|Photocredit Debbin Photography|
SheaMoisture - a US-based personal care company which focuses on hair released a recent advert which promoted the company's products featuring an African-American woman, and women with blonde hair and red hair led to an online backlash More via Madame Noire
Here's what every brand should know and learn from this:
1. Don’t compromise authenticity for profit.
Social media; Youtube, instagram and facebook have made it very easy for black women to launch their own products not only to use them at home but to start selling easily on the social media platform. I am sure Shea Moisture is looking ahead and wants to expend their customer base.
As you look to expand your customer base, remember the stay authentic, you might lose your original fans in the process.
"Shea Moisture had to diversify their market for financial gain" but AA black women spend 80% more on Beauty.
Remember your brand uniqueness and stay true to it.
From Shea Moisture: "We are different - and we should know better".
Shea Moisture centered white women in a black woman space and that is so hurtful. Yall not getting my coins. Them white women can have yall
2. Listen to your customers and don't feel too big to apologize!
SheaMoisture was very quick to respond and apologize to their customers via its Facebook and Instagram pages. The response from them read "We really f-ed this one up. Please know that our intention was not - and would never be - to disrespect our community, and as such, we are pulling this piece immediately because it does not represent what we intended to communicate.
"We are different - and we should know better. Thank you all, as always, for the honest and candid feedback. We hear you. We're listening."
This apology however isn’t sitting well with SheaMoisture’s fans especially black women who are the reason Shea Moisture has grown so much; A Twitter user threatened to take down the brand: "Black women built SheaMoisture…Black women will take it right on down too."
A Facebook user continued: "I'll take my dollars elsewhere and I'll advise all my friends and family to do the same. Have fun with your new base."
3. Be clear and consistent on your social media messaging
The entire Ad seems to be focused on them expanding their entrepreneur base due to the fact that the natural industry has truly changed people are heading to YouTube and learning how to make products like DIY whipped shea butter and DIY black soap shampoo and aren't necessarily rushing to Shea moisture for products. Shea moisture should be authentic in their messaging whilst also balancing their profitability in the long run. A brand could have been easily created to support their new clientele base and they maintained the brand as is for their black woman base .
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