Article: 5-min Read
Director, Partner Solutions Group at Roundel
I’m probably not alone in being an aisle wanderer. There’s just something about discovering new products in-store that I’ve always found exciting and rewarding—especially now that more minority-owned brands are available at mass retailers like Target and the products on shelves reflect the diverse communities we live in.
Having worked in media for over a decade, I noticed a theme: interactions with most diverse-owned and founded brands didn’t extend beyond the checkout line. When I purchased products for my hair, I wasn’t retargeted with an ad to encourage another purchase or to keep the brand top-of-mind. The reality is that BIPOC-owned and founded businesses often don’t have the funds required to implement large-scale marketing programs. I wanted to change that. I wanted to create a more equitable experience for BIPOC brands and shoppers. This is how the Roundel Media Fund came to be.
The Roundel Media Fund, which was established as part of Target’s REACH commitments, offsets the cost of marketing programs at Target for BIPOC-owned brands by lowering the cost of entry and providing the means for advertising investments. Together, Target and Roundel plan to award more than $25 million in media to diverse-owned and founded brands by the end of 2025.
Use Target’s first-party data to connect communities with products they’ll enjoy.
Achieve contextual targeting and geo-targeting among those relevant audiences.
Engage Target guests year-round with always-on programming.
The Roundel Media Fund is our way of using Target’s size, scale, and resources to elevate economic opportunities for BIPOC-owned businesses, while also ensuring our guests see themselves reflected in our products.
Rod Johnson and Pernell Cezar are the founders of BLK & Bold, the first nationally distributed Black-owned coffee brand and a top seller at Target. Cezar and Johnson created the company with the desire to invest in youth programs in communities across the country and have donated over $100,000. This team also continues to reach their goal of uniting and building community around coffee and tea lovers with quality and accessibility in mind.
BLK & Bold launched its first media program in January 2020 through the Roundel Media Fund. The brand experienced a +40% bump in sales.
“Being able to get support from the Roundel Media Fund was a huge help to our business success, especially as we were launching our product during the early pandemic lockdown,” says Cezar. He adds, “The Roundel Media Fund was critical for our business to get exposure in a retail environment.”
Jasmin Foster empowered women of color and broke glass ceilings as the CEO and founder of Be Rooted, the first Black-owned stationery brand sold at Target. She found a way to weave culture and messaging into her designs so that women of color could see themselves in places they didn’t before.
But like many new founders, Foster had limited funding to spend on media investments.
“The Roundel Media Fund provided critical help in getting my brand known. We were able to connect with Target’s consumer base, increase brand awareness, and drive customers to retail,” says Foster. “The Media Fund gave us a lever to tap into that market and into that customer. We grew from 2 SKUs to 30+ SKUs and were able to leverage Target’s holiday programming, like the Historically Black Colleges and Universities initiative.”
As we continue to make progress against our $25 million spending goal, we’re actively accepting applications from more growing, diverse brands.
The Roundel Media Fund has been a huge win for both guests and brands. It’s proof that our partnership is successfully driving diverse-owned and founded business growth as well as delivering joy to Target’s guests every day.
Director, Partner Solutions Group at Roundel
Filippia Iboko is the Director of Partner Strategy at Roundel, leading media strategy for Seasonal Brand Moments and Inclusive Marketing. In her role, she is responsible for developing the multicultural go-to-market strategy for Roundel’s clients, with a focus on increasing Target’s commitment to priority audiences. One of her proudest moments at Target includes establishing a $25M media fund program for BIPOC businesses, which subsidizes the cost of marketing campaigns at Target.
Currently, Filippia serves as a chairperson for the Women’s Business Council, an employee resource group supporting more than 4,400 women at Target Corporation. Filippia also serves on the Board of Directors for Girls Taking Action, a non-profit organization focused on mentoring, motivating, and empowering girls to succeed in life.