Be Woke: stop saying, start actively doing.
In today’s culture, staying woke is the journey we are all on to stay updated, respectful, thoughtful of diction choices. However, staying woke needs to expand further than your social media presence and conversations. As a business, company, brand, or institution, your wokeness is key to being successful.
We have all seen examples of companies, brands, or institutions fumbling. For example, earlier this year, CNN reported on The Fashion of Technology’s choice to let “blatantly racist,” according to Diet Prada, a fashion industry watchdog Instagram post, fashion go down their runway (see the article on CNN here). We, as a culture, need to do better--and that bettering will only start in our business dealings and branding.
There are many reasons why we need to stay woke, but there are a few points that need to be addressed for proper wokeness in business dealings.
Start your effort to stay woke by doing an internal culture audit of sorts. Who you do business with and how you do it means something. If you sell items, brands, or services that are offensive, disrespectful, or ignorant, you need to re-evaluate what your business means to you and the average consumer. One easy way to stay woke is to stay updated on the latest news, issues, and trends when it comes to being aware of your social and cultural surroundings. Creating a corporate social responsibility mission can be an excellent first step to understanding what your business means to the culture around it. (Last thing, you need to be treating your own corporate culture well to stay woke as a company. Make sure you are a united front to stand up to ignorant material in today’s culture.)
Addressing the issues, you may need to be the first issue you resolve. Having a comments board in your place of business or having an anonymous comment/messaging option on your website can also be a great place to start. Listening to consumers is key to understanding what is woke and what is not. Sometimes swallowing your own pride and acknowledging any issues you have and making changes are the necessary steps you, as a business, company, brand, or institution, need to take.
Last thing: stay consistent. Your business, company, brand, or institution needs to be consistent in messaging. When addressing issues or concerns, your team needs to have a sort of protocol to follow. If your leadership is not sure how to tackle your issues, consult with professionals who work with diversity and inclusion marketing. We, at The Dillon Ross Group, pride ourselves in our work in marketing—let’s work together. Your business must stay professional and edgy in all the best ways. If you have questions about the wokeness of a new service, brand, or item you are producing, ask.
There is no shame in learning. Staying woke is worth the decisions that exude diversity and inclusion, new banner or marketing promo, or stepping away from a culturally inappropriate brand or item you may have a partnership with.
The Dillon Ross Group is all about marketing creatively. However, as a team, we have the utmost respect for ourselves and clients and know that staying woke is a requirement and very worth it. If you are an NYC/NJ business, company, brand, or institution, and have questions about marketing, branding, or expanding in this culture, let’s work together and get it right the first time.