Each year, organizations introduce a bright color palette and turn up the volume on inclusion for LGBTQ+ Pride in the month of June. While the global pandemic may have restricted how many are accustomed to celebrating this year and last—think parades, celebratory gatherings and an abundance of Lady Gaga—Pride means even more than companies and brands may realize. There’s a lot of value to rocking the rainbow. It’s a symbol that innately says, “you are welcome, you are seen” and that’s awesome! However, there’s a more purposeful way to participate in Pride and it has to do with appealing to and serving LGBTQ+ audiences all year long versus a single month.
There’s been a societal shift to lean in with an intensified focus on diversity, equity and inclusion across the board, but meaningful engagement is key. Let’s face it, Pride-themed merchandise and brand marketing is fun and there are many well-known brands participating this year. There are also many well-known companies large and small that are giving back to the community whether through charitable giving, or providing exposure or resources for consumers, audiences and employees. Still, brands should keep in mind that “rainbow capitalism”—or just appealing to the LGBTQ+ consumer in June—is not only performative, but problematic.
The solution? Make sure your brand has the interests of the LGBTQ+ consumer or audience in mind all year and with all initiatives. Culturally speaking, it befits companies to be just as inclusive of LGBTQ+ during every other month of the year as they are during Pride month. For Comcast’s Vice President of Integrated Multicultural Brand Marketing, Jose Velez-Silva, inclusion is intersectional.
Velez has responsibilities for building awareness and brand affinity across Comcast Xfinity’s suite of products and, more than that, making sure the message to reach LGBTQ+ audiences is culturally relevant. This year, Xfinity’s Pride-themed campaign not only addresses intersectionality through its creative but also highlights the fact that there’s an always-on destination specific for the LGBTQ+ community (see below).
These days, being intrinsically inclusive of this community is better for business, no matter the category. Consider the fact that, of younger demographics,
And of U.S. LGBTQ+ individuals,
Ultimately, an organization’s initiatives that not only reflect the world we live in, but show up for the LGBTQ+ community all year will prove more favorable with the audience. And it’s not just about doing the right thing: the buying power for this community is substantial, with an estimated $1 trillion for the LGBTQ+ population in the U.S. alone, according to LGBT Capital. And according to Nielsen, this community is young and affluent- demographics that are highly attractive for most marketers.
Purposefully celebrating Pride isn’t limited to year-round inclusion, but also knowing the makeup of this diverse community. In order to reach LGBTQ+ audiences with Pride-themed gear, messaging, or anything for that matter, it’s important to invest the time and resources to better understand the community, what the challenges are, and what the opportunities for engagement might look like with purpose in mind.
To learn more about how to reach LGBTQ+ audiences, check out Effectv’s mini-report, Reaching the Growing LGBTQ Population with Thoughtful Advertising (Download) and be sure to register for an upcoming webcast, Culture Conversations: Beyond a Logo, Happening July 7 at 3:00pm ET.