Visual Monologues: What’s Race Got to Do With It?
Race. It’s always been one of America’s more controversial topics. It can be offensive, often divisive, and highly polarizing. But as uncomfortable as it may be to talk about, your small business’ visual marketing plan can’t afford to ignore the race topic. Here’s what to consider when factoring race into your business’ visual marketing future.
Consider Your Base, Then Stretch It
A great place to start is with your base. Which racial demographic groups find the
most interest in your product or service? Chances are, you have customer appeal across more than one race. Start there as you’re creating your marketing pieces. There’s nothing worse than being a loyal customer who feels completely ignored by the business you support. Simply reflecting your natural current customer base often goes a long way toward visual diversity. But don’t stop there. Consider expanding your marketing pieces to reflect untapped markets.
Belonging is Visual
As the consumer, we want to feel apart. If your business is welcoming to all races, show us. When you see someone who looks like you enjoying an ice tea at the corner tea parlor, you see YOURSELF enjoying that iced tea. The mental transfer happens much more easily. But before you fill your next Facebook marketing picture with a person from every color of the rainbow, remember to keep it natural. As I mentioned in the previous Visual Monologues, fake is never in. As your marketing campaigns progress keep racial diversity in mind, and remember to mix it up.
Take the Stereotypes and Scramble Them
When natural visual images are out of the question and staging is a must, remember that race is not the only area in which people identify themselves. Racial diversity is one part, albeit important, of diversity as a whole. Try relating to multiple sets of people at once. People don’t fit into boxes. Neither should your visual marketing campaign.