The Black Lives Matter movement has become revitalized since George Floyd was murdered in police custody in May. For many Americans, the movement has reshaped the way they think about race relations, and as a result, they’ve prioritized learning about the challenges faced by Black Americans, supporting Black-led charitable foundations, and even peacefully protesting. Individuals expect their favorite brands to reflect this shift in thinking. Many people believe that brands can play a large role in addressing social issues. Their attempts, however, must be sincere and genuine if they expect their actions to play a role in influencing consumer opinions.
According to a recent survey, 71% of participants said that brands should play a part in responding to police brutality and racial injustice. Protests impact what consumers want to see in brand advertisements. As a result, brands need to address social issues but set the right tone as they do so. They must be cautious. If their efforts are hypocritical and disingenuous, they run the risk of making matters worse. About 20% of those surveyed said they would quit purchasing from a brand that demonstrated hypocritical behavior when it comes to racial injustice. Companies that have faced backlash for hypocritical behavior or simple “lip service” have damaged their brands. Many CEOs and leaders have felt forced to resign.
The Black Lives Matter movement isn’t going away. The movement is crucial, and companies must determine how to proceed. Brands need to choose a stance, communicate it, and actually continue demonstrating their support through actionable steps. Here are a few ways brands can respond effectively to the BLM movement.
Use Your Voice
In the past, the government has been responsible for pushing businesses to include diversity. Under the current administration, this is certainly not the case. Companies need to use their voice to speak up and push for change. Your brand can use its voice to speak out against injustice and demand change from elected officials.
Outline a Concrete Plan
Your brand needs to develop a course of action for both the short and long term. Remember, “lip service” isn’t going to cut it. You must take action immediately, whether that entails releasing a statement, announcing a new hiring initiative, or allowing time off for employees to peacefully protest. Your organization needs to continue its progress. Follow the steps outlined in your plan and continue demonstrating support through diversifying your staff, advertising, and more.
Your brand has to keep consumers and stakeholders informed of the actions you’re taking to support the BLM movement and internal diversity. Consider creating a new page on your website and update it regularly with the changes you’re making. Social media is another great tool; you can share regular updates with individuals who are passionate about your brand and the cause.
The marketing landscape is changing rapidly. People now expect brands to prioritize diversity, racial justice, and more. They’re looking for genuine statements, a strong course of action, and accountability. Anything less will feel superficial, leading to a negative impression of your brand.