b'PHYSICALWHY DEISMALLGETTING RETAILSMATTERS MINERSPOLITICALFUTURE STRUGGLE IN PUBLIC panieswas kindling for the current social justice reckoning. COVID-19 was the match, sparking mass layoffs among young workers and isolating nearly everyone, leading to an even greater sense of disenfran-chisement. The result is a cohort that is fed up and looking for account-ability. Companies are already aware that younger shoppers are more motivated than the generations before them to spend money with companies that share their social values, like environmentalism, by supporting a brand that, for example, works to reduce waste or commits to carbon neutrality. Its a trend that pre-dates the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests. Customers are putting their money behind the brands whose values align with theirs, andFor days prior, messages were circulated about the theyre doing their diligence oninitiative on various Instagram feed and story posts, the brands that stay neutral, says Lowitz.though even then, counter-messaging about the possible detriments All these elements have contributed to an environment in whichof Blackout Tuesdaythat it would be at best, performative, and at consumers want to buy from companies they perceive as being part ofworst, would detract from Black the solution to inequality, and theyre being clear about that online.voiceswas already rampant.Cindy Krupp, founder and president of Krupp Group, which rep- Nonetheless, on Tuesday, June resents brands such as Eva Fehren, Foundrae, Marla Aaron, Michael2, Instagram feeds quickly turned Stars and MOTHER denim, says, With the use of social media, cus- into a parade of black squares, most tomers can be vocal and be the catalyst for change within the world oftagged with #BLM or #Black-their favorite brands. LivesMatter.ON CHANGINGQuickly, other posts surfacedCONSUMERTHE #BLACKOUTTUESDAY DEBACLE urging anyone who had posted theDEMANDS: Nothing quite distills the new pressure companies are facing, andblack square to remove #BLM fromCustomers are putting the difficulties in navigating it, like Blackout Tuesday.the image caption and replace it withtheir money behind the brands whose values Blackout Tuesday#BlackoutTuesday, lest protestersalign with theirs, and originated in the musiclooking for legitimate information ontheyre doing their industry and wasorganizing be unable to find it. Somediligence on the brands that stay neutral.intended as a day forbegan removing the black square record labels and artistsposts from their feed altogether. Jen Lowitz, IHPRto refrain from releas- With the best of intentions, ON THE BLACKOUTing music in recogni- many brands had committed a blunder in a time of intense scrutiny. TUESDAY FIASCO:tion of racism againstKrupp notes, This was a tough one, and we were in the weeds with It was all happening soBlack people and policemany of our brands trying to help advise what the right thing for them quickly and under a micro- brutality.to do was. How do they express their support without just joining in scope.Honestly, most brands just werent prepared. It grew from there,a movement to post a black box when they didnt necessarily feel that It wasnt something they with people on Insta- was incredibly thoughtful or effective?had faced before. gram opting to post aThere was so much misinformation circulating and pressure onCindy Krupp, Krupp Group black square on theirbrands to post from their social communities, employees, clients, etc. feeds as a sort of virtualIt was all happening so quickly and under a microscope. Honestly, most protest.brands just werent prepared. It wasnt something they had faced before.Continued on page 6462 STATE OF THE MAJORS 2020'