The trend: With another Black History Month in the books, it’s clear that while some brands miss the mark in the name of commercialism, others use it as an opportunity to foster connections with consumers who care about inclusivity and equity.
Why it matters: Black consumers’ spending power is expected to surge over 25% between 2021 and 2026, outpacing the spending power of white consumers by nearly four points.
The campaigns: Various brands and retailers are celebrating Black History Month by spotlighting Black-owned businesses, donating to nonprofits that promote racial equity, and creating exclusive collections and series that highlight Black artists’ contributions to music and society. Here are some of this year’s most notable campaigns.
The pledge: Major retailers including Macy's, Sephora, and Nordstrom increased their selection of Black-owned brands after committing to the Fifteen Percent Pledge. Sephora has doubled its selection, while Macy's had a fivefold increase in the Black-owned brands it carries. Target (which has not taken the pledge) plans to invest $2 billion with Black-owned companies by 2025.
Month-long to year-round: Brands and retailers seem to be realizing customers want more long-term commitments to Black consumers and Black-owned brands rather than performative steps.
The big takeaway: Black consumers and others who value inclusivity can be won over—but they want brands to take the long view. Getting a sale in February is great, but building customer relationships that last year-round is far more beneficial to the bottom line.