Advertising Strategies and Lessons


Black-Owned Brands Thrive Using Effective Marketing Strategies

June 9, 2020 Sarah Cavill

Shutterstock_372379228 Portrait Of Couple Running Coffee Shop Behind Counter

Black-owned businesses across the country continue to grow. According to, “New York state has the most black-owned businesses 204,093  which is 10.6% of the businesses in the state, followed by Georgia, Florida and Texas. However, Washington, DC has the highest percentage of black-owned businesses in the country with 28%.” 

And, although COVID-19 has led some black-owned businesses to struggle, and access to financing remains far behind other businesses, the recent fight for racial justice across the country has shined a light on many black-owned businesses. Here are five, big and small black-owned businesses, that have effectively used digital marketing strategies to survive and thrive in competitive markets.

Brave + Kind Bookshop Creates Subscription Plans For Book Clubs

brave + kind

The Brave + Kind Bookshop in Decatur, GA, sells books for children of all ages. “I intended for this to be a space [for children] to find beautiful stories, but also find opportunities to explore and do something that felt brave to them. I wanted to create a space [where] families could come, be together and find beautiful stories to inspire them to do something brave and kind,” said Brave + Kind Bookshop founder Bunnie Hilliard.

In addition to live events, like workshops, parties and author events, Brave + Kind Bookshop offers six- or twelve-month subscriptions for kids from birth to middle reader, fiction and nonfiction, with each book hand selected, gift wrapped and shipped directly to subscribers. Monthly patronages and book bundles are also available from the two-year old bookstore. By offering a variety of different opportunities for interested consumers to make purchases and support their business online, Brave + Kind can scale revenues and create long-term relationships. The personalization of curated subscriptions also highlights industry expertise, which can resonate with consumers.

Fenty’s Inclusive Product Line And Marketing Changed The Beauty Industry

Fenty’s biggest marketing asset is the star power that Rihanna brings to the table. Rihanna, who has sold 60 million albums and has more than 83 million followers on Instagram, owns nearly 50% of the brand. She is the face of Fenty and a creative force behind the marketing, advertising and product design. Fenty first gained attention for offering 40, now 50, shades of foundation that were inclusive of all skin tones and by featuring women of all ethnicities and body types in their advertising. The brand went live in 17 countries on the same day at the same time, generating lines around the block for Fenty products. The Fenty launch on YouTube garnered 132 million views, making it the biggest brand launch in the history of YouTube.

Fenty’s marketing strategies, focusing on beauty for everyone, has become an industry game changer, forcing other beauty brands to look at how diverse their products and marketing are. 

Cecile’s Bath And Body Stays Agile And Authentic During Changing Times

Cecile’s Bath and Body, a small independent bath product company owned and operated by Jackie Granchamps, previously relied on strong content marketing, craft fairs and pop-ups for brand engagement and sales, but pivoted to a direct-to-consumer (DTC) model because of the coronavirus crisis. Recently, Cecile’s pivoted again in solidarity with the protests for racial justice, committing to donating “100% of [their] net profits to people and grassroots organizations committed to protecting the rights of marginalized and endangered people.” Being agile, and ready to amend marketing, sales and brand strategies when necessary and appropriate, can be a smart, strategic path to lasting success and an authentic way to show consumers you care.

Esusu Partners With Equifax To Offer Financial Opportunity To Marginalized Communities

esusu rent relief fund

Fintech mobile platform Esusu, which was founded in 2019, “helps individuals mostly from marginalized communities save money, access capital and build credit. Renters typically don’t get credit for making their monthly payments on time; Esusu’s platform has helped change that,” reported Forbes. The platform works directly with consumers and public and private sector housing developers. As of January 2020, Esusu had 200,000 users with revenues expected to reach $1.2 million this year. Esusu recently partnered with Equifax to increase their visibility and reach more consumers. “Esusu's partnership with Equifax will help accelerate our growth,” said Abbey Wemimo and Samir Goel, Co-CEOs of Esusu. Adding “It will also help in creating more financial opportunities and access for millions of Americans.” 

During the COVID-19 crisis, Esusu created the Esusu Rent Relief fund to help people struggling financially during the pandemic, raising more than $200,000. 

Nightlight Pediatric Urgent Care Deploys Content Marketing And Telemedicine Options for Patients

Nightlight Pediatric Urgent Care, which was founded by Zawadi Bryant, Connie Cazares and Dr. Anastasia Gentles in 2007, currently has eight clinics across Texas. According to Inc., “[Nightlight Pediatric Urgent Care] became one of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S., earning a spot on the Inc. 5000 ranking for six years in a row, most recently in 2019 at No. 4,419 with $9.9 million in 2018 revenue.”

In addition to caring for patients, 80% of whom are people of color, Nightlight offers comprehensive content marketing on their blog NightVision: Our Constellation of Community, for patients on subjects including coronavirus, allergies, vaping and even flying with kids. Content marketing creates an authoritative voice and builds trust with consumers, particularly for new businesses or businesses that have significant  competition in the marketplace. Telemedicine has become an essential part of treating patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Nightlight Pediatric Urgent Care has prioritized this virtual service for their patients. 

The marketing strategies brands choose to amplify their brand awareness and grow their customer bases should include multichannel solutions and positive messaging inclusive of the communities they may be trying to reach, creating trusted relationships between brands and consumers and encouraging repeat business.

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About the Author

Sarah Cavill

With more than 20 years of writing, editing and reporting experience, Sarah Cavill brings to Digital Media Solutions (DMS) a fine-tuned and diverse set of skills. Her work has been featured in notable publications including The Daily Muse, CBS Local, Techlicious and Glamour magazine. Sarah has a passion for current events and the deep-dive research that goes into the content development and brand identity of DMS Insights. In her role as Associate Content Manager, Sarah contributes to the pitching, researching and writing of multiple stories published each week surrounding digital and performance marketing innovations in pop culture, news, social media, branding and advertising.

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