Posted on June 3, 2020

Your Brand Shouldn’t Stay Silent About the Killing of George Floyd

Sonia Thompson,, June 3, 2020

The country is in an uproar with all the protests in response to the police killing of George Floyd. While what’s happening may seem like a social justice issue, brands cannot afford to stay on the sidelines.

Your customers, particularly your black customers, want to know whether the brands they spend their hard-earned dollars on are for them. They want to know that your brand cares about them as people, not just as customers.

Business is about belonging. And for your customers to feel like they belong with you, you have to demonstrate that you see them, you value them, and you care about the fundamental issues that concern them, especially when they are being treated unjustly.


Don’t stay silent. Here are some quick guidelines to help you along as you craft your response to this growing movement and pivotal point in history.

1. Acknowledge the injustices that have negatively impacted the black community.

We can’t begin to fix the problem until we recognize that it exists.

Target did it by naming those whose senseless killings occurred in the past few months

The murder of George Floyd has unleashed the pent-up pain of years, as have the killings of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. We say their names and hold a too-long list of others in our hearts.

At a minimum, simply say the words “Black Lives Matter.” Here’s how Netflix did it on their Instagram feed:

Netflix BLM

2. Be clear about the actions your brand is taking.


Donating to organizations doing important work to dismantle systemic racism, ensuring that your own workforce is diverse, and making your marketing efforts inclusive are all great ways to do so.

Later Media, a social media scheduling app, was very clear about the steps it is taking:

Later Media

3. Be a part of the ongoing dialogue.

People–both your team members and your customers–are hurting. One of the ways that people work through their pain is by talking about it.


Both your team and your customers need you to speak up and lead. Don’t leave them hanging, or they just might leave you.