5 Steps for Companies During the Civil Unrest
Rebranding expert Tiffany Tolliver, founder of the Emmarose Agency which provides brand consulting and web design for female entrepreneurs, shared five steps with brands to preserve customers’ trust during the time of civil unrest, reported by Business Insider.
- Step 1
The first step is just to decide to do something. When you stop remaining silence your businesses can address racism and police brutality, Tolliver suggested. “It goes back to us not feeling seen and heard,” Tolliver said. “The businesses and the brands that I love, that I support, that I give my money to, when I see them making a choice to be silent, it almost feels like they don't understand me.” Furthermore, brands’ silence could influence how non-black customers and allies perceive the situation, and cause them not to voice their support as well.
Tulliver noted that customers could turn away from businesses that muted themselves due to hurt feelings, thus hurting the businesses’ bottom line.
- Step 2
According to Tulliver, the brands need to listen and understand its community of customers, who “have followers who have followers.” She cited a women’s career community, Creative & Cultivate, which at first made only one Instagram post to address racism but after a few days launched more contents and hosted workshops by black entrepreneurs. Tulliver praised the brand for its swift action after being pressured by its community.
- Step 3
She says not to get caught up in the hashtag trends, but to come up with a genuine approach of helping the African American community. The #BlackOutTuesday movement on Instagram backfired, for example, when many users used the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag along with their black square image, which made the resources and information under the popular hashtag no longer visible under the massive black squares.
- Step 4
Tulliver says companies should not delete critical comments on their social media posts. “Silence doesn't make you vulnerable because I can't see it,” she said. “When you delete the posts, it makes me feel unseen.”
- Step 5
Tulliver urges, for companies to make a long term plan instead of only posting a message of solidarity. Instead, companies should consider the flaw in their mechanism, which has prevented people of color to have a seat at the decision-making table.
“They're flocking to these people in a state of panic, when a course of action could have been to amplify and authentically support black businesses in the first place,” Tolliver said.