Beauty is a $532 billion dollar industry. Black consumers make up about 13 percent of the US population but according to a 2019 Neilsen report, Black people outspend their counterparts in many beauty categories. Although our community continues to spend on personal care, hair care and skin products, the Black ownership in this industry is subpar to white proprietorship.
So for the few Black-owned brands that are in the health and beauty space, how do they keep up with the bigger brands all while still staying authentic? We had the opportunity to speak with Girard Hardy, Director of Brand Marketing for Walker and Company. Walker and Company is the maker of Bevel, the brand that created grooming products with Black men in mind. Girard provides insight on marketing a brand for people of color, gives tips to small businesses and how digital marketing has impacted the industry.
How did you start working with Walker and Company?
I have been a fan and user of Bevel products since discovering them in the fall of 2014. After shaving with Bevel for the first time, I was hooked and haven’t looked back. At the time, I was working for another brand but absolutely loved how Bevel genuinely spoke to Black men and women and made a note to watch for opportunities down the line. Fast-forward about 4 years, I was introduced to the team at Walker and Company and officially joined about a year after that. I’ve been here a few years now, and I absolutely love being able to bring my full authentic self to my work as a brand marketer. I’m surrounded by brilliant Black women, men, and people of color making products that speak to the needs of my community.
How do you approach brand strategy?