In the wake of a nationwide movement to fight systemic racism and police brutality in America, many companies are designating Juneteenth – the holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States – as a paid company holiday. Many are encouraging their employees to use their day off to educate themselves, enact positive change and celebrate Black culture.
While the day off is intended for company employees, when consumers see brands they do business with taking action that correlates with their beliefs, it strengthens their customer loyalty. Resonate is in good company with the non-exhaustive list of companies below who’ve also decided to give their employees Juneteenth off as a day for reflection and education.
The ridesharing company announced on Twitter that it would be making June 19 an annual company holiday. They provided a brief history of the historic day and shared the following statement: “Starting this year, we’re making Juneteenth an official holiday at Lyft. It’s one step in our ongoing journey toward racial equality at Lyft, and in this country.”
Image source: Lyft Twitter account
This announcement aligned with the values and preferences of their customers. According to Resonate’s proprietary data, Lyft riders are 43% more likely to value tolerance and accepting those who are different. They believe life is about accepting the beliefs and behaviors of others. When it comes to engagement activities with brands, they’re 38% more likely to pay more based on an important issue and 31% more likely to engage in a company’s societal program. This is a segment that expects more than just a service or product from a brand, and Lyft delivered by taking a stand on an issue that matters to this group: they’re 42% more likely to consider gender/race equality to be a very important issue.
The credit card company said in a statement that it is designating June 19 as a Mastercard Day of Solidarity or June 18 for locations that have a Sunday to Thursday workweek. In the memo, they gave employees suggestions as to how to spend the day off:
- LEARN – Educate yourself on the history of racism around the world and in America.
- ACT – Take action to fight injustice by volunteering with or donating to a civil rights organization, performing Acts of Kindness (extended through June 30), or attending a peaceful protest.
- REFLECT – Take care of your mental health and well-being.
Source: Mastercard website
While the day is intended for employees, this act taps into the beliefs and values of Mastercard customers as well. One of the cardholders’ top values is accepting and understanding individuals who are different from themselves. They’re 24% more likely to prefer companies that listen to the public and 22% more likely to consider gender/race equality to be an important issue.
Image source: Resonate Ignite Platform 2020
Nike CEO, John Donahoe, made the announcement in a company-wide memo sent to staff on Thursday, June 11, making Nike one of the first companies to designate June 19 as a paid holiday. In the statement, obtained by Newsweek, he said: “For more than 40 years, our brand has celebrated incredible Black athletes and inspired millions of people all over the world by amplifying their excellence. When we say that Black Lives Matter, it applies to the world outside of Nike and, importantly, it applies to our Black teammates within Nike. Simply put, we need to hold ourselves to a high standard given the heritage of our company and our brand.”
Nike is no stranger to taking a stand against racism, from their Colin Kaepernick campaign to their “Don’t Do It” ad. They know their customers well, according to Resonate’s proprietary data on personal values, one of Nike customers top values is tolerance. Nike’s designation of Juneteenth as a paid holiday directly taps into their customers’ value of acceptance and celebration of those who are different from them. Based on their 31% jump in online sales following Colin Kaepernick’s campaign, it’s clear that taking a stand against racism and celebrating Black Americans opens up a meaningful connection with their customers.
Eligible Target employees can take June 19 day off with full pay and hourly team members who work will receive time and a half pay. “Juneteenth takes on additional significance in this moment,” CEO Brian Cornell said in a statement. “Moving now to recognize it on an annual basis—as a day to celebrate, further educate ourselves or connect with our communities—is one more important action Target can take as a company to help the country live up to the ideal of moving forward in a new way.”
This move likely resonates with Target shoppers, as they’re 19% more likely to prefer companies who treat their employees fairly and 13% more likely to prefer companies that support the community. Designating this day as a company-wide holiday moving forward taps into both preferences. When it comes to consumer engagement activities with brands they do business with, Target shoppers are also 76% more likely to engage in a company’s societal program and 34% more likely to pay more based on an important issue.
Source: Resonate Ignite Platform 2020
Music streaming platform Spotify announced that they made Juneteenth a permanent company holiday to “commemorate, celebrate and recognize the day that slavery ended in the United States,” according to the statement on their website. On June 19, their weekly updated playlist, “New Music Friday” will exclusively feature Black artists through June 26. They also stated that their Times Square New Music Friday billboards will be dedicated to Black artists on the Juneteenth holiday.
Below are a few other ways the media company plans to amplify Black voices in music:
Seeing as Spotify users are 24% more likely to believe gender/race equality is a very important issue, these actions will be well-received by their customers. They’re also 24% more likely to engage in a company’s societal program, 22% more likely to prefer companies that treat employees fairly and 15% more likely to pay more based on an important issue. According to their streaming data, Spotify’s Black Lives Matter playlist has seen over a 1,900% increase in followers and 130,000% increase in streams. This is a segment that wants to hear from the brands and retailers they buy products and services from and, clearly when they speak out on issues that matter most to their listeners, Spotify deepens their relationship with their audience.
CONSUMERS DEMAND ACTION
It’s become clear that today’s consumers not only expect more than products and services from the companies they buy from, but they also want more than just a statement. Companies are being called out when their words ring hollow — consumers are demanding action. Those who ignore the issues plaguing our country or attempt to acknowledge them in an inauthentic way will suffer the consequences.
Want to learn more about aligning your corporate and consumer values? Read our newly launched annual report: The State of Your Customer: Navigating the Intersection of Brand and Consumer Values.