• Tee Ivory

Was Diversity the Mission in the First Place, or Just Diversity MARKETING?

The tone in my inbox changed...a lot!

Some of the marketing emails I receive, and social media spaces I subscribe to have only recently turned into platforms for diversity, and political advocacy.

Educational companies that used to focus on predominantly straight haired women, a short time ago, now have more courses on managing coily and afro hair types. I've noticed my marketing emails from business coaches, makeup retailers, clothing retailers, vitamin companies, in addition to my normal beauty store emails, have jumped on current social and political trends! There have been statements issued concerning anti-racism, and sometimes even included a stock photo with a African-American, woman model! I was shocked. I’d never seen anything like this from business entities because generally, as a rule of thumb, in business many sites tend to “stick to the script”.

My educational resources were segregated.

Places I could go to learn about updos, cuts and color for the straight-haired market, obviously we're not the same as the ones I could go to for ethnic hair care.

I actually didn't see anything wrong with that. I knew that there was very little demand. Their bottom line was large enough that reaching outside of a company’s target demographic for new customers was not needed.

Only a few short months ago, my inbox was the same as always. There were even the same marketing campaigns re-run from the previous year with slightly different formatting!

B.L.M. (Bottom Lines Matter).

I know it may be a common part of a company’s marketing campaign to include, lame retail holidays, like “French Fry Day”. However I feel that what I saw was overkill!

I asked myself some questions.

  • Is it possible that these companies that previously did not embrace diversity, are now scrambling to secure their bottom lines?

  • Was expanding their target demographic a pre-planned mission for this year?

  • Are companies taking advantage of current events in order to prevent (or soften the blow), of possible lost revenue in the future, because of a troubled economy?

I’m not sure whether to feel insulted or flattered.


It looks to me like companies are trying to profit from the disheveled state our society is in, and only started using African American models in their media marketing out of convenience, not because these models were their first preference.

I wonder if corporate executives of some of these companies that have me on their email list, had their hands forced into adding B.L.M. to their marketing materials because of behind the scenes political pressure. Who knows right?

Business is business.

When I go to a platform for education or to do business, that’s really all I want to read or hear about, even if our views match. I often go to these platforms as a break from the mainstream, and to enter a different state of mind. I don’t need to see activism, or anti-activism everywhere I turn! I won’t un-follow over these issues, but certainly can’t wait for this election cycle to be over!


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