As a marketer, you’re probably wondering whether now is a good time to promote your brand or whether you should hold back in light of the recent events happening around the country. With the frustration and anger so many people are justifiably feeling right now, is there even a space for brands in the public conversation?
The answer is yes, brands shouldn’t retreat entirely from social media, but at the same time business as usual is not the path forward. Brands can not be silent to the current moment.
That includes us at ListenFirst.
In the wake of the tragic and senseless death of George Floyd, we need to hold up a mirror to ourselves and society, and be part of the uncomfortable conversation about what the necessary steps are to bring about more substantive change to the systemic inequality plaguing our country.
As crippling as the coronavirus pandemic has been the last few months, we will figure out a vaccine. Not today, maybe not tomorrow, but sometime in the foreseeable future. What the murder of George Floyd reminds us of, however, is there’s no comparatively quick fix for the racial injustice endemic in American society.
There’s no silver bullet or magic pill that can heal us. For brands, empathy and solidarity is what’s needed. By speaking out, we acknowledge that racism continues to be a problem and we want to be part of the solution. While we stand for equality and justice, we need to admit there is still a lot we need to learn, and work we need to do. Some of that work starts by raising awareness and by lending our support to the people and communities on the front line of this struggle.
With that in mind, here are some impactful examples of how over the past few days brands have stepped up and used social media to support that change.
Nike’s video encouraging everyone to be part of the change is the most engaged piece of content published from a brand about the issue, generating 4.5M responses on Instagram. In a sign of solidarity, the post was shared by Adidas, in addition to sharing its own post about creating change.
Lululemon admitted they had not always gotten their message right. But, this moment was too important to not make a commitment to change. Beats by Dre also made a promise to do more to promote equality and fight injustice.
Meanwhile, brands like Under Armour, Estee Lauder, and Maybelline took this moment to show their support for the black community and those fighting against inequality.
Brands like GoPro, New Balance and Mattel used their platforms to take a stand against racism, to grieve, and to advocate for diversity and peace.
Media & Entertainment Brands
Media brands used their powerful platforms to take a stand in solidarity with their community of employees, creators, and fans. In some instances, media brands put a spotlight on the voices of their talent and collaborators.
While some fashion brands tackled the issue head on, vowing to take action and be part of the change, others took a softer stance.
For retail brands, the issue was personal. CEOs of retail brands wrote open letters to their community of employees, customers and partners and posted links to these letters on social media. In the letters, they acknowledged their responsibility and promised to do more.