Why do two white guys have the nerve to wade into a conversation about a magazine crafted by and for black women? Perhaps we shouldn’t, but we’re firm believers in the power of a brand’s story, and with ESSENCE’s recent sale to Richelieu Dennis it has reclaimed an important component of its brand story - black ownership and management.
Understandably, there has been palpable excitement among the brand’s fans, and unsurprisingly, in certain corners of society there has been a backlash suggesting the enthusiasm is steeped in racism. But black identity is at the heart of ESSENCE’s brand story, because forty-eight years ago a black woman could not find a single magazine that understood her and spoke to her with empathy. ESSENCE changed that forever.
Another reason we are wading in - we worked closely with ESSENCE at Time Inc. and we fell in love with the brand because the passion and empathy that the ESSENCE team exuded was above and beyond anything we saw with any other brand in the building. ESSENCE is much more than a media brand. Will reclaiming its brand story have a similar effect on ESSENCE’s fortunes as Steve Jobs’ return to Apple did? We hope so. Welcome home ESSENCE.
From the New York Times: http://nyti.ms/2D5WWvx
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