The recent traction of the Black Lives Matter movement has caused a lot of people to look inwards, questioning not only their own biases and prejudices but their buying habits too. As consumers, we have the ability to vote with our dollar and decide which products and businesses survive in the turbulent economy.
Early last month, Google pledged to stand with the Black community after meeting with a group of their Black leaders to discuss how the company could work to “stand up for what [it] believes and show solidarity” moving forward.
Following a surge in searches for Black-owned brands, Google has introduced a feature that will make finding Black-owned businesses easier. The new feature is similar to one they rolled out in 2018, which used badgers to pinpoint women-led and LGBTQ+ friendly businesses and organisations. This time, a black love heart placed on an orange background will be the badge used to identify Black-owned organisations. Kanika, who helps Black-owned brands gain recognition with her own company, Phillip BAME Marketing thinks that Google has the right idea, although a black fist might be more relatable to those in touch with the BLM movement.
This feature follows in the footsteps of Google’s biggest competitor, Yelp, which also saw a sharp increase in searches for Black-owned services. In order to get the badge, companies need to verify their business with Google and confirm they own it via email or phone. According to The Verge, it’s not apparent how, or whether, Google will know if a company is actually Black-owned.
Despite this, it definitely feels like a step in the right direction and will be especially helpful for start-ups and low-cost business models.