June is Pride Month – a time to celebrate the historically marginalized LGBTQ+ community. When planning your campaigns, the key is to go beyond “slapping a rainbow on it” and hijacking campy phrases. Authentic representation and giving back to the community – in June and all year round – will build a connection with consumers and ultimately lead to sales and build brand loyalty.
LGBTQ+ individuals make up approximately 4.5% of the US population but account for 8%-approximately $1 trillion-of the country’s disposable income (eMarketer, 2021)
1. Authentic Support is the Key to Connection With Belief-Driven Buyers
When it comes to your brand’s support of the LGBTQ+ community, authenticity matters. That means having a 12-month strategy, treating LGBTQ employees well, and showing that you support LGBTQ non-discrimination policies both in their own corporations and also things that are happening in the government (CBSNews, 2021)
If you communicate your genuine support of the movement, you’ll be more likely to connect strongly with consumers who share your beliefs. Consumers want to buy from brands that resonate with their beliefs.
Two-thirds of consumers worldwide identified themselves as “belief-driven buyers,” indicating that they expect brands “can make change and not just talk about it and do advertising,” Richard Edelman, president and CEO of Edelman, recently told CBSN. (CBSNews, 2021)
In a U.S. survey by Adweek, 40% of those surveyed said they want to spend money with a brand that aligns with their personal values. (Adweek, 2021)
It also means extending your support beyond June and into the rest of the year. It’s important to not be perceived as opportunistic and exploitative of the movement, seeking only to capitalize and make a quick buck during the month of June.
It is simple really – if market involvement isn’t a seasonal trend when straight couples are concerned, then why should it be any different for couples from the LGBTQ+ community? They too like to participate in all the things that make their relationship that much special. Birthdays, anniversaries, special dates, getaways, personalized jewelry – these are all just as meaningful for someone from the LGBTQ+ community as they are to the rest of the population!
2. Support and Representation Matters – And Pays Off
Amongst the LGBTQ+ community, it cannot be overstated how important it is for them to feel that a brand is both representing them in their campaigns and supporting the community they are spotlighting.
Include diverse individuals in your creative assets and content. Feature stories of inspiring individuals or highlight LGBTQ+ employees, and more. During the employee appreciation program, consider getting these unique high end corporate gifts that can be customized according to your employees’ tastes.
Making a concerted effort to include more diverse representation in creative assets will ultimately build trust and brand loyalty. Portraying LGBTQ+ individuals in ads not only creates a positive association, but encourages purchasing:
- 79% of people believe gay women are under-represented in advertising (Marketing Week via Unruly);
- 73% of LGBTQ participants think more positively about companies that advertise in the LGBTQ media (CMI LGBTQ Community Survey, 2021)
- 72% of LGBTQ respondents were more likely to purchase from companies that advertised in LGBTQ digital and print media. (eMarketer, 2021)
- 78% of LGBTQ community members said they are inclined to support companies that market to and support LGBTQ people (CBSNews, 2021)
3. Give Back – Don’t Just Slap a Rainbow On It
The same goes for giving back to the community. Sponsor events, give back through volunteer work, and donate to organizations through promotions or special products. You can also give free online vouchers (using gift card API) for products that can make LGBTQ+ consumers more likely to think positively about your brand.
Going beyond selling rainbow merchandise is key. If you are selling rainbow merchandise, think about donating the proceeds to an LGBTQ+ organization to avoid falling victim to empty “rainbow retail” that profits off the LGBTQ+ community without supporting it.
A 2021 survey by Adweek showed that consumers are looking for brands that give back to the community in a genuine way, such as donating a portion of their profits to the LGBTQ+ community (24.8%), expressing support for LGBTQ+ issues year-round (22.1%) and publicly enforcing nondiscriminatory policies in the workplace (21%).
- 27.6% want to support brands that publicly support LGBTQ+ issues (Adweek, 2021)
- 79% of LGBTQ+ participants think more positively about companies that sponsor LGBTQ+ community organizations and events (CMI LGBTQ Community Survey, 2021)
- 74% of LGBTQ+ participants are more likely to purchase from a company that outreaches and advertises in the LGBTQ+ community (CMI LGBTQ Community Survey, 2021)
- How would you like to see brands support the LGBTQ+ community during Pride Month? (Adweek, 2021)
What Else to Know: Demographics
(CMI LGBTQ Community Survey, 2021)
- The more urban the area, the more LGBTQ-friendly the community is considered to be. 96% of LGBTQ participants think that their big city urban environments are LGBTQ-friendly, compared to 49% of those living in rural areas. (CMI LGBTQ Community Survey, 2021)
- Cisgender gay and bi+ men have a higher likelihood of living in big cities. Cisgender lesbian and bi+ women, transgender, and non-binary participants were more dispersed, living in many different community types.
- Cisgender gay and bi+ men are far more likely to be single than are cisgender lesbian and bi+ women. Cisgender lesbian and bi+ women are more likely to be married.
- In general, LGBTQ community members feel that their employer is LGBTQ-friendly (81% supportive). The high percentage may be a function of LGBTQ employees seeking work at LGBTQ-friendly companies.
5 TAKEAWAYS YOU CAN DO NOW:
1. Bring Your Creatives Up to Par:
Utilize creative experts [b]+studio to expand thoughtful LGBTQ+ representation in your creative assets
[b]+studio will work with you to create copy and assets that are genuine and supportive of the community.
Include promotions in your headlines to grab consumers’ attention – a consistent top-performing best practice according to [b]+studio.
2. Give Back:
Offer donations to LGBTQ+ organizations at a national or local level. Utilize your ads to promote sales that give back to the community.
Better yet, if you’re selling rainbow merchandise such as flags or lgbt pride pins, push the proceeds of that to LGBTQ+ organizations to avoid falling victim to empty “rainbow retail” that profits off the LGBTQ+ community without supporting it. There are plenty of LGBTQ+ vendors out there that you could buy from, therefore, supporting the cause from both sides.
3. Reach Your Target Consumer:
Utilize Bidtellect’s context demographics targeting to reach age and gender demographics.
Bidtellect’s context-driven technology will reach users researching LGBTQ+ support, pride month shopping, and other interests without cookies.
Bidtellect’s 30+ supply partners ensure your ads will reach far and wide in the safest, most relevant publisher environments. Pride is a big spending month – don’t skimp.
5. Adjust, Adjust, Adjust:
Work with Bidtellect’s performance team to optimize to best-performing placements, creatives, spend, scale, and more.
Bidtellect’s unique Engagement Score1 among other measurements will offer clear performance metrics through post-click so you can adjust your campaigns accordingly.