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How Major Brands are Responding to the Black Lives Matter Movement

by Kavya Sebastian

In the words of author and political activist Angela Davis, “In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be antiracist.”

The Black Lives Matter movement calls on everyone to take direct action in honor of the countless number of Black people who have been killed at the hands
of the police. It calls on each and every one of us to be actively anti-racist.

The killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd have ultimately forced companies to look internally at their diversity and inclusion practices
and hold themselves truly accountable for any missteps in prioritizing these programs.

In recent weeks, major brands have posted public statements in solidarity with the Black community. However, consumers are paying close attention to both
the actions and the words of these companies and holding them accountable accordingly. They ultimately do not care for corporate solidarity through
lip service. They want donations. They want action. These corporate communications have had to be timely, direct, and actionable. Our team has picked out a few of the most effective communications strategies
by top well-known brands.

One brand doing it right with significant praise is Ben & Jerry’s. Since making an official statement, the company has been regularly posting educational
resources (even including a pop-up on their site) and spreading awareness through all their platforms.

Glossier is a beauty brand that has received recognition for its official statement on May 30 –much earlier than other major brands– which referenced “systemic racism, white supremacy, and historic oppression”, as well as donations to respected
community organizations. Since then, Glossier has launched a grant initiative for Black-owned beauty businesses.
The brand demonstrates a full understanding that companies and individuals alike can no longer make a simple statement to do better. Rather, they must
put money where their mouth is.

In addition to posting statements on social media and sharing resources on website blogs, companies have also been sending out email statements to their
subscribers. With a “no-BS approach”, companies have highlighted the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement, like this email from TJX:

Social media, in particular, has been integral to the widespread reach of this movement. In fact, social media corporations like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter,
YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, and TikTok have all released statements on their social media channels voicing support and outlining steps
being taken to makes changes both internally and externally. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest even changed their social media profile
photos to black and white version of their logos to show solidarity.

Responding to current events like the Black Lives Matter movement involves a complex strategy to effectively communicate your brand’s stance and message.
As these major brands have shown, messaging should be consistent company-wide and backed with action to avoid coming off as lip service.

Contact us to handle all your brand communications on your digital marketing channels.


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