Bevel’s Tristan Walker on Tech, Black Lives Matter and Community
For Tristan Walker, founder and chief executive officer of P&G-owned Walker & Company Brands, technology and community are intertwined.
Walker, a tech alumn and the founder and chief executive officer of P&G-owned Walker & Company Brands, outlined his approach to community building during a conversation with Beauty Inc’s executive editor, Jenny B. Fine. He said his background in tech informs his outreach.
“Something I learned from the technology industry is the ability to more effectively reach your end consumer, to touch them and get closer to them,” Walker said. “The one advantage that we had in launching Bevel is to reach the audience that we serve in the U.S., and we have a fundamental belief that Black culture leads all global culture, and technology is just an accelerant to that culture.”
Walker also discussed the impact of the Black Lives Matter movement, both on his business and on him personally. “It was important to model the values that you’re going to come back to, to pick a side, and really stand firm,” he said. “Ever since Walker and Co. was started, there were six values that mattered dearly to us: courage, inspiration, respect, judgment, wellness and loyalty. Our consumers knew that we were pretty firm in those things, and we’re on their side.”
Backstage at Chanel RTW Fall 2021
To that end, Bevel’s partnership last year with meditation app Headspace, wherein the brand offered its community free memberships, was a huge hit among its clientele. “Thinking about mental health and the importance of feeling like you can survive throughout the consumer — in our consumers, our community, it really resonated with them because it was truly authentic to what we do,” he said.
More recently, Bevel introduced a new video campaign called Created for Kings. “Bevel really started as a celebration of the uniqueness of the Black experience and created for kings, and particularly for black men. We wanted to show we’re not a monolith, Black men are also fathers and partners,” Walker said. “We have jobs contributing to this country, and its promise. How do we celebrate that uniqueness?”
“We tend to think about diversity as this-ethnicity versus that-ethnicity. But there’s so much richness in diversity, even within the Black male community itself. The Created for Kings campaign is a celebration of that diversity. We want folks to feel like they can be a part of this community, and with a company that really leads from within,” Walker continued.
Walker’s philosophy seems to be working, seeing as his consumers range in age. Lately, though, the brand has been performing well with Generation Z, partially due to popularity on TikTok. “We over-index with Gen Z, who is a lot more active on TikTok, but we are really evenly distributed across different age groups, because those principles of what we’re about, those are really relevant wherever you are in your skin care journey, whatever your age, and your skin concerns,” Walker said.
For more from WWD.com, see:
Bevel Enters Walmart, Adds Products to Hair and Grooming
How Melissa Butler Brought The Lip Bar From Her Kitchen to Walmart
New York City to Champion Black-owned Businesses
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