promoting accessible events for government entities including U.S. Department of Labor, Smithsonian Institution and U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum; corporate entities such as AT&T, Microsoft, Sundance Channel, Fox Searchlight, Mattel, Toys “R” Us; and associations, foundations and non-profits like the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Dole Foundation on Employment of People with Disabilities, HSC Foundation, Media Access Office, National Spinal Cord Injury Association, and Alliance for Technology Access – to name a few.

To confirm architectural accessibility of venues, EIN SOF collaborates with our client, the ADA National Network (ADANN) that has developed excellent resources and tip sheets under the banner of the ADANN Hospitality Network.

For a confidential exploration of how EIN SOF can weave your accessible welcome mat, click here.