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Contrasting Agendas: Corporate America vs. Community Investment

Why HUES BOA Supports Racial Diversity And Consumer Power

Today, in America, the intersection of consumerism and social responsibility is under scrutiny by a more socially aware and racially diverse population. The financial influence of Black and Latino consumers is not just significant; it’s staggering. Black consumers, making up 13% of American consumers, command a staggering $1 trillion annually in spending power. Similarly, the Latino population, comprising about 19% of the total, wields an impressive $3 trillion in spending power.

With their significant purchasing power, it’s no surprise that Black and Latino populations are prime targets for marketing by major corporations in the consumer retail space. Apparel giants, sportswear companies, cosmetics, and consumer goods brands all vie for these dollars through marketing and advertising campaigns, recognizing the importance of these consumers in their business strategies.

A significant imbalance exists despite the significant revenue these population groups generate for large companies. This is primarily due to a lack of reciprocal investment and acknowledgment of the social issues that deeply affect these buyers. However, the potential for change is immense. At HUES BOA, we are committed to acknowledging these issues and investing in initiatives to bring positive change in these communities.

In the U.S., major brands are often pretty silent on matters of social injustice concerning economic and employment inequality, police brutality, and systemic biases within the judicial system. And that starkly contrasts their proactive marketing strategies that target African American and Latino consumers. While these corporations eagerly tap into their spending wallets, they don’t always repay the favor in terms of supporting their social good. The disparity between their marketing efforts and social responsibility is alarming. The lack of concern and investment is noticeable, and it’s time for that to change.

Big Marketing Aimed At Minority Buyers

 

For instance, big clothing companies strategically align with influential athletes and celebrities who resonate with Black and Latino audiences. The likes of LeBron James, Serena Williams, and Colin Kaepernick have been featured in major ad campaigns over the past few years. These modern-day heroes are part of campaigns that capture Black Americans’ attention and attract their spending dollars by the millions.

Fast food, automakers, and beverage companies also target marketing to Hispanics, incorporating Spanish phrases and familiar sayings to resonate with that population.

Brands are rushing to feature culturally relevant advertising. They use Black and Latino cultural elements, like music, art, and design, in their marketing campaigns. They want to show familiarity with these groups and often collaborate with culturally essential musicians and artists. 

Recently, a more comprehensive range of brands has begun to feature models of all skin tones and ethnicities. While this is a step forward in representing real consumers, make no mistake that it also is a play for spending dollars. And it’s working. These minority groups are projected to spend $1.8 trillion in 2024 alone.

A Gap in Giving Back 

But Corporate America’s track record on engaging with fundamental issues of Black and Hispanic Americans, particularly those such as police brutality and judicial biases, reveals minimal involvement. This tells us there is a considerable gap. On one hand, brands court the attention of these consumers, and on the other, they don’t engage. This reeks of opportunism and prioritizes profit over the well-being and equality of human beings.

For example, in 2021, after George Floyd, corporations pledged $49.5 billion to address racial inequality, which could do much social good. However, a closer look at how the money was used reveals that a lot of it was for investments that benefited big banks and mortgage companies. And of the $4 billion in grants committed, only about $70 million of that went to organizations that focus on criminal justice reform, the root issue that caused the murder of George Floyd.

 

Consumers Have a Choice — Support HUES BOA

 

For instance, big Minority communities have noticed. Trust breaks down when brands don’t give back in ways that matter to these groups personally. People feel betrayed when they see corporate profit being prioritized over elevating underprivileged groups.

Black and Latino customers know well that they hold much consumer power and are choosing to support companies whose practices align with their social values. As buyers become aware and have more choices, we can choose brands that feature diversity in marketing and put their money where their mouth is.

 

Performative Marketing: Targeting Profit Above All 

If brands don’t work to connect with the realities of the Black and Latino communities, their efforts to be more inclusive are “performative marketing.”  To attract and keep Black consumers ethically, companies must show they are devoted to a social mission to better the community and serve society. 

HUES BOA: Part Of The Solution

 

HUES BOA always aims to be a brand that is part of the solution to racial and cultural issues that affect us all. To promote and uplift our audience and buyers, we plan to be involved in mentorship for youth in our local community, where young men and women lack enough social role models of success that represent many career paths and ways they can succeed as adults.

As a Black-owned apparel company, HUES BOA is determined to not only attract the dollars of consumers who resonate with our efforts to highlight diversity through unity but also give back in tangible ways of time and money to support these communities.

Companies That Uplift Their Customer Base

HUES BOA brand is also taking note of what other companies are doing, who are gaining the approval of Black consumers for their social efforts. We noticed a small apparel brand with a history of supporting critical black figures in our culture. Also, we found a medium-sized company that invests in Black communities by funding youth programs in underserved areas. This company has decided to tie its top executive salaries to its ability to achieve better workforce diversity.

Significant efforts can make a real difference: one by helping poor communities where youth don’t have equal advantages in education and extracurricular activities, and two by working toward providing equal access to jobs for minority groups.

Actionable Strategies for Brands

These tangible efforts are things all brands, large and small, can do. Every brand, large or small, can take a portion of their profits and direct them toward a social mission. Retail companies can survey their buyer communities to discover the issues that mean the most to them. If a brand targets a Hispanic audience, direct a percentage of philanthropy toward immigration reform, early education, and childcare to form real support for the Latino community.

 

Suppose a brand chooses to go after Black Americans to spend money. In that case, an internal sounding board should be formed to listen to consumers about how their communities suffer. Then, an action plan should be developed to direct dollars toward efforts that matter. More than anything else, marking a portion of profits to philanthropy that matters to the groups you serve will show that a company is committed to the Black community’s good, not just taking the Black community’s dollars.

 

Committing to Social Missions and Community Support in Target Markets

As a reader, a consumer, or a corporate board member, whoever you may be, it’s up to you to push for and make these changes—support only companies who choose to put action behind their diversity marketing campaigns. Purchase products from small companies demonstrating genuine involvement and care for underrepresented groups.

If you have a seat at the corporate table, become a voice for committing to social justice missions. Propose earmarking funds for prison reform, education support, or a group actively uplifting underprivileged minorities in your area.

More than ever, aligning corporate strategy with community needs and social justice is essential. Socially aware consumers, especially Millennials and Gen Z, are watching. The potential for positive change is unmatched if large corporations become genuine partners in addressing social injustice issues.  

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