Branding and Black Life Matters

It has been over a month, and a half since George Floyd died and seems like the souffle of good intentions is deflating a bit. Since then, I have been forming myself to become a helper and not part of the problem. One of the conversations I had lately was regarding the rebrand of Uncle Ben’s rice and Aunt Jemima’s pancake syrup.

Should other heritage businesses be looking to do the same?

As a brand designer, I always tell my clients that brands are alive. We need to evolve them with the world. But we also need to stay true to our essence. There is no point to rebrand Uncle Ben’s in a shallow-way. Brands need to be authentic because they meant to connect emotionally with potential customers. So if the rebrand is meaningful, has to look at the essence, but also its statutes and business structure. 

What are the risks of changing a well-known brand?

There is always a risk in a rebrand. Brands spend years being built. But when the world demands a change, you have to offer it. For such a profound issue as LBM, you have to do it from the heart. You can’t just do it to look good: you have to mean it. And that will play at your advantage. Understand what the public wants and expects from you and ensure that any changes you do continue being aligned with your brand essence and your customer.

What are the risks of not doing it?

The risk of keeping your brand as it is will most definitely come with the loss of customers, advantage for your more ethical competitors. It is also likely to have a swift of the type of customers you will get. 

Branding is not an exercise of looking is an exercise of being.

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