There’s no doubt that conversation about race in the workspace can be a bit of a touchy subject. We are still learning how to challenge systemic issues and re-write the narrative about race. Many businesses are leading the way to change with their dedication to making a difference.
But it goes without saying that being non-racist isn’t enough. To truly make a difference, brands need to be – in their actions, initiatives, and sentiments – anti-racist.
More and more we see brands striving for greater representation to reach equality in the workspace. These businesses continue to actively show their support for social equity through establishing internal diversity and inclusion committees, making their marketing efforts and messaging more inclusive, and celebrating historic black leaders like Martin Luther King.
Honoring black history month is not only an ethical and effective choice, but this also puts your brand in better standing with consumers, potential customers, and leads. In fact, 66% of consumers believe it’s important for brands to take a public stand on social and political issues and 35% of customers say they trust these brands over others who remain silent.
When it comes to showing your support for equality, making a difference and appealing to customers go together like cake and icing. But it’s not always as easy as identifying as an ally. Your brand may have to go the extra mile to really – and respectfully – resonate with your audience on socio-political issues like racism.
So, let us take something off your plate! We’ve whipped up five creative ways your brand can honor Black History Month.
Host a Workshop or an Event with a Black Speaker
For brands looking to reach and engage audiences in a meaningful dialogue, hosting an event or workshop is a great way to raise awareness about critical issues facing the black community, educate viewers about black history, and create a safe space for productive dialogue.
In the spirit of being inclusive, make it available to everyone by hosting a public seminar. You could do this via a webinar or virtual meeting. Make the event free to maximize attendance or donate a portion of the cover costs to a black-owned organization to incentivize participation.
Your brand could also consider this idea for an in-house event. Host a private workshop or diversity training for employees, and be sure to leverage your social media to publicize the event and your efforts to customers. Showing customers your brand values, spreading awareness, and educating your employees about black history and systemic issues is critical to building a positive and socially active brand identity.
Support Black-Owned Businesses and Organizations
If you liked the idea of hosting an event for Black History Month, consider holding the workshop or talk at a black-owned restaurant or local business. Not only will your brand be rewarded by an educational workshop, but simultaneously your company is actively supporting black-owned businesses in your community. To find local black-owned organizations, consult this search engine: WhereU Came From.
If your brand can’t swing an event or workshop for health and safety concerns, consider, instead, making a donation to black organizations. Donate a percentage of your February earnings to a charity like Black Lives Matter, Equal Justice Initiative, the Loveland Foundation, or EmbraceRace, to name a few.
You could even consider hosting a sale where a percentage of the proceeds will be donated to a black organization or charity. This will boost conversions and revenue while also supporting a charitable cause for Black History Month.
Social Spotlights for Black Team Members
While supporting outside organizations is always impactful on a broader community level, how your brand chooses to honor Black History Month could actually have a deeper and more meaningful significance. For a moment, turn inwards and take a look at your own team. Though developing committees and platforms for diversity and inclusion are a must, give credit to your employees where credit is due.
One way to really embrace recognition of black leaders a bit closer to home – or work – is to extend your efforts and recognitions to your own team. Highlight your black employees with social spotlights and shout-outs on your brand’s social media channels. Share their contributions to your business and their personal success stories. Make these posts meaningful for maximum impact.
Sales or Sweepstakes
Running a month-long sale may seem like a lot. But sales can benefit your brand's reach, site traffic, engagement, and conversions all while honoring and supporting the black community. If you choose to go this route, consider donating a sizeable percentage of the earnings to black-owned organizations or charities. You could also consider hosting an enter-to-win giveaway where the prize is an e-gift card to a black-owned business.
Interactive, Engaging, & Educational Content
Make space on your plate (and in your belly) for content! For Black History Month, your content should be as inspiring, valuable, and impactful as the black leaders you are honoring. Create interactive content that is simultaneously engaging and educational for your audiences both to boost user experience and spread awareness about black history, injustices, and systemic issues still facing the black community.
One idea is to leverage your social channels to develop a quiz for followers, then begin campaigning! Encourage and challenge users to test their knowledge about Black History. This is a fun and engaging way to show your support, educate audiences, spread awareness, and get users to interact with your brand and content. This is the perfect example of content with immeasurable value. As an added incentive, offer those who get a perfect score a discount on their next purchase.
Feeling full after all these sweet ideas? There’s always room for CAKE! To make a difference while boosting returns on your brand's marketing efforts, consult the experts at CakeCommerce. To learn more about our marketing services, contact our team.