Introducing Conscious Conversations: Building Inclusive Brands with Anna Bell

Selena Ricks

Selena Ricks

Brand and Marketing Communications Lead

Conscious Conversations graphic with photo of Anna Bell and her dogs

Don’t miss this masterclass on how to engage wider audiences authentically 

Welcome to Conscious Conversations with Modus, a speaker series where we talk with some of today’s most inspiring waymakers on the power of inclusive leadership in marketing, design, innovation, and technology.

In our first episode of Conscious Conversations, Selena Ricks-Good, Brand and Marketing Communications Lead at Modus chats with Anna Bell, Anna Bell, SVP Marketing at Central Garden & Pet to talk about what it means to bring inclusion to consumer-facing brands today.  As Anna tells us, it’s more than having a diverse cast or rainbow-colored products for an ad campaign. Of course, we’ve all seen recent examples in the headlines of brands that got this wrong — so it’s important to take a strategic, sincere approach.

Anna, a seasoned executive leader across multiple consumer goods industries, also shares how her personal background as an immigrant shaped her ability to better listen to consumers and find common ground about what brings people together. 

Read on and watch the full episode for a masterclass of takeaways such as how to ensure your brand is showing up authentically with audiences such as the LGBTQ+ community and Gen Z, how to handle potential controversy, and how to use data to measure opportunities and successes. 

Watch the episode to learn:

  • The importance of empathy, authenticity, and representation in marketing
  • How to ensure a campaign is relevant and authentic to the audience it’s trying to reach
  • How to be proactive in facing potential backlash
  • The importance of building a culture of trust
“A really important place to start is to have an honest dialogue about where you have the right to be, because you don't have the right to be everywhere. No brand does.”

How can marketing leaders start incorporating inclusion into their strategies?

Approaching inclusivity authentically can build trust, help your brand reach a wider audience, and create a loyal community. A recent Microsoft study showed that 59 percent of consumers are more trusting of brands when they see themselves represented in their ads, and this number jumps to 61 percent for women and 67 percent for global minorities.

Anna shares actionable strategies for teams that want to get started with inclusive marketing today:

Look at your data. Who are your consumers today? Where are you seeing growth? And where are your competitors winning — or is no one winning with a certain consumer or certain demographic or audience or behavioral segment? Use those insights to discover where the opportunities are.

Decide whether your brand can show up for new audiences authentically. Can you fit there with the brand you have today? Do you need to create a new brand or a new business to address the needs? Stretch can be hard for brands. You can overstretch and certainly under-stretch your brand.

Look at your internal culture. Do you have a culture that has trust in recruiting and retention and all the things you need to have a marketing and business team that is diverse, inclusive, and committed to that type of work? Because it does matter, to have folks inside the business also represent as much as possible the consumer audience that they're going after.

About Anna Bell:

Anna is a seasoned senior executive leader with experience across multiple consumer goods industries both in the U.S. and Europe. Marketing, strategy, business management, and corporate finance are Anna’s areas of substantial expertise. The innovative and impactful work that Anna has led across categories has driven significant growth and established new revenue streams and business opportunities for multiple consumer brand organizations across a variety of industries.

Anna is currently the SVP of Marketing for Central Garden & Pet. She leads the marketing agenda and brand capabilities for the Pet segment, having the opportunity to work across several different business units that serve pets of all kinds. Prior to Central, Anna had the opportunity to work in the wine industry for over 10 years, and in consumer goods at SC Johnson and Wrigley.

In her personal time, Anna volunteers her time to the American Diabetes Association, her local community, and is a Chief member. She lives in the Central Valley of California with her husband, two very active teenage boys, and her two dogs, Lucy (Pug) and Lola (Boxer).

Learn more about Anna on LinkedIn.

About Selena Ricks-Good:

As agency storyteller at Modus, Selena has more than 15 years of experience as a published writer exploring the intersections of tech, business, and culture. Before working in B2B tech marketing, products, and services, she began her career in print journalism and PR. She has a passion for telling stories that bring clarity to complex subjects, for shining a light on people, cultures, and trends that sit beyond the mainstream, and for bringing communities together, whether virtually or in-person, for meaningful connection.

Learn more about Selena on LinkedIn.

About Conscious Conversations:

Tune into Conscious Conversations with Modus to hear how leaders in fields such as technology, design, marketing, and innovation are making a positive, progressive impact on our collective culture. Get insights from their unique points of view and tangible takeaways to bring back to your organization.

Improving DEIA in the workplace and our communities is a process of asking questions, learning — and un-learning — to build mutual trust and understanding. At Modus, we ensure that the digital products we make are human-centered by including real people throughout the design process, and that includes making room for those who have been historically excluded. So let’s listen, learn, and lead the way together, toward real action and impact. 

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Written by

Selena Ricks

Brand and Marketing Communications Lead

Exploring the intersections of lifestyle, business, tech & culture.

Exploring the intersections of lifestyle, business, tech & culture.

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