Show Gay, Bi, Lesbian & Trans Consumers Some Love, Respect, and year-round Commitment and They’ll Show You The Money!
The LGBT community–with an estimated buying power as of 2016 of over one trillion ($1,000,000,000,000.00) dollars the U.S. alone (Forbes)–is a demographic that can’t and won’t be ignored. The gay and lesbian marketplace is as varied and complex as any marketplace. Slapping the gay six-color rainbow on a campaign isn’t enough. In fact, for many, that approach is considered condescending, pandering and an outright insult.
The $1 Trillion Marketing Executives Are Ignoring (Forbes, August 14, 2018)
A smart campaign requires understanding, political awareness, empathy, and, ideally, a sense of humor. Embrace the LGBTQ marketplace from the inside out, cultivate a mutually supportive relationship, respect our differences and recognize our similarities and you’ll be on your way to earning your fat slice of the LGBTQ$ pie. Words of wisdom and selected case studies below.
10 of the best gay inclusive commercials (Gay Times UK, May 23, 2018)
“‘If you want to be successful, you have to target,’ stated Tumminello. Gay-and lesbian-oriented magazines may reach a smaller audience, but the value of advertising in them is immense…If an ad runs in People magazine, no one mentions it. But if a fabulous lesbian ad runs in print or on television, you and your friends will probably discuss it over dinner. Can you imagine, having a group of people talk about your ad for three or four minutes? You have to educate people about that difference.’ – Julia Hanna, Marketing to Gay and Lesbian Consumers, Harvard Business School, Working Knowledge For Business Leaders.
Absolut Vodka, Expedia and Levi’s have all run campaigns that target the savvy urban dweller with attractive creative, and have taken on gay and lesbian causes in their non-profit work…These types of companies attract the LGBT community because consumers realize that these companies are speaking to them,’ adds Odri. ‘They donate to pro-LGBT causes and care about the community.’ If a company doesn’t have a positive perception in the overall community, he points out, it is ‘going to have a challenge.'” – Dianna Dilworth, Case studies in LGBT Marketing, Deliver Magazine, December 8, 2008
“‘Most members of the market share a common bond by virtue of their “otherness,” which creates significant marketing opportunities,’ he [Ian Johnson of Out Now Marketing] says. ‘The challenge is to create good gay marketing that works by recognition of both the commonality that exists between gay consumers, while at the same time acknowledging the vast diversity that also exists amongst the group.’ Recognizing that this is easier said than done, he adds: ‘It’s not always straightforward, but good fun nonetheless.'” – Andrew Barker, Same-sex Ads Swim Into Mainstream: Industry embraces buying power of gay market, Variety, April 12, 2007
“Don’t even take your first step toward the LGBT marketplace until you have ensured equality in your hiring practices, and in your company’s treatment of its gay and lesbian employees. Be sure you have earned the gay marketing buy-in at all company levels, from top execs to the line staff who will interact with your LGBT customers (retail salesreps, receptionists, customer service agents, etc. as appropriate).” – CMI’s 3 Steps to Cost-effectively Reach and Serve the Gay & Lesbian Community, Community Marketing, Inc.
- LGBTQ Marketing and Advertising: Best Practices (HRC)
- These rainbow flag-waving corporations donated millions to anti-gay members of Congress
- 3 Ways Brands Can Market to Their LGBTQ Consumers Year Round (AdWeek, June 15, 2018)
- PRIDE FOR SALE As more corporations celebrate LGBTQ people each June, pride and profit are mixed — and so are the consequences (Washington Post, June 20, 2019)
- Chasing The Rainbow: Restaurant Brands Make The Case For LGBTQ Pride Campaigns (Forbes, June 11, 2019)
- Let’s Stop Buying the LGBT Rainbow (Daily Beast, June 15, 2017)
Around this time of year companies stick a rainbow on their logos to show their LGBT support? Or is it more of a principle-free marketing opportunity?