Case Study: Solly Baby Wraps
A great example of brand inclusivity
Last week I announced that my wife Deanna and I are expecting our first baby in November. We’re extremely thankful for all the congratulations and well wishes that have been sent our way since.
When we learned that we were expecting, it took a little while to sink in. Although we’ve always wanted to have kids, when it finally happened it didn’t feel real. Not for a while. But as we’ve progressed along in this pregnancy, we’re getting to the exciting part of planning for the kid’s arrival.
That includes the part of turning our spare bedroom into a nursery and stocking up and registering for baby supplies. And asking all our friends for their recommendations.
In the process of doing so, I’ve discovered a brand I’ve gotten excited about. Solly Baby Wraps.
Quick note– we have yet to actually make any purchases. So I don’t have much to say about the product itself. I’m sure you can find reviews and stuff elsewhere online. But as a branding guy, I can’t help but note all the good things their brand is doing right.
Solly makes wraps for baby wearing that are light and seem almost inspired by the cloth wraps that have been traditionally used for baby wearing all over the world. Their brand conveys style, tranquility, and light.
Here’s what I love about this brand: representation
One of the best ways to get a taste for what Solly’s brand has to offer is to scan through their Instagram page @sollybaby.
Here’s what I notice: light, neutral colors. Definitely a lot of images of parents and their babies wearing these wraps. Fonts and accents that evoke a feeling of gentleness. Here’s what else I notice: Diverse parents. Different skin tones. Interracial families. Adopted kids. Dads wearing the wraps. Dads of color wearing the wraps.
As a brown-skinned dad who looks forward to the bonding process, it makes me extremely glad to find people analogous to myself represented on an Instagram feed of a baby brand.
Historically, these products would be exclusively advertised to women. For most of my life, advertisers saw women as the main decision-makers to influence when it came to infant care products. And while this is statistically likely, remaining inclusive creates the opportunity for others to see themselves in a place that they don’t normally see themselves. That starts to feel like an invitation.
When you are intentional about representation, it gets noticed
You’ll notice that Solly doesn’t make a big deal about their inclusive social media feed. I have yet to see them post a photo of a mixed family with tags like #yayadoption. I have yet to see them flaunt their inclusivity. Their pictures are strong enough to speak for themselves.
When you’re part of a group that is normally excluded from a certain world, it becomes easy for you to notice the few exceptions. The women in politics. The Asians in Hollywood. And when people see themselves represented in an ethical, dignifying way, it’s significant.
It’s a similar dynamic to why Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians were such successful movies. Our assumptions of our “prototype audience” often leave out important groups. It’s so easy to do this unintentionally. But when you become intentionally inclusive, people can’t help but notice.
Unfortunately, there are always excluded groups from every industry. But good things happen when you make room for those who are usually excluded. Think of clothing brands like Aerie who try to celebrate all body types. Think of nonprofit organizations that understand young people can be generous too, and speak to Gen-Z.
It’s enough for me to think that behind-the-scenes somewhere at Solly, somebody is thinking through their social media strategy, planning upcoming posts and curating their photo library, with an eye open for diversity and inclusion of all different types of families. Something that matters to me matters enough to somebody there.
Here’s one little action step that can give your branding a boost: What processes do you have in place to make sure that your brand provides representation for people who are usually excluded? Develop one and make sure to stick with it.