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Developing Diversity

Usually when people working for companies talk about diversity, they do so in terms of hiring and marketing. Cellphone company Helio LLC has an intriguing new approach: developing new products and services for mainstream customers by working with a minority client base.

Even though Korean Americans make up less than 1% of the U.S. population, they tend to be more advanced when it comes to cell phone usage — and expectations. In fact, when many relocate to America, they find the current state of cell phone tech and service to be a step back from what they're used to.

Helio doesn't just market its products and services to a Korean American customer base (the traditional marketing play), it mobilizes them to develop new products and services that can then be marketed to a more mainstream American clientele. And its making more traditional service providers like T-Mobile worry.

How might you and your organization leverage this approach?