The Double Edged Sword Of Inclusion & Black Buying Power
What’s wrong with expecting makeup companies to include black bloggers in their PR campaigns? Or Marvel Comics marketing to black fanboys and fangirls? Or even wanting a larger representation of black models on the runway?
Guess what, there’s nothing wrong with it at all. Considering that African-Americans currently have $1 trillion in buying power and it’s expected to rise to $1.3 trillion by 2017, I don’t want inclusion, I expect inclusion.
Sure, boo all you want. Or say things like, “Stop begging”, I get it. But unless you’re living off of all handmade goods, wearing shoes you handmade, using leaves to wipe your ass, eating food not bought in a store but grown in your backyard, watching a TV you somehow managed to build yourself, or using an Apple or Android device that wasn’t made in part because of this buying power, have a stadium full of seats. Whether you like it or not, you’re not only a product of consumerism, you’re also participating in inclusion.
Inclusion is a double-edged sword. I should be able to go to any make-up counter and find my shade. Although I don’t care about the comic book industry, it would be nice to see a character like Storm, finally get her shine on the big screen (well as long as Halle Berry isn’t playing her). Sure there are FUBU (for us by us) products, but even when we highlighted those products here on Clutch, it was met with comments like, “well that Natural Hair doll is too expensive“, or “How legitimate is this cancer organization ran and founded by black people“. See everyone wants FUBU, but then questions its motives.
In Nielsen’s 2013 African-American consumer report, appropriately titled “Resilient, Receptive & Relevant“, statistics show that of the $75 billion spent on television, magazine, Internet, and radio advertising, only $2.24 billion of it was spent with media focused on Black audiences. Obviously there’s a disparity between what black consumers consume versus advertising. Nielsen also pointed out that black women control 43% of the annual spending power for the Black population.
If we spend it, we should be included. Point, blank.
But let’s just say we’re not included. There are options. But don’t complain when those options are just a little bit more expensive than the ones you’re used to using. Inclusion comes at a price, and it may be worth it to spend a little extra on a company that’s already including you, just to prove to those companies that still haven’t caught on, that we will take our buying power elsewhere.
Reprinted with permission from Clutch.