Get to Know Black//Brown: Q&A with Founder Charlie Echeverry

Jordan Kelley, Content Director,

The domestic and global consumer landscape is more diverse than ever. For businesses & brands to really thrive and stay relevant for the next 50 years, comprehensive new revenue models based on the diverse consumer reality must be developed and deployed. This is the driving ethos at Black//Brown.

Black//Brown is a strategic advisory helping companies navigate an evolving business and consumer landscape by shaping a roadmap for growth that begins with a deep understanding of younger, more diverse consumers. Their latest content endeavor is a new Documentary Series called Take Me Home, which brings its viewers to a new kind of village on the outskirts of Austin, Texas - a 27-acre master planned community designed to help end homelessness.

Brand Storytelling caught up with Black//Brown Founder Charlie Echeverry to learn more about the strategic advisory and their new series Take Me Home:

Thanks for taking the time to chat, Charlie. Can you tell us a little more about Black//Brown?

Black//Brown is a strategic advisory purpose-built to achieve one goal: help our clients turn diversity into a revenue engine. That’s it. We work with established companies in a variety of sectors looking for internal disruption and also with start-up players looking for market validation and growth.

What were you doing prior to opening your own advisory?

I was Chief Revenue Officer at mitu. My partner, Jesus Chavez was COO there too. We built, grew and monetized from scratch a completely new entry in a very sleepy Latino media landscape. From my standpoint I think we helped to build the most important Latino brand since Univision started in the 1960s. Proud of our work there. Very disruptive stuff at a very interesting time in media, especially social. Before that I led Univision’s interactive efforts, and also worked at The Walt Disney Company and AOL.

Why place Black//Brown’s focus on turning diversity into a profit center?

When we hear ‘diversity’ - especially in a corporate context - two things almost immediately come to mind: ‘HR’ or ‘multicultural marketing’. At B//B we think both those things are important, but they’re table stakes. Think about it, generally speaking, we find the insight, build the strategy, develop the product and then we figure out how to sell whatever the product is to black and brown consumers. The real opportunity is upfunnel: to build an entire brand, product line, strategy or initiative around a diverse insight from the start; one that works for the diverse consumer and everyone else too. That’s higher ground. Right now, in this post-George Floyd moment, we’ve experienced a lot of demand - I’m very appreciative for that, but honestly there’s great risk in this moment too with so many companies coming out with announcements about hiring Diversity and Inclusion officers. While I agree those are important roles, my fear is that the temptation for DE&I to be a ‘box to check’ to solve for all of diversity will prove very high for many. Diversity should not be a cost center.