Is Buy Black a bad idea?

It has been historically harder for Ethnic owners to get stores, attention for thier product or remove the myth that the owner mirrors the customer. Does buy black perpetuate this ideals or allow more opportunities?

By Yvette Estime

Nordstrom decided to carry a black owned nail polish brand but female owner decided she did not want to labeled as black owned because she wanted her products to be seen as for everyone (as reported by BoF).

The problem is in this age of social media, black owned brands have to figure out a way to attract customers without alienating them.

Showing your face could mean narrowing your demographic which can be narrowed even more if you show only members of your ethnic group on your page.

Also, if you sell exclusively to the minority group you belong to then switch to a general approach, you can risk alienating your current customers without getting new ones like the case of Carol’s Daughter.

Then there is the “Social proof” where quality of your product is determined by what one reads in the media; like Telfar’s deal with Gap falling apart. Black people do not buy from brands without any form of social proof.

With all these racially tinged misconceptions, the buy black movement seemed a great idea; til it wasn’t.

The problem is that the first rule of marketing is the product and by focusing on the owner; you are neglecting providing information about the product.

Secondly, the idea of the owner of the company reflecting the customer. Black owned business have to fight the stereotype that they make products for thier own ethnic group rather for everyone.

Hence, singling out black owned businesses may hurt rather than uplift thier profit margins.

The best thing to do is not enact a 16% rule but rather give every profitable business the same opportunities no matter who owns it.

Racism only goes away if we remove race as a factor period.



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