Visual Communication

#BlackLivesMatter Is Not a Trend: 5 Things Your Brand Can Do

By Miles Holder - 6 min read

By using our app analysis and social media tools, we've curated a comprehensive list of ways that customers are expecting brands to show their support of the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

This year, brands have had to act fast to keep up with the ever-changing global environment, be it the COVID-19 pandemic or social uprising, your actions during these times will set the tone for your future brand image.

Actions You Can Take When A Photo Isn’t Quite Enough

Close-up of protestor holding text on papers
Premium

Today, we aren’t talking about trends. The #BlackLivesMatter movement, like the many that came before, is centred around dismantling systemic racism and holding law enforcement accountable when unlawful killings of African Americans occur. While there are many arguments as to why brands should not be involved in political speech, believing that black lives should matter is not a partisan issue. We are seeing brands of all capacities, all industries, and all locations take up this cause and respond vocally - many for the very first time.

Still, while it should be the case that your brand takes a supporting role in the issues of today, for many knowing the appropriate way to do so can be a daunting task. Although we are also learning as we go, and will continue to adapt and grow our own knowledge base as a team, we believed we also needed to play our part.

Although this guide only scratches the surface of the millions of resources available to us all. We had the responsiblity to share the insights and resources that we’ve found useful as a brand operating in both the corporate and creative space.

If you’re looking for long-term creative solutions to show your support but not sure where to start, then get in touch with our team to find out more about our global network of photographers

1) Remember That This Is Not a Trend

@gxldenday

As mentioned above, the #BlackLivesMatter movement isn’t a trend, and you should not use it in any way to bolster your business. Regardless of how well-intentioned you may be, #BlackLivesMatter discount codes or flash sales are ill-advised. Remember that 1 in every 1,000 black men in the USA can expect to be killed by police in their lifetimes, it’s a serious issue and one your brand should not be profiting off.

Instead, respect the space your brand occupies and share clear messaging for your audience. Regardless of what industry you’re a part of, someone you know is affected by this, so do not trivialise the issues.

Brand Cases

Why Black Lives Matter by Ben & Jerry

Here Are The Brands Who Have Posted In Support of Black Lives Matter by Dazed Digital

Black Lives Co-founder Explains Why This Time Is Different by New York Times

2) Stay Relevant

@Upmind_

For smaller companies and independent businesses, all that people require is your voice. Use your platform to spread the message and ask your followers to sign the petitions and donate where they can. For many industries, grandiose messaging is only going to dilute the pool of much needed important information and in turn, silence the black voices you wish to encourage.

Instead, find ways you are uniquely positioned to be of help. Editorial platforms can commission work from black writers; beauty brands can use their platform to highlight black talent etc.

Brand Cases

Elle: Beauty brands supporting Black Lives Matter

Delish: Food Brands Supporting Black Lives Matter

The Authority Collective: Hire Black Photographers

Change Clothing - Donating 100% of Sales

Corporate Voices Get Behind ‘Black Lives Matter’ Cause by New York Times

PEOPLE HOLDING TEXT ON THE BEACH

3) Donate Where Possible

@Glossier

Large companies, especially those that take up space in and or profit from black culture, your silence or lack of monetary support will send a clear message, “we care, but not enough to open our purse”. Users of social media are rightfully calling out brands and individuals who profit from black culture but are unwilling to pay back to it in times of hardship.

Smaller brands and independent businesses donate where you can, but your platform is your commodity. Sharing links to educate your following will be enough in lew of large sums of money.

The amount you donate and whether you publicise it is your decision, however, how you act today will represent your brand image moving forward.

Charities & Funds

Brands Donating to Black Lives Matter Movement by Pop Sugar

Black Lives Matter

The Bail Project

The Liberty Fund

Reclaim the Block

I Run With Maud

Campaign Zero

Unicorn Riot

American Civil Liberties Union

There are so many more incredible charities & funds out there. Our team will work hard to keep this list updated.

4) Be The Change You Want To See

@BrandiJeter

It’s a challenging prospect, but all brands will need to look at how they have benefited from or been ignorant of the effects of systemic racism. Do your social media channels, board rooms, guest speakers, and events represent places of diverse thought, race and gender equality and if not, why?

Granted, the level of diverse talent varies between cities and industries. Still, in a digital age where the world is more connected than ever, that is no longer an excuse for the lack of input, black voices have within your organisation. Ongoing surveys from Boston Consultant Group show that more diverse leadership leads to an increase in innovation. It’s time to get your team together, open up conversations, and not only see the business case for increasing diversity, but also resurfacing the challenges your brand may have dismissed previously.

Helpful Business Resources

Diversity in The Workplace - Benefits and Challenges by Culture Amp

How Diverse Leadership Teams Boost Innovation by BCG

The Business Case For Diversity in The Workplace is Overwhelming by We Economic Forum

HIGH ANGLE VIEW OF CROWD WALKING ON STREET

5) Don’t Stop Fighting After This Week

While #BlackLivesMatter is a prominent news story, soon the news camera will move on but the pain many currently experienced will not. One day of silence or one social post to show your support will do little to affect change. Having open and honest conversations with your staff and your brand’s communities will better prepare you for whatever the future holds.

If anything, this current crisis has only highlighted how ill-equipped many brands have been in dealing with what should not be a complex issue. The question “what measures do you have in place to ensure your brand and company culture is a diverse space for thought, race, gender and sexuality” should not cause the mayhem that we’ve seen and we predict it will be a question posed to many brands moving forward.

This year has been a test for how quick brands can adapt to the ever-changing times and being proactive and ahead of the curve, will always ensure your core brand messaging does not fall short.

Other Guides & Resources For Your Team & Consumers

Addressing racism and issues of representation through photography by British Journal of Photography

A List of Resources For Supporting The Black Lives Matter Movement by It’s Nice That

How To Protests Safely by Vice

How to Support The Black Lives Matter Movement Even If You Can’t Attend The Protests by The Independent

How to Support Black People Today, Tomorrow & Forever by Refinery29

10 Black Activists to Follow by Refinery29

Anti-Racist Actions You Can Take Today by Who What Wear

Resources For Supporting Black Lives Matter by Boiler Room

CLOSE-UP OF TEXT

We will continue to update this list of resources, so make sure you keep it ready for you and your team to use. We’re also committed to running a new Spotlight Series across all of our social channels. Providing more black photographers on EyeEm a global platform to showcase their work and the messsages they want to share. Join our LinkedIn network to stay relevant and show your support.

If you’re looking for more specific business solutions to show your support for now and the future then get in touch with our team. We are able to connect you with a global network of professional photographers in honor of better representation and increased opportunities

Up next:

News

EyeEm just got bigger and better

By EyeEm Team - 1 min read