Sugaberry: New Lifestyle Brand Created By And For Modern Moms Of Color Launches – Forbes

Posted: March 24, 2020 at 2:45 pm


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Sugaberry Co-founders Tika Sumpter (left) and Thai Randolph (right).

In recent years content marketing has transitioned from a customization to personalization model. For example, Netflix's original programming strategy was to provide viewers with a plethora of content from which they could choose what they wanted to view. Today, Netflix is responding to the demands of consumers, producing content to match their lifestyles and need states. The former is led by the content creator, while the consumer drives the latter.

Included in Netflix's new strategy is the creation of multicultural content to match their consumer's needs. Nielsen reported in 2019 that 39% of Black adults watch Netflix, compared to 33% of the total population. Responding to the consumer demand, Netflix not only highlights Black movies, TV shows, and documentaries released on the platform each month, it also created social media accounts and campaigns to target Black consumers called Strong Black Lead.

Actress and producer Tika Sumpter and business executive Thai Randolph are looking to replicate the Netflix strategy and personalize content for Black mothers with their new venture. Sugaberry, a lifestyle brand created by and for modern moms of color, includes a curated mix editorial content, original audio, and video programming, interviews, newsletters, celebrity guest contributors, a live event series, and product recommendations. Sumpter and Randolph are also hosting a bi-weekly podcast under the Sugaberry umbrella in partnership with Stitcher called The Suga.

Sugaberry logo

Co-founders Sumpter and Randolph believe they are filling a proverbial "White space" in the market. "Black moms are among the most connected, culturally influential, and upwardly mobile audiences in today's digital media ecosystem yet, despite wielding considerable purchasing power, they remain largely underserved and underrepresented in the marketplace," Randolph states.

Sumpter adds, "when I was pregnant with my daughter, I found myself searching for a community that looked like me and was talking about all things motherhood and the indulgence of it. Black women don't usually get to delight in mommyhood, which is why I wanted to build a safe and sweet destination for modern moms of color, regardless of what stage they are in."

Sumpter said when she googled "Black motherhood," everything was dreary, depressing, death, doom, and destruction. Yet when she searched for mainstream motherhood topics, it was all White faces. "Moms were smiling and laughing. There were all kinds of baby bags, a million articles, and arrays of websites. It made me wonder, why is it such a vast difference? We are not a monolith and there are variations of us. I didn't see this reality represented, and I wanted to change the narrative."

At the helm of Sugaberry's content is Editor-in-chief Blaire Bercy, former digital media executive for companies such as Time Inc., Oxygen, and HelloGiggles. Bercy also plans to amplify the perspectives of new Black female content creators, podcasters, micro-influencers and writers who don't yet have an outlet to call home. "I like to think of it as similar to a Hello Giggles perspective where we just know there are going to be women and some men who contribute, but their voice is allowed in every area without being limited."

Similar to Essence Communications, Sugaberry is bringing together content, commerce, and community to create a destination for Black consumers. However, Bercy plans to double down on targeting the growing subsegment within Black consumers: the Black working mother.

Sugaberry aims to target Black consumers at the intersection of career, motherhood, and personal development. A strategic move, as the Black working mother, is also a subsegment within the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs and is thriving financially without a spouse. As mothers of color, their spending power is growing at a more accelerated rate than White spending power. As influential consumers, they control the lion's share of the total Black spending power, which will reach $1.5 trillion in 2023. These women not only influence what other Black generations (Baby Boomers, Generation X) and what Black men spend their money on, but as early adopters of trends, Black women also influence the general population.

Co-founders Sumpter and Randolph insist commerce is a core part of the Sugaberry brand, and plan to leverage its adoption by Black mom consumers to build relationships with other companies. Similar to the case study and learnings from Red Table Talk, the women want to show the ROI on integrating your product in a space for and by Black women.

Randolph adds a final thought on why Sugaberry adopted a personalization model to target the Black working mom consumer, a model that companies should leverage:

"These women and moms over-index in family categories such as personal care and baby products, yet not many companies, brands, and publications are investing back in them. Sugaberry is cross-platform and seamlessly integrated from an affiliate perspective. It's profitable for brands to reach and resonate with this hyper-connected, hyper-vocal, really savvy consumer moms."

Sugaberry launches March 23, 2020.

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Sugaberry: New Lifestyle Brand Created By And For Modern Moms Of Color Launches - Forbes

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March 24th, 2020 at 2:45 pm