How US consumers think brands should celebrate Juneteenth
June 2nd, 2022, Hoang Nguyen

How US consumers think brands should celebrate Juneteenth

It’s been one year since Juneteenth was recognized as a US federal holiday commemorating the day the last slaves were freed in the country. According to a new YouGov survey, 86% of US adults are aware of what Juneteenth is, including 96% of Black adults.

Data from the poll reveals that, as of May 2022, 58% of US adults had never celebrated Juneteenth and for one in 10 individuals, it will be their first year celebrating the new federal holiday (10%).

Holidays have long been a vehicle for brands to get involved in cultural moments but striking the right chord with marginalized audiences can be difficult. What’s clear is that more than half of US consumers (54%) say it’s important that brands take a stand on issues that reflect their core values, rising to 76% among Black consumers.

When it comes to brands taking a stance on the issue of racial inequality, consumers tend to be divided on how they feel. Roughly three in 10 US consumers say a company is taking advantage of the issue and using it as an opportunity to attract or retain customers (29%). However, Black adults seem less concerned, with a fifth (20%) indicating that they believe brands are using messages about racial inequality to gain or retain customers.

On the other hand, a fifth of all US adults say that brands taking a stance on racial inequality genuinely think it is the right thing to do (20%), but more than a third (34%) of Black adults seem more willing to extend the benefit of the doubt.

An additional quarter of US adults believe that brands don’t care about the issue, but it is better to get more visibility on racial inequality than stay silent (24%), another sentiment favored more by Black adults (31%).

Among Black consumers, a third say brands are being authentic when they take a stance on racial inequality while a fifth believe brands are taking advantage of the issue. Close to a third say brands probably don’t care but acknowledge that it’s important to get more people talking about racial inequality (31%).

So how should brands celebrate Juneteenth?

Amplifying conversations around race and diversity seems to be the most authentic way for brands to show consumers they care about what Juneteenth represents. Over a third of US adults consider brands partnering with Black voices or businesses to educate people about Black history in America as an authentic way to commemorate Juneteenth, jumping up to 52% among Black consumers.

Similarly, brands that take a moment to reflect on company practices and review their internal policies on diversity and race come off as authentic to 32% of all US adults and 47% of Black adults.

Issuing statements in support of and celebration of Juneteenth are popular among roughly a quarter of all US adults, but Black consumers want more from brands that do so. Brands that issue statements to local and federal governments to enact policies supporting racial justice resonate better with Black consumers than those that just issue a generic statement (38% vs. 27%).

Compared to the other ways brands can celebrate Juneteenth, consumers are least likely to view brands launching a product or service as authentic (13%). Commercializing Juneteenth via a product launch also ranks as the least likely brand action to be perceived as authentic among Black consumers (24%).

On this point, we asked consumers if Juneteenth branding would impact people’s decision to buy a product over a product without the branding. Roughly a quarter of US adults (28%) say they would be much more or somewhat more likely to buy a Juneteenth-branded product over a product without such branding, rising to 42% among Black consumers.

Close to half of all US adults (49%) say they are not very or not at all likely to buy a Juneteenth-branded product over a generic one, including 29% of Black adults.


YouGov polled 2,000 US adults online on May 31, 2022 between 2:07pm EST and 7:27pm EST. The survey was carried out through YouGov Direct. Data is weighted by age, gender, education level, political affiliation, and ethnicity. Results are nationally representative of adults in the United States. The margin of error is 2.2% for the overall sample. Learn more about YouGov Direct.

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