INTERBRAND celebrates Global Accessibility Awareness Day with the launch of new Inclusive Design practice

The new practice builds on Interbrand’s experience developing inclusive propositions for leading brands

LONDON, May 20th, 2021 – Interbrand Group is today launching a dedicated Inclusive Design practice to pursue barrier-free brand experiences, following the findings that that between 75% – 80% of customer experiences are failing disabled people. The Interbrand Inclusive Design practice will be led by Marianne Waite, through Interbrand’s London office, and will partner with some of the best brands around the world.

This new practice will aim to help brands create a world that works for more people. Combining disability-centric insights with brand thinking, Interbrand will help brands create barrier-free experiences for underserved audiences. It will also help brands to develop deep-rooted, repeatable process and models that enable companies to continue removing barriers to everyday experiences, from retail access and product development, to cultural engagement – reducing the design divide.

According to the World Health Organisation, around 15% of the world’s population live with disabilities: the world’s largest minority group.

Interbrand Group has developed the Inclusive Design Practice having already worked with leading brands to develop inclusive propositions and the offering is a natural progression from Interbrand’s inclusive design projects with brands including GlaxoSmithKline, Jaguar Land Rover, and The Valuable 500 – the global movement putting disability on the business leadership agenda.

Although accessibility awareness has improved in recent years, with increased population longevity and universal celebration of the value of diversity, greater focus will enable truly enhancing experiences across all sectors.

Marianne Waite, Director of Inclusive Design at Interbrand, Founder of non-profit, Think Designable, and the UK Government’s Disability and Access Ambassador for Brand and Design said:

“The pursuit of barrier-free brand experience has a very simple goal: to create experiences that work for as many people as possible, for as long as possible. Interbrand want to help brands move from ‘passive’ to purposeful in their inclusivity efforts.”

“The reality is that most people are not ‘normal’, they are just temporarily non-disabled. This means that we will all experience some form of disability at some point in our lives. This could be through chronic illness or health challenges, temporary disabilities like poor mental health or a short-term injury, or a situational disability – like the exclusion we’ve all experienced through lockdown restrictions. Brands need to do more to meet, and exceed, the expectations of this underserved audience.”

Caroline Casey, Founder of The Valuable 500 said:

“This week we have announced the 500 global organisations making up The Valuable 500. Interbrand was instrumental in helping us with The Valuable 500 visual identity as one of our early members. We have now built the Valuable 500 community and a meaningful brand reframing the way the corporate world views the issue of disability. We have broken the leadership silence on disability inclusion and put this on the business leadership agenda.”

Joanne Pearson, Global Customer Insight Director at Jaguar Land Rover says:

“Our Inclusive Design research with C Space, an Interbrand Group company, inspired a movement at Jaguar Land Rover. This included company-wide immersion and the inclusion of customers with disabilities in our product creation research to ensure that our vehicles are truly designed for all.”


Pia Jensen
[email protected]
+44 (0) 771 535 3898

Statistics on disability

  • Over 1 billion people globally are estimated to live with some form of disability. (WHO)
  • In countries with life expectancies over 70, individuals spend on average 8 years, or 11.5% of their life span, living with disability. (Disabled World)
  • Despite 73% of consumers being directly and indirectly affected by disability during their lifetime, 75%-85% consider their customer experiences to be a failure. (The Return on Disability Group)
  • In the United Kingdom, 75 per cent of the companies of the FTSE 100 Index on the London Stock Exchange do not meet basic levels of web accessibility, thus missing out on more than $147 million in revenue. (United Nations)

About Marianne Waite, Director of Inclusive Design, Interbrand

With over 14 years’ experience in the world of design. Marianne has spent her career working to harness and empower the world’s best branding minds to shift attitudes towards disability.

She has been a Director at The Valuable 500, and founded Think Designable, a non-profit made up of marketing and communications professionals working to educate and help brands be as inclusive as they can be. She is the UK Government’s Disability and Access Ambassador for Brand and Design and is a Trustee of The Disabilities Trust. In 2017, Waite was recognized in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list. She has shared her work on platforms around the world, including The World Economic Forum and the United Nations.

About Interbrand

Interbrand Group is made up of Interbrand, the world’s leading brand consultancy, and C Space, the global customer agency.

Interbrand have been a world leading brand consultancy, for over 45 years – having pioneers iconic work and forged many of the brand building tools that are commonplace across the industry today.

We know that in an age of unprecedented abundance of choice and speed of innovation, customers’ expectations are moving faster than business. While incremental change is still essential, it is no longer sufficient. It takes bold moves to leap ahead of customers and competitors. We call these moves Iconic Moves.

In collaboration with the world’s leading brands, our global team of thinkers and makers are pioneering the future of brand building. By turning customers into active participants, we help our clients strengthen their brands on an ongoing basis – our approach gives them confidence to make Iconic Moves that spark desire and create utility, driving extraordinary results.

Interbrand is a part of the Omnicom Group (NYSE:OMC)