Brand Responses to Black Lives Matter

June, 2020

With Black Lives Matter and racial justice overtaking COVID-19 social conversation and people of diverse backgrounds showing up for the cause, it’s clear America is in the midst of a sea change.

Horizon Media has been tracking what people are saying and how they feel about brands who have made statements and/or taken action in regard to the movement.

Response to brands varies widely according to timing of response, depth and breadth of what the brand is doing, how well they are engaging community, and whether they are making long-term commitments to the cause.

Horizon has identified a brand response framework that defines three potential roles for brands:

  • Cultural Bystanders:
    Brands that engage in the movement in a minimal way, usually limited to making a statement but not much more
  • Cultural Connectors:
    Brands that translate statements into tangible actions and authentic community involvement
  • Cultural Leaders:
    Brands that are already making structural and systemic changes to address systemic racism within their business ecosystems and society at large

The brand response framework defines the different expectations people have depending on what role a brand plays or wants to play, and provides core questions brands should be asking themselves as they consider their role and their response.

Click ‘Download PDF’ below to access the full report.

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