Don’t Bite the Hand That Feeds You: 3 Ways to Avoid the Shea Moisture Mistake

Black business owners can avoid Shea Moisture's missteps with these tips from Black Enterprise's own in-house marketing rock star

(Image: iStock/Bruno Monteny )

Shea Moisture has recently joined the ranks of Pepsi and United Airlines—companies who ruffled more than a few feathers and alienated supporters with insensitive marketing campaigns. Following the recent backlash experienced by large advertisers, it’s more important than ever for brands to be hyper aware of what they release. Consider these three tips before rolling out ads that hurt more than they help.

 

Remember Your Day-Ones

 

Loyalty is hard to come by these days. The people who supported you when you first started out are the most important ones to keep in mind as your business grows. They are the ones who will expand your reach by sharing their love for you with everyone they know. Conversely, if you do them wrong, they’ll be sure to let you (and all of social media) know about it. Be careful not to leave them out when making decisions that might affect their support.

 

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Managing Growth

 

A haircare company that caters to a predominately African American demographic should know that the journey to healthy, long-lasting growth is slow and steady. As you gain success, you are bound to attract new audiences that you may not have originally planned for. Before dropping everything to win over this new community, consider the message you’re sending to those who already support you.

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Ask, Don’t Assume

 

Thanks to social media and technology, brands have easier access than ever to diverse audiences and people are more than willing to voice their opinions. With this in mind, one would think new campaign releases would be fail-proof—especially with companies seeking increased engagement from their audiences. However, time and again, brands miss the mark by running what they think would be a great idea before checking in with representatives from their loyal customer base. I’m sure someone would have had choice words for Shea Moisture to lead them in a different direction.

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Rochelle Turner is the Marketing and Audience Development Manager at Black Enterprise. For more bite-sized tips on marketing and life, check out her website at rochelleshante.com.