It is time for us all to go deeper than the surface.
At Authentique, we have always held 3 things sacred – culture, community, and purpose. It is at the core of who we are, how we do business, and how we determine WHO we do business with. We specialize in African American and LGBTQ audiences, and are also certified as both a Minority Owned and LGBT business. We have a responsibility to the voices we amplify. We consider it an imperative for any brand Authentique services, to respect the communities we serve, and to observe the fullness of who we are and our intersectionality. We bring that perspective with us as an agency, when we mine for data, deliver insights, determine strategy, and push to go past tactics.
The real consumer journey leads to a relationship, and that relationship is built on transparency and trust. As a brand, you must make an effort to get to know me, to acknowledge our history, our passions, our pain points, and our joys. These past few weeks and months have presented unbelievable tests, with new obstacles like COVID-19 only compounding the challenges inherent in being a person of color and/or a member of the LGBTQ community in today’s America. While resilience is one of our many superpowers, the ability to bounce back also requires the ability to endure. And frankly, we’re tired. Tired not only of the discrimination faced on a daily basis, but also of empty placating gestures.
Bring your receipts.
As an agency we have long asserted to brands that, for AA and LGBTQ consumers, “transactional relationships need not apply.” Having events for events sake, slapping a brown face in an ad, and sprinkling an “urban” flair on the copy without true “allyship”- all those surface tactics are OVER. It’s real out here and authenticity is a mandatory, especially for these audiences. That was true before the whirlwind that has been the last 3 weeks, and it’s even more true today.
Deploying your strategic communications team to release a perfectly worded “Black Lives Matter” statement is a start. But, it’s just not enough. Outside of the one-time declaration, how will you as a brand SHOW that black voices matter in your corporations? What community organizations do you or will you support? How will you improve your recruitment techniques to not only attract qualified AA and LGBTQ candidates, but also create an environment that retains them? Who is on your board and in your C-suites? Who are your brand ambassadors, are they truly advocates for the audience you’re targeting, or are they merely “influencers”? Vanity tactics are just like vanity metrics, notable but not profound. As a company, as a collective, as individuals, it is time for us all to go deeper than the surface.
Lauryn Hill said it best, “…respect is just the minimum.”
As businesses, we each have an opportunity to live true to the values that we promote in our glossy ads, segment appropriate copy, and visually dynamic content. There is much to be done, and the road ahead is long. Authentique will continue our dedication to culture, community, and purpose, and invite you to join us in the “good fight.” If you need anything, or just want to see what we’re up to, give us a shout – WE’RE HERE FOR YOU AND IN THIS TOGETHER.